When I first thought about what I’d wanted to write for New Year’s Eve, I had something a bit more goofy and light-hearted in mind.
Then, I read that Betty White had died.
I know that might seem like a kinda silly reason to turn suddenly serious, especially given White’s comedic presence. But it was hard not to feel a little verklempt, after what has felt like an exhausting and tough year.
Wildfires. Floods. Omnipresent COVID giving way to Omicron COVID.
The death of one of a handful of truly beloved living Hollywood icons mere weeks before her 100th birthday was a bit much to lead into.
But then I really thought about it: it’s not as though Betty White chose the date of her death. It’s not as though her dying before 100 obliterates the absolutely stunning achievements of her career, and the gifts of comedy she left us.
So it is with any date, really.
I know we tend to attach a lot of significance to this time of year. A complete orbit of the sun. A flipping of the calendar. And that’s fine.
If it helps you mentally to frame this period as the turning of the page on a new chapter, I think that’s fine. It can be healthy to let go of the bad stuff, push past it, and move forward.
What we shouldn’t do, however, is become obsessed with the idea that things automatically begin or end around a single date. I use the example of Betty White because as sad as it may be to lose her, she was 99 years old, folks.
White lived an incredible, full life, acted well into her 80s, and entertained millions. It’s hard to see that career as anything but an incredible accomplishment and a life well-lived and well-loved.
During her life, the world also saw several wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Moon Landing, the invention of the internet, and so much more. Some of it was good. Some of it was bad. None of it was particularly concerned with what year it was.
Problems, and for that matter, successes, are not hinged around any single date. There’s no hard and fast deadline for your personal growth, and no grand plan the universe will adhere to in order to keep us on track.
I know many folks like to make resolutions this year. That’s fine. But to me, I think the bigger resolution, the resolve if you will, is to be resolved in the face of an inherently chaotic world.
It could all come crashing down tomorrow. It could also be a lot better. We could die at 99. We could die at 100.
My suggestion? The strongest thing you can do is to keep resolved, keep going, and remember that thinking about tomorrow means you lived another day, persisting, resisting — resolving.
Happy New Year!
Welcome to Ford on Fridays: a weekly column where Victoria Buzz staff writer Tim Ford offers his thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of the perfect joke.
This column is for comedic purposes only. Please feel free to send feedback, thoughts, and [constructive] criticisms to firstname.lastname@example.org.