Happy New Year!
Masses are not headed for Times Square, bundled to protect themselves from freezing temperatures, in order to watch a ball to drop.
No parties are planned with ample supply of bubbly champagne to toast at the midnight hour.
Instead, in the Metro Detroit area, it’s a mild, partly sunny day in the mid-70’s, with a chance of rain over the weekend. It’s the last weekend in August – Labor Day weekend to be precise.
Mike, you’ve certainly flipped your lid. Either that or your compulsive behavior of being early to everything has kicked into overdrive. It’s four months until December 31st.
Not to worry. Like you, I’ll soon be flipping a 12-month wall calendar page instead of changing the whole damn thing.
Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of summer. But for me it has always felt like the end of the year with September the beginning of a new one.
Part of it goes back to the education cycle. The thirteen years of K-12; four more at Eastern Michigan University. Later in life, the five years of law school. Add to that my wife has been a teacher for nearly twenty years, and two kids, one graduating high school the other added four years of college, and the natural cycle for me has been that the new year begins in September.
It was also Labor Day weekend in 1982 that we were married, starting a new life as a couple on September 4th.
Other elements have merged into the revolution of my cyclical life.
– It was the first Sunday in September, 2001 that I attended a morning service at Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple in Detroit. Still Point would close for the month of August, and September has been, for me, the kickoff (or the kick in the ass) to revive my practice from its laxity through the year.
– In September, 2005, we began organizing and planning the opening of our short-lived business venture – Waking Up, the sweatshop-free clothing store.
-In September, 2009, I joined a bowling league, which traditionally begins either the week before or the week of Labor Day.
-It was in September, 2012, that I began tracking my book buying habits and, inspired by Nick Hornby’s column in The Believer, writing about the books I bought and read during the month.
-It was just after Labor Day, 2013 that I received the galley copy of The Y in Life for final revision. Returned to the publisher at the Kerrytown Book Festival in Ann Arbor, my first novel was launched on September 17th – the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
This weekend will be a time for reflection on what a great year it has been – The Y in Life; book signings; a new house; another fantastic Detroit City FC season; the many new friends and connecting with old ones; and an awesome vacation in New York City. It will also be a weekend of organizing and preparing for this year. To start fresh, I intentionally broke my vow of not purchasing a book until 3,000 pages had been read. In two months I made it through 1,400 pages. I thought that was good and deserved purchasing the novel I discovered and intend to read very soon and the collection of stories I stumbled upon while browsing Nicola’s Book Store. I thought it best to start over as my new year begins.
So to those, like me, who find September the beginning of a new year, I’m wishing you a fabulous 2014-2015.