Every New Years, there’s this sense I feel among people around me of renewal, of hope, of cheerful expectation. This year was different. Maybe it was the fiscal cliff issue in Congress that changed the tenor. Maybe it was the Newtown massacre. Whatever it was, for most I met around town, this New Year’s lacked verve, that is, vigor, spirit, and enthusiasm.
I asked myself ‘why’, because, for me, I felt my rather usual sense of “time to plan and start anew.” My verve was not lacking, but this was not so among my compatriots–not among my neighbors, not among my associates and friends, not among my clients nor acquaintances. Instead, there seemed either a stoic sense of “trudging on” or a simple tiredness. And not all of my friends are antiques. In fact, most of them range from youthful to moderately middle age, and all of them are like me, self-starters and fiendishly energized. (Yes, I seem to know people who, like me, have that similar built-in drive to do things.)
I’m not the only one who’s noticed it. Many around me, even those who admit to lacking that New Year’s freshness in themselves, agree that it is observable among those in their circles, too. Whatever the cause, this lack of verve disturbs me. And them, even in themselves. It disturbs because a new start, a fresh beginning, a clean slate, has in its actualization an important, energizing effect upon life, projects, and, especially, spirit.