Auld Lang Syne: Part I

“We’ve wandered many a weary foot since auld lang syne”

I used to never be much for the New Year – the celebration, the resolutions that people get caught up in making, all inevitably bound to run aground  as the the year becomes not so new any more.

But as I’ve gotten older, that sentiment has changed; I’ve grown a certain fondness for the inspiration of the New Year and, subsequently, have come to learn to put less expectations on it. You can’t expect one day to fuel your success for 365 days. Like mothers and fathers and lovers should be appreciated and celebrated year round instead of trying to condense that gratitude to one day, so should the ideas of growth and aspiration.

I have come to view New Year’s instead as more a beacon. As uplifting and fulfilling as life can be, it can also tear you down. Pretty bad. Like the game Chutes and Ladders,  rarely does anyone proceed unscathed. This is just a fact of life.

So how do we keep going? What helps keep us from throwing the bag off, planting our heels in, and refusing to move an inch further?

Those moments of hope. Encouragement. Inspiration. Peace. Clarity.

The thing is, not everyone receives a steady supply of those year round. So the beauty of New Year’s is that it is simply a calendar-mandated,  free-pass conglomeration of all of those. Paired with some bubbly.

Not only is the New Year about welcoming in the new, it’s about sending out the old. I feel I haven’t truly appreciated that aspect of it until this year.

I am a person who will dwell on the past like it’s the light of a deep sea angler fish, or, as it’s so accurately put in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, “I take a problem and chew on it until the flavor’s gone…and then stick it in my hair.” As such, any excuse to put away the past is good for me.

New Year’s gives us a time to reflect on what has passed, all the good, the bad, and the ugly.  But then it encourages us to move it to the top shelf and move on. This isn’t to discourage these memories from coming out from time to time, to fondly reminisce or to reiterate a lesson learned, as these are remnants of a life that has been lived. It is to keep their effects from preventing us from moving onward.

“Everything’s a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way it is.”
― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

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