At 4pm today we locked the office doors, popped the champagne and sparkling cider, toasted a year well done, and called it a day, or rather, a year. There is always something satisfying about handing in that last paperwork of the year, submitting the final time sheet and expense report, dashing off those last emails, and shutting that door. It has a comforting feeling, leaving the year of travail and sweat behind, readying oneself to receive the new. Whatever happened, whatever failed to happen, whoever lived, whoever died, it's all part of the stream now, and we can let it all just wash away.
"See you next year!" was the refrain as we began to file out the door, some lingering to put final touches to their work, as always. Yes, Bono did indeed sing "nothing changes on New Year's Day", but something does change, if at least internally.
This evening afforded me a massage and a haircut, then a return home for a shower and a shave. Clean, shorn, with pajamas and the warmth of home, 2006 begins its denouement, and I could not be more content.