Times Gone By

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?  Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

New-Years-Eve

I was walking the dog yesterday, waiting for him to do his business, and having DEEP THOUGHTS.  Isn’t that the way it always works?  If I sat down and tried to ponder, I’d likely think about the Real Housewives of Anywhere, but waiting for my dog to find precisely the right spot upon which to pee I can focus on the mysteries of the universe.

I really love the idea of New Year’s Eve- the reality of the holiday, notsomuch.  It strikes me as a little incongruous.  On a night which seems as though it should be devoted to reflection and gratitude there is an enormous amount of pressure (and by pressure I mean, of course, Spanx) to get dressed up, go out amongst the people, and celebrate loudly.

Any time I am told that happiness is required, I struggle.  New Year’s Eve is the perfect example.  There is a forced gaiety, an almost manic need for it to be the best party of the year, I just do not respond to. I will confess to being the sort of girl who has always taken with her joy, a little dash of wistfulness.  That’s just how I roll.

We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine;  But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.

In an highly scientific poll (me asking 15 friends on FB) what song they most associated with New Year’s Eve, 13 people said Auld Lang Syne, 1 said What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (solid, old school- I like it) and 1 person said, wait for it, 1999.  And let me just go on the record as saying that the last person is clearly the person to hang with if you want to party.

Of the respondents who answered Auld Lang Syne, exactly 0% knew what the title meant.

We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;  But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.

Auld Lang Syne means Times Gone By.  Oh, Scottish people- you know how to do melancholy really, really well.  Melancholy and haggis.  Bless.

gty_auld_lang_syne_poem_nt_121231_wblog

I’m a bit of a contradiction, at first glance.  I am capable of bold decisions made quickly, especially in the last few years.  I’ve learned to trust my gut.  I don’t always know the why initially, but I usually know when I am supposed to do something- whether it’s registering for a conference I know nothing about, but would prove to be life changing, or moving three thousand miles last summer.  However, THIS GIRL?  She is not a fan of change. Nopenopenope.

New Years is sold as being about change, and, well, NEW.  I like my stuff and my life broken in a bit.  New is squeaky and tight-ish, and it chafes a bit.  No one likes chafing.

For me, New Years has always felt as though it was more about letting go of the past year then greeting the new one.  It’s both, of course.  It’s and, not or.

When you think about it, January 1 is pretty arbitrary. The date was picked once the change was made to the Julian and Gregorian calendars- and the month they chose to start the calendar was the one honoring the god Janus. There’s no astronomical or historical significance beyond that.

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,  we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,  for auld lang syne.  And surely you’ll buy your pint cup and surely I’ll buy mine!  And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

The way we approach the New Year in the country is so pressure filled.  There’s pressure to have the best night EVER, and pressure to set new goals, turn over a new leaf, live BETTER and BIGGER.  I’m the sort of person that can get derailed pretty easily.  My pledge to eat healthier can go sideways with one little cheat, and then I go into ALL IS LOST mode, and decide that since I’ve already blown the new year- like, 4 days in…

I know.  It’s ridiculous, really.

The reality is, every morning you wake up to a new year. It’s ALWAYS New Years.  Every single morning we can start anew. We can raise our eyes to new goals and lay down those heavy things of the past.

Goodbyes are so hard for me.  Goodbyes to people, and places, and even sometimes things.  This past year I said goodbye to a lot of things.  I said goodbye to friends, and family and a job that I absolutely loved.  When I think about that I have an actual ache in my chest.

I also said hello to many things.  New love, new friends and possibility.  Exciting, and new- so a little uncomfortable as yet.

The other true thing is that not all goodbyes are cause for sadness.  I started thinking about what things I really want to say goodbye to this year.  I’ve got a couple. I bet you do, too.  Bob Goff says he quits something every Thursday.  I don’t know if I HAVE enough things to quit something every week- I’m not Bob Goff for heaven’s sake!- but in the interest of saying yes to new things, I need to get better at saying no thanks to some existing things.

Hellos and goodbyes, comings and goings- the push and pull of new and old.  Beautiful and difficult and constant- if there is one constant in life it is that nothing stays the same.  That is good, and necessary and so hard, sometimes.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend ! And give us a hand o’ thine ! And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?  Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

5 Comments on “Times Gone By

  1. As always, wonderful and thought provoking. Just signed up to be notified through email so I won’t miss. I am not always on Facebook when you share and I have missed some. No more! Happy New Year – you continue to bless my life in so many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great post … And I will add NYE is full of pressure to drink, to endulge, to eat, to do a lot of things that cause so much pain and addiction in lives as well. It really is an evening that many have lost meaning around …. In my opinion. Love your thoughts. xo Amber

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The thing. | In Others' Words...

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