Starting a new year is stressful, at least for me. Instead of looking at it as a “clean slate” with endless possibilities, I seem to dwell on the negative aspects: Writing “2022” has become automatic and now I’m pretty sure at some point I’m going to slip up and forget the ‘3’ at the end. 2022 is the “known”, 2023 the “unknown”. The coming year may be better in many respects, worse in others. No matter the consequences, there is really no choice to be made – we can’t go backwards!
It’s no big mystery why people are hesitant to embrace the New Year, though. Considering what the world has been through the past 2½ years; war, global pandemic, supply chain issues and record inflation 2023 only has to be marginally better to lift our spirits. In the meantime, people are “hunkering down” at home. I am in that category. Other than a trip to Olean every few days to watch St. Bonaventure, we are pretty much relegated to our living room most nights as soon as we get home from work.
Apparently, a lot of people feel the same way since traffic on the streets of Smethport seems to die right off when the sun goes behind the hill. With fewer people out and about in the evenings, Costa’s Supermarket has elected to close an hour earlier beginning tonight, January 2nd. Our hours will be 7am – 8pm until the sun makes its way back to our hemisphere next spring. For most of us, this change won’t even be noticed much less a hardship, because we’ll be safely tucked away in our living rooms.