Thank God It’s 2011

“You Catholics think you can do anything and then go confess,” said my Lutheran-reared husband as we watched the connivances in The Crime of Padre Amaro, a Mexican-made Academy Award finalist of a couple years back. 

If you think I have anything more to say about religion or movies, guess again.

Except to say that the New Year brings us all a bit of the kind of relief confession grants Catholics. I’d be going too far to imagine it’s the grace of God that washed over us as 2010 yielded to 2011. But it sure feels like hope that each new year brings us.

Part of the relief is release. Didn’t you feel like you’d laid down a burden as 2010 vanished into history? It seems the worse 2010 treated you, the greater the feeling of release. Friends who’d lost a sister, a business or a job in 2010 let the old year go with the most glee.

But even those of us let off easier this time around felt lighter for the old year’s passing. For me, the old year feels like carrying 40 or so extra pounds — about the weight of all 52 Bay Weeklies that make my year’s work. So the week off I’ve just taken — and my refusal to do new business in the last week of the old year — works like a week at the fat farm: I come out feeling about 40 pounds lighter. 

The new year arrives as a kind of nondenominational sacrament that takes a weight off my spirit, as I hope it did yours.

But it is all just seeming? Does anything really change with the new year? 

Change won’t sock most of us the way it did Mike and Beth Selinger, who were awakened in the dawning hours of the last day of the old year to the news that fire was ravaging their family restaurant, The Old Stein Inn in Mayo.

For most of us, change is as subtle as the accumulation of days, revealed only as January’s fresh new calendar page is discarded for February’s. 

For most of us, change flows below the surface of awareness so that we notice only when a whale leaps into our lives.

So another part of the relief each new year brings is the clear demarcation between then and now. Once each year, January 1 awards us a clean slate on which to write a new future. 

Or is that, too, just seeming? Will we really change with the new year?

Sure we will. 

My friends who’d lost a sister, a business or a job in 2010 are beginning to create new lives. The new year gave each of those three I hold specially dear the push she was waiting for.

How about the rest of us? Will we lose 40 pounds? Exercise religiously? Speak sweetly to our families? 

It’s possible.

Bay Weekly’s first of the year story in 2008 challenged us to Resolve to Find Fitness that Fits. I had no intention of taking that challenge. Yet by December, I’d fallen into a fitness routine that continues today (okay, not today, but January 2 and certainly tomorrow).

The day Bill and I watched The Crime of Padre Amaro courtesy of Netflix and the U.S. Postal Service, we learned how to get Netflix on demand rather than by snail mail. Seems just yesterday I walked in amazement into my first Blockbuster. Change in technologies travels at about the speed of sound, proving itself everyday. 

Even print moves pretty fast when you look back over the journey. In 2011, Bay Weekly enters Vol. xix.

I’m pretty excited about that clean slate Vol. xix and looking forward to piling up its numbers. Already we’re about to add No.1 to our volume book. I hope you’ll be reading that book with me week after week.

P.S. Missing Email Alert

Speaking of technology, Bay Weekly’s took a Christmas break. If you emailed us between December 17 and 26, your message may be lost in space. If you still think what you had to say then is important, please send it again.