To the best of my knowledge, New Year’s Eve parties are all about deadlines.

The end of the year is arriving faster than any of us wanted it to, and now we are all desperately scrambling to do something, anything, of value before that deadline hits us like an ice cream truck running into a brick wall at ninety miles per hour.

We want to do something of value, something worth remembering, something to distract us when we look back on the existential morass of our lives thus far. And so we party. We spend the night among friends or family and try to live out some of the things that tradition decrees will be worth remembering. So we reach for those old jokes, that special kiss, and in many cases that bottle of alcohol.

And then, when we wake up in the morning, or the afternoon, or whenever we finally drag ourselves out of bed, we rise to greet… nothing new. A number has changed. That is all. The traditions we have grown up with led us to reach for a feeble attempt at real, worthwhile human activity, only to hand us what was left at the bottom of the discount barrel at the dollar store. We waited till the last minute to do something with the year, and this is what we have to show for it.

Maybe this year we’ll remember to do something before its too late.