OK – since it was on the schedule to write for the January 2012 edition of the “Farm And Livestock Directory” the week of Thanksgiving, let’s assume Christmas is now over and even if you were really careful with your spending, some of you have shot the budget by the proverbial mile!
The time to ‘pay the piper’ is fast approaching and if you used credit cards to splurge on all those gifts that you really couldn’t afford, the bills will be in the mail real soon.
Winter weather forces the cost of heating your home upward, gasoline is expensive, and the taxman is lurking. Uncle Sam will soon have his big hand outstretched towards your wallet – worse for those of us in agriculture – our deadline is February 28th!
As I read some of the old history books, I find many references to New Year’s Day as a time of renewal. January is a ‘take-off’ on the Roman word Janus, which means door or gate. The Roman god, Janus is usually shown as a door with two faces–one on each side. When you pass through a door or a gate, you enter something or someplace new.
Therefore, Janus was the god of ‘the beginning of things’. Some folks say that this is where the old phrase “Out with the old and in with the new” had its beginning.
The old timers used to set aside the day and use it as a time to regroup as it were. They made resolutions about the coming year and talked about what the weather and crops might be like. Parties were held to chase out last years spirits and spooks and straw effigies were burned to send all bad thoughts and deeds ‘up in smoke’ – as it was unlucky to carry them into the New Year.
It was also considered VERY GOOD LUCK if you could go in to the New Year debt free! And that is wonderful, if you can do it. A lot of us just are not going to reach that goal, at least for a while but January is a good time to investigate ways you can s-t-r-e-t-c-h those dollars you do have. It’s actually a time to challenge your family to find ways to reuse all kinds of things instead of spending that scarce cash and ending up with more ‘stuff’.
As we ring in another New Year, it gives us time to reflect on the blessings of this past year – family, good friends, sunrises and sunsets – and gives us the opportunity to plan for changes in our own lives at work and at home.
May 2012 be the ‘best year ever’!