In Search of Context

Seeking why we are the way we are, and why all that we experience is the way it is.

What’s “New Year” Anyway?

After 5 days of focused skiing in New Hampshire, through a variety of terrains and weather conditions (from bright blue skies and pristine groomed slopes, to rising snow swirls and biting winds amidst daunting moguls) my family trooped back home sore but contented.  With two days to the New Year, the plan was to make New Year’s Eve a quiet family time with games and music, but when the kids woke up heavy-eyed and coughing on New Year Eve it was clear that an early bedtime was called for.  Have you ever tried to stuff a 9 year-old and 12 year-old into bed when the alternative is to watch the New Year Ball descend at Times Square (even if on TV)? “Not on New Year’s Eve!” declared my son.

That gave me pause. What is “New Year” or January 1st or 2013 anyway? An artificial demarcation in time defined by us Humans in our eternal search for supremacy over nature.  We’re quite meaningless in the grand scheme of this Universe in which atoms collide to create particles, and galaxies zip past each other nonchalantly.  So feeling inadequate we decide that there must be something we can do to impose a human framework on a phenomenon that has no use of us.  We alight upon the measure of “time”.  We break down the immeasurable immensity of universal time into seconds, hours, days and years.  And then because we like to party, we designate the concept of a “New Year” when somehow one night and one day is supposed to change the world, and our circumstances.  In this age of Social Globalization via the Internet, the thrill of New Year’s Eve is already worn thin when you realize that Australians and New Zealanders are nursing hangovers when we in theUnited States sit down to dinner!  But when we wake up January 1st with a sore head, and the same inhibitions and habits, the year date might have changed but little else seems to have.

New Year is Every Time You Make A Change.

I turned to my son and shook my head. “So what will be different tomorrow?” I asked. “If you still complain when you must practice your violin, and doodle in Math Class, what would have changed?” It’s quite hard to get my son to pause and consider.  He did. “New Year is every time you make a change,” I said.

Change need not be dramatic, but let it be something that you have taken for granted, or a rut that you have comfortably or involuntarily fallen into.  Then consider this: if changing habits is so hard, this means that every moment you must stay alert to your mission of working hard to reverse that habit.  Staying in the moment, and working on that change will make every moment a New Year!

Make Yourself a Promise: You Will Not Wait Until New Year Eve 2013 to Review Your Resolutions.

So when you sit down to make your list of New Year resolutions, commit to yourself that you will continually audit how you perform against them; that you will not wait for a drunken annual review on December 31st 2013.  Make this the one priority of your “New Year”, to make every moment a new beginning, and a new effort.  The last second is dead and gone; the one you are about to commence is that new chance or “New Year” we all crave for, and the moment you are in is a call for productive action.  Suddenly you will find that you are celebrating a New Year every day, every hour and every second.  What more can we ask for? Celebrating life and all our new chances every second of the way.



Welcome to my Blog. I hope to go past this sound-bite world we live in and try to find context objectively.  This means I won’t always like the conclusions I come to, but I will bring them to you because I think you deserve it! Come on, join the conversation, and let’s get past the cross-talking and have a real, substantive discussion. 

Best Regards, Chitra Sundaram