We're celebrating the new year, rather than the conclusion of the old one. We're interested in beginnings, and the romantic optimism that surrounds them - a first kiss, a wedding, opening day. Beginnings are easier to celebrate, because endings are unpredictable.
Morning Edition aired an interview with Mike Wallace on Thursday:
Steve Inskeep: You write that you angered Mel Brooks at the age of 75 or so when you told him, "It's all downhill from now on."It's not just the calendar that's changing; you are changing, and everyone around you is changing. (Look at the list of contacts in your cell phone or your email. How many of those people did you speak with this year?)
Mike Wallace: That's correct. And he hated it!
SI: Let me ask you - is it all downhill from now on?
MW: Well, yes...I mean, come on. When you've been on 60 Minutes for 37 or 38 years...when you've been around the world and talked to all manner of individuals and you have the energy - psychic and physical - to do that kind of thing, and then suddenly, you prefer to nap in the afternoon...it's different. And when you say "downhill", that doesn't mean that you don't have the same energy in your mind about the stories that you would like to cover, but you don't have, really, the physical capacity.
Relish the one night we consciously note and encourage the time to go by. Your relationships are constantly changing, the globe is revolving, the tectonic plates beneath you are shifting, your opportunities are shrinking; there's not much you can do about it. Lift a glass of champagne - it's all married ex-crushes, pregnant ex-girlfriends, and fighting your eyelids after a light lunch from here on out.