"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written."
— Melody Beattie
Today, my friends, we begin the countdown of the hours, the minutes and then the seconds left in 2017 as we anxiously await the stroke of midnight when we will kiss our loves and then close the book on the year that was.
But before we start mothballing the past 365 days, we have to take a quick look back for posterity's sake. Most columns and news features this week will focus on all the people we have lost over the last 12 months, but I don't want to end my year on a down note, so please don't expect me to mention the fact that Mel Tillis, Della Reese, Fats Domino or Tom Petty have all played their last chords.
And I certainly am not going to deliver the unpleasant news that Monty Hall, Jerry Lewis, Adam West, Jim Nabors, David Cassidy, Martin Landau, Roger Moore and Mary Tyler Moore all have made their last curtain calls, as well. Instead, I'll note that we still have Betty White to make us all laugh. Fact is, the only celebrity I will mention even in the slightest is the late great Hugh Hefner. I believe we all can agree that even if he is personally handed the keys to the pearly gates, after living in the Playboy mansion for decades, he's probably the only one not necessarily going on to a "better" place.
Now, 2017 was a contentious year for all involved, and I'm sure that most of us are going to be doubling down on '18, but not everything was terrible. Even in the eyes of the year's deadliest hurricanes there were some rays of hope.
Donald Trump, the reality television star and billionaire developer, became the 45th president of the United States, proving that anyone can become president. Unfortunately this also means now that "anyone" can become president, and I will not be shocked if during the next election cycle one of the candidates happens to be Snookie from "Jersey Shore" or perhaps one of those guys from "The Bachelor."
I think it would be a wasted opportunity if after the next primaries we didn't have a reality show called "So You Think You Can Delegate?" I'd pay good money to witness up-and-coming candidates go through a series of physical challenges to determine who gets to be "voted" off the podium.
All joking aside, New Year's Day is the most specific holiday on the calendar. It not only has a "day" but also a "time." It doesn't matter what you're doing as long as you end up staring at a clock when the hands hit 12. It's just a moment of happiness that ends with a kiss and, in my opinion, that's a pretty sweet way to start a new year.