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The New Year’s Dilemma

Whether I’m discussing the best album of 1970, the best holiday-themed Saturday Night Live sketch, or the correct outcome of the 2017 Oscars ceremony, I’m someone who often has strong opinions about culture. And the topic of “holidays” is no exception. Years ago I created a list that divides every major holiday into the categories of “amazing” and “pointless,” with absolutely no grey area. If you ever meet me at a party, odds are good that I’ll show it to you. In the name of journalistic integrity, I can’t reveal which holidays I disapprove of in this column, but suffice it to say there are many. There are lots of holidays that I love as well, but I have little patience for the ones I deem useless, and I have no problem sharing those convictions with everyone I meet.

However, the one holiday I can never form an opinion on is New Year’s. On one hand, it’s a very Daily Fuel-esque holiday. It provides a fresh start, an opportunity to reevaluate our goals, and the entire country seems to focus on self-improvement (at least for a week or so). That’s pretty cool! And there’s a lot of college football, which automatically enhances any situation.

On the other hand, I’ve recently found that many of the traditions associated with this holiday do more harm than good. As someone who spends far too much time on Twitter, I saw a lot of people responding to a popular tweet asking them to list their three biggest accomplishments of 2018. Reading those tweets on December 31st is often a depressing experience, as we naturally compare ourselves and worry we haven’t accomplished as much as everyone else seemed to. And then New Year’s Day comes around, and you’re starting a new year by feeling guilty about how little you accomplished the year before. It’s a bad cycle.

I’m certainly overthinking this, but I thought it worth mentioning the importance of looking forward, rather than backward, during this holiday. Introspection is fine up to a point, but if it keeps you from setting new goals or working towards old ones, it just isn’t worth it.

But yeah, it’s hard to determine whether New Year’s is a good holiday. There are certainly arguments for both sides.

Phish concerts (good!), anxiety about lack of achievements (bad!), football games (good!), excruciating parties despite the fact that we just had the biggest holiday of the year last week (bad!). It’s such a tough call that I’m not comfortable making a blanket statement. You’ll just have to decide for yourselves whether the holiday is amazing or pointless. Consider it the first big challenge of 2019 from your friends at Daily Fuel.

At any rate, I wish you all a fantastic 2019, and I can’t wait to keep sharing my adventures with you all year!

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There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
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