Happy Wednesday, everyone – and while we’re at it, let’s wish each other a Happy New Year. Tonight’s beverage for the Wednesday Whine? Champagne, of course… and since this is a virtual celebration, let’s crack open a bottle of Dom Perignon. Nothing but the best for my friends! Oh my… that is GOOD, isn’t it?
There’s something about the closing out of one year and the beginning of a new one that causes most of us to reflect on where we started, where we ended up, and where we hope to be in 2015.
There are significant milestone years in all our lives: the year we were born; the year we married; the years we lost people close to us; and the years in which our children were born. Some of those years are bright memories, and we treasure them. But there are also the years that break our hearts, that make us wonder how we’ll find the courage to go on. These are the years we wish to hurry through, and put aside as quickly as our hearts and memories will allow.
My wish for each of you is that your cup be overflowing with bright memories, and that the sad ones be few and weigh gently on you.
Those of you who regularly follow my blog indulge my obsession for all things Sinatra – I appreciate that. So indulge me once again. One of my favorite Sinatra songs is the haunting and lovely ‘It Was a Very Good Year.’ It seems a fitting song to listen to at the end of one year, and the beginning of the next.
The song recounts one man’s memories as he looks back at milestones in his life. In his case, it is his amorous adventures that come to mind. Still, I think the song has something to say about life itself. It begins with the fresh, enthusiastic memories of a teenager and then those of a very young man; as the song continues, the gentleman remembers the middle years, filled with sophistication and – one senses – a fullness of life. But it is the lyrics at the conclusion of the song that makes it a special one for me:
But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life
As vintage wine from fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear.
It was a very good year.
I hope all of you, no matter where you are at this stage in your life, will be able to look at the years of your life as vintage wine, pouring sweet and clear. I hope you will be able to look down through the corridor of time and conclude, with Mr. Sinatra, it was a very good year.
Some folks say you should never make New Year’s resolutions. There’s an old Yiddish proverb that says ‘Man plans; God laughs.’
I’m of an optimistic disposition. I don’t know what 2015 holds for me – or for you. But I embrace it. I look to the future with hope and with plans. God willing, perhaps he’ll smile on my plans and not laugh. So, offering up a prayer and declaring that God honors those who honor him, here are my hopes for 2015 – for myself and for you.
Health, the love of family and friends, enthusiasm, optimism, creativity
I’m hoping 2015 will be the year I write that short story that sees publication. I’m also hoping for a novel. Might as well aim high, right? I am making it a point to see good things come to fruition this year.
I’m trying to clear the decks of the distractions that have prevented me from moving forward. It’s too easy to stay safely in my little corner of the universe, unwilling to make a grab for the brass ring. I think it’s time to stop riding past it; it’s time to reach out.
Like the man in the song, when I’m in the deep autumn of my years, I want to look at 2015 and be able to say it was a very good year.
I want that for you, as well.
There is another thought I’d like to leave you with. It’s another saying, this one from another Sinatra song. Sinatra, even into his old age, took the saying to heart. In fact, he had it engraved on his tombstone. I guess Frank was of an optimistic disposition, too.
Happy New Year! Now, enjoy that Dom Perignon to the last drop. It’s a good vintage – just like you.