Happy Me Day

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, December 31, 2009

I’d like to be the first this year — or perhaps ever — to wish you a Happy Me Day.

For the past couple of days, you’ve probably heard people wishing you a Happy New Year, and there will be those who continue to do so for the next couple of days. A couple of us in the newsroom, however, have decided to christen today “Me Day,” and we want to invite you to join in the celebration of this special holiday.

The idea for Me Day came from a realization that Jan. 1 has some significant advantages over Christmas Day, at least in terms of its credibility as a true day off work.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days are just about the only days all year that a newspaper reporter or editor can count on being able to stay home — and we all understand that even those days can fall prey to major breaking news events. Memorial Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July — none of them interfere with production of the paper, meaning that someone has to be in the office laying out pages, and someone else has to be out in the community taking photos and getting information about the stories we will publish about the day’s events.

It is only for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days that the Suffolk News-Herald changes its production schedule, giving reporters, editors and designers three days out of the year that they know they can spend with their families. Even Sundays are at risk from the need to cover the occasional event that takes place those days.

But even the Sundays I don’t work are usually consumed with church and family commitments, a fact that has kept me from both football and my weekly nap ever since the summer. The same thing’s true of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both are holidays that I love, but neither offers me much time for relaxation. Between all the eating, visiting and gifts, Christmas, especially, can be downright exhausting.

That’s what’s great about Jan. 1. With the News-Herald shut down and the community quietly recovering from its pre-Christmas mania, there’s no reason to come to work. And with no family commitments connected to the New Year’s holiday, New Year’s turns out to be the single day each year that I can claim for myself.

Hence, Me Day.

Of course, my wife would tell you that every day is Me Day when it comes to Res Spears. She thinks I’m spoiled, but as an only child I’ve heard that all my life. Is it my fault that people always seem to want to do things for me?

Still, I’m willing to share my day with you. You can celebrate Me Day, as well. Just don’t sit in my nap chair or we’ll have a problem.