How You Start The New Year

My mother taught me that the way you spend New Year’s Eve says a lot about how that year will go. Even something as simple as standing up when the clock strikes midnight will do more to ensure a year of good fortune and success than sitting down. I used to think that she brought this odd belief from Turkey, but my roommate, a high-paid professional who is not Turkish, believes it too, along with other people I know who I generally respect.

It’d be awesome if a few hours could predict the subsequent 365 days. I would go all out and spend a few thousand dollars throwing a party where there would be cocaine for everyone. I’d make many new friends and I’d bang the hottest coke whore in town. I had time to think about this because I was bedridden at home this New Year’s Even coughing up mucus and blood. Since there is no TV in my house, I watched the countdown on my computer, unsure of its accuracy.

It doesn’t matter if my mother’s belief is really true or not; it just matters if she believes it to be true. If her New Year starts in a horrible way, I predict she will indeed have a bad year. Because of her belief she will pay close attention to the bad things that happen to her while ignoring or downplaying or quickly forgetting the good things.

The problem with beliefs which attempt to predict the future is that they constrict how you see the world. The filters we call senses are already limiting enough, but now you add this additional rule which gives up any notion of an objective reality. You also throw away the concept of free will, if you believe in that claptrap anyway, and end up living a life where a few small actions can accurately predict the major currents of your life. “Oh no! A dark colored feline animal existing in my visual field! I’m fucked!” If you are that type of person, my Mom will be more than happy to do your Turkish coffee-cup fortune or analyze your dreams with a 20-year-old book she keeps in a Ziploc bag (to prevent further page disintegration).

Here’s my belief: It’s best to start the New Year in a horrible way, with illness or grave misfortune. Because as long as you don’t die, it will only get better.

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  • Eric

    Great post, and I totally agree. Put enough negative energy into something and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

  • Irina

    It is widely held that observation is theory-laden. Each of us literally chooses, by his ways of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear himself to inhabit.
    In other words, “theory-ladenness” means- “If I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it.”
    I’m glad grad school has taught me not to believe in anything, even well-proven theories.

  • Arjewtino

    Irina’s comment made my head hurt.

    This reminds me of the argument Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon have in Bull Durham regarding superstition. Kevin (as his friends call him) ends the argument when he says that superstitions work if you BELIEVE they work.

  • namaste

    Fantastic post. At least you got the drama out of the way early. :)

  • Jay Gatsby

    You can change your “fate” any day of the year. Many years start off shitty. If it’s your fault that things started off so bad, and you realize it, then it’s up to you to change it. If it’s not your fault, then stop going to places or spending time with people who make your life miserable. It’s your life. How you live it is your choice.

  • Nabs

    Its known as confirmation bias in psychology.

  • eugenius

    I was high, drunk ……and fucking the shit out of somebody on new years…..does that mean i will have a solid year or a fucked up one?

  • LittleT

    Eugenius: no, it just means that you’re a douchebag

  • rebecca

    Why is there such an emphasis on New Year’s Day anyways? Dates are all arbitrary. You can change your life any day of the week, month, or year. Why get all hyped up because a ball drops and you have to buy a new calendar?

  • Phil

    I only recognize Chinese New Year’s.

  • eugenius

    LittleT…..I am sure the “little” part is there for a reason……..

  • moondog_mai

    Interesting post, makes me feel better about how shitty my year has been so far…

  • Jewcano

    So basically I need to make sure this year’s Rosh Hashanah is totally bitchin’.

  • Ned

    good post. I don’t even bother to check when the clock changes anymore—it’s all arbitrary to me

  • Pagan Marbury

    Roosh- I think I went to your dream party this year. What I was doing around midnight was definitely not legal. Wonder what that means for my coming year.

  • freckledk

    Eugenius: No, it means guy you were banging will have a fantastic year.

    I kid! You are very macho and attractive :)

  • LittleT

    Eugenious: yeah, its for a reason, reason being i’m not fat like you are! Weeeeee

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  • leena

    should i point out the illnesses you’ve contracted in the Sud?

  • leena

    oooooooh….. that was LAST nye. (nevermind)

  • robyn

    its true :-)
    last year i spent new years eve at a friends houseparty and ended up arguing with my best friend/friend with benefits (lol), drank loads an got wasted, fell down the stairs, and then went home with my other best friend who stayed in mine for like 3 days and alls we did was stay up all night sleep all day an drink loads, we had a blast.

    then, funnily enough, after new years i fell out completely with my friend/friend with benefits,
    spent a lot of weekends getting wasted, ive also fallen over a couple of times this year, and the perswon ive hung out the most with is the one who stayed in mine for 3 days and we’ve had a blast :D.