By Scott Harris
Jan. 1, 2015 — New Year’s Day — is both a beginning and an end. It is the official end to the holiday season, which includes Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and for many, extends back to Thanksgiving (if mall decorations and sales are used as a start date).
It is the beginning of the New Year, a day filled with hope, resolutions and football games. The optimistic among us look ahead at 364 upcoming opportunities to have great days and make great things happen. For the most part, none of the New Year’s resolutions many of us made only the night before have been broken, and for college football fans, there are two great games on tap. This is the first year of the College Football Playoff and the semifinal games were both played on New Year’s Day. The Allstate Sugar Bowl featured top-ranked Alabama being upset by the 4th-ranked Buckeyes of Ohio State.
And right down the road in Pasadena, the Rose Bowl Game featured the 2nd-seeded Oregon Ducks destroying the 3rd-ranked Florida State Seminoles. The weather, as it almost always is on New Year’s Day, was Southern California spectacular. Millions of people around the country were couch-bound, and in addition to the game, they watched brilliant white clouds framed against a beautiful blue sky. The temperature was in the 60s and we saw people romping on our beautiful Southern California beaches. Contrast this with those who were trapped in their homes by what my wife calls “industrial snow,” with temperatures below zero. Around halftime, many of our snow-bound viewers were asked by their spouses to bundle up, head outside and shovel the sidewalk.
And at that exact moment, taking place in homes all around our great country, a new season began: “résumé season.” It is the moment when thousands, maybe millions, of people shout out a variation of this sentiment “I am not spending another *@%^* winter here.” Résumés are pulled out and polished, references are conferred with and job sites are inundated with searches that begin with “Southern California.” And, for those of us in Southern California and on the receiving end of résumés, the next couple of weeks are filled with résumés and every cover letter begins with a variation of “I’ve always wanted to live in Southern California…”
They’re willing to take less pay, a reduction in title, cover their own moving expenses — whatever it takes to get out of the snow and somewhere warm. In short, they are desperate. They missed much of the second half of the game discussing with their family what it would be like to be warm, wear shorts and see trees not covered in snow. They looked at school sites to see where the kids might go, be scared – but not deterred – by home prices as they look at pictures of homes with pools and lawns. Someone mentioned earthquakes, but they’re too far gone to care. Their eyes are glazed over with images of February barbeques in the backyard. The drought will be mentioned by the pragmatic, but they’ll be told it’s a small price to pay for only having to wear a single layer of clothes in the winter.
But, as with many New Year’s resolutions, this one too will slip away. The snow will melt, local and long-time friendships will be remembered and the promise of spring will relegate this to the broken resolution pile, joining unread classic novels and unused gym memberships. And, as any good friend does, Southern California, New Years Day and the Rose Bowl will be waiting for them next year. With unfailingly good weather, the hope and promise that Southern California uniquely brings to the rest of the country and the comfort of knowing it’s here – if they ever really want it.
• Scott Harris is the founder and owner of Mustang Marketing in Thousand Oaks. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org