New Year’s Eve is a bittersweet holiday — filled with the sadness of having to say goodbye to the past year, with all its memories — the tragic and the joyous. And the holiday is filled with the excitement of the year yet to come — full of hope and promise, as the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke expresses it: “full of things that have never been.”
As one gets older, however, the “bitter” in bittersweet becomes more pronounced. The sadness becomes more poignant because advancing age comforts you with a blanket of nostalgia and sentimentality — it just becomes harder to say goodbye. Moreover, one looks back at the year to remember the people who have passed away, making the world a bit colder and emptier without those individuals. Thus, on a deeper, subconscious level, saying goodbye to the past year is a harbinger of the losses that are yet to come.
Whether more bitter or more sweet, New Year’s Eve always inspires wonderful celebrations as well as deep or mildly intoxicated superficial reflection. Here are some of the best quotes about New Year’s Eve:
Albert Einsten: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Alfred Lord Tennyson: Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.”
Benjamin Franklin: Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
Brad Paisley: Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.
C. S. Lewis: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
Cavett Robert: Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.
Charles Kettering: Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas.
Charles Lamb: New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday.
Eleanor Roosevelt: With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Ellen Goodman: We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.
Euripides: Waste no tears over the grieves of yesterday.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Hal Borland: Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Helen Keller: Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Mark Twain: New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
Oprah Winfrey: Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
Oscar Wilde: Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
Rainer Maria Rilke: And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Seneca: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
T. S. Eliot: For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.
Thomas Jefferson: I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
William Shakespeare: It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.