There’s an old New Year’s tradition where you write down all your negative thoughts from last year on a piece of paper and throw it into the fire. Adios, 2022!

But looking back on the year as a whole and trying to grasp what events were important, the ones that might have changed our lives is not an easy thing to do.

Sadly, we lost some loved ones – friends, and yes, some family members – but then again, a few babies were born and that’s a good thing. A bunch of brand-new people. People that have never existed before, each one different and one of a kind. I think that’s pretty cool.

We’ve all gone through some sort of changes over the last 12 months, some good and others otherwise, and hopefully gained some experience.

But I digress. New Year’s Day is past. The fireworks are over, and I just realized I might have already messed up my year. I forgot to eat those supposedly lucky black-eyed peas Sunday. Not that I’m a health nut or anything, but my palate seems to have changed over the years, so instead of black-eyed peas, I had a bowl of caramel-sea salt ice cream. Wait, I didn’t say that.

If you look at the news, the talking heads are telling us what to expect this year, from technology to business to politics to…well … a lot of stuff I don’t care about that will end up being on the news. Like what movie star will break up with her handsome boyfriend? It will be on the news. And then they will get back together, and it will be on the news, too. And then another celebrity will have a baby with the above-mentioned celebrity’s handsome boyfriend and it also will be on the news. And before the year is out the handsome boyfriend will be publicly reviled for making inappropriate advances with a third celebrity.

Not only that, but watch for more action at the Academy Awards show this year as all the losing nominees get to slap the emcee.

While we’re on the subject, the most outrageous prognosticator ever was the Amazing Criswell.

His predictions weren’t poetically vague like Nostradamus, no. For instance, Criswell predicted that on August 18, 1999, Denver would be struck by a death ray from space that would cause all metal to adopt the qualities of rubber, leading to horrific accidents at amusement parks and mass cannibalism, and the end of planet Earth. Also that the nation’s capital will be switched from Washington, D.C. to Wichita, Kansas, and in 1981 an unnamed foreign power will attack Vermont with a nuclear warhead.

If that’s not scary enough, in 1955 he predicted that Mae West would be elected U.S. president in the 1960 election and that she and Liberace would take a trip to the moon together. Criswell, by the way, can be seen introducing the movie Plan 9 From Outer Space, known as the worst movie ever made.

On the other hand, there have been some predictions a little better thought out, not from Criswell but from people like writer Jules Verne, who predicted the submarine and the helicopter. Then there was H.G. Wells, who predicted in his stories the second World War, LASERs, genetic engineering, automatic sliding doors, email and voicemail, and tank warfare. He also wrote about rocketry, which inspired Robert Goddard to develop the rocket, and wrote about “artificial atomic energy” which inspired Leo Szilard to start thinking about nuclear chain reactions.

Anyway, with it now being 2023, we’re supposed to get down to business and make our New Year’s resolutions and declare to the world our personal commitments. As it is every year, the most popular resolutions are things like exercising more, traveling, making new friends, getting a new hobby and finding true love, but I like to be more specific, such as I resolve to learn how to use all the features on my Smartphone. I mean, I still have this crazy idea to take a photograph with an actual camera.

In any case, if that resolution doesn’t work out, I’ll play the odds and add a few more as backups. That is, to finish up my resolutions from last year.

To not tell the same story over and over to the same people.

To not get confused about whether to swipe, insert or tap the debit card.

To sort through and pare down my favorite old t-shirts.

To keep trying to eat healthier and lose those last five pounds and maybe fit into those old t-shirts. Wait, see the above resolution.

And finally, to not click on any Facebook video that says “wait for it … “

All that silliness aside, here’s hoping this time next year you can say 2023 was the best yet.