Make your New Year’s celebration fun, but safe

Published 12:24 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

New Year’s Day is a holiday to mull where you’ve been and are going, and to consider collective reformation. Or you can spend it watching football games.
New Year’s Day is a holiday of time. It marks another click on the odometer. Some people have lots of miles left. Others measure their lives in tenths of a mile and are happy for it.
Time is fungible, relative and inexorable. As much as we want to pretend that the end is not in sight, time will not be ignored.
Geoffrey Chaucer once said that time and tide wait for no man. Chaucer lived in the 14th century, when, if one lived to be 57, as he did, the waves washed in early. In the 21st century, many of us mull our midlife crises at 57.
In the week leading to New Year’s Day, culture forces a one-day gut check: Where have I been? What am I doing? Where am I going?
The passage of another year and arrival of a new year causes many people to contemplate reform: They will quit doing this or that, or start doing something or the other. New Year’s resolutions are typically optimistic promises. They are hopes condensed into the idea that a new year represents a fresh start on the calendar as well as in our lives.
Sometimes it works. Time doesn’t care. It just keeps ticking forward. It’s a shot clock you hear with a jarring buzz.
The way America celebrates New Year’s Eve is fascinating: a countdown, a falling ball in Times (heh) Square in New (heh) York, and then, a national paroxysm of celebration at midnight.
Just don’t drink and drive. The amount of alcohol it takes to get to a blood alcohol content of .08, the legal limit, depends on a variety of factors such as how fast you drink and your weight. If you’ve had anything to drink, don’t get behind the wheel no matter what.
Designate a sober driver. Plan this ahead of time and it means you can relax and indulge without worrying about driving yourself home.
Take a cab.
Have a sleepover. Consider making plans to sleep where you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve.
Just don’t drive. Even if you’re sober, there’s no way to control other drivers. There will probably be lots of impaired drivers out there and the best way to stay safe is to avoid driving altogether.
Regardless of how we celebrate, let’s make it safe.
Let’s remember the reason for the celebration – the start of a brand new year with a clean slate and a whole new set of possibilities – and have a safe and fun time.

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