Oh, shit. The year's about to end, man. It's about to end and there'll be no more of it and there'll be a new year and it will have a different number and everything. What if I don't want that new number right now? I liked the old number. Wait, wait, let's keep the old year for a little while longer. What do you mean we can't? I'm not so sure if I'm ready to accept the new year, I mean, it is quite a change, isn't it, and now we have fifte-- fourteen! We have fourteen minutes left! Geez! What about all my resolutions I hadn't finished yet? I mean, seriously, how far away are we from Pamplona?
But then the New Year happens anyway and it's all kinda forgotten in the swirl of clinkity champagne toasts and singing or doing little dances or whatever. Of course the Apprehension was strongest in 1999-2000, when with a few minutes left I decided maybe I didn't want to give up the ol' 19- and start in with the 20- just yet. But alas, I was in the Central Time Zone at that point, which meant it had already happened back home in Eastern. So I accepted inevitability and bravely soldiered forth into THE SHINING NEW GLORIOUS FUTURE OF THE FUTURE! and truth be told it was okay. And then I got to dance with the alien.
Well, this year was different. At no time this year did I stop and make the futile gesture of trying to cling to 2003. At no time was I scared that it was going away and that the unknown year 2004 was muscling its way in. And lest ye think I was merely distracted by, say, keeping the dogs away from my cheese, oh no. I actually reflected on it before the ball drop and the midnight hour. I noted I had no such qualms about letting 2003 go, letting it slink back into the historical cesspool from which it crept about the same time last year, and I was all ready for a new number on the end of the year. Even if I will still be writing 03 on my checks for at least another month or so.
All the best to you and yours on this seamless, inevitable annual switchover.