For Auld Lang Syne (For the Sake of Old Times)

Well, I’m (slightly?) delayed in getting my “Happy New Year” blog posted.  This shouldn’t surprise me or anyone else; delayed action is my own personal frenemy, something that also plagues my rising in the morning, my completing work at work, my putting the bills in the mail before the due date, and my getting into bed at night.  This past year, as the seasons changed from Winter to Spring and so on, I promised myself that by 2010’s end, I would find a way to move away from delay. And yet, here I am, posting a Happy New Year blog on January 28th

Every New Year, we resolve to be better. We ask ourselves to hurry up with the things we should have accomplished the year before. We make lists of ways to look, feel, and act – lists that assure this year to be the one we get it all figured out.  And if you’re me, you vow to rid yourself of that procrastination temptation in favor of filling up the gas tank before that ugly yellow light turns on. This is what the New Year is all about. Yes?

Maybe not. Ironically, one quick Google search lets you know that Auld Lang Syne loosely translates to “Times Gone By,” or “Long, Long Ago.”  Hence, the song we traditionally sing on New Year’s Eve to mark a new beginning, actually pays homage to the past.  It mentions nothing of running toward tomorrow, but of appreciating the people, places and experiences that have shaped our lives, and made us who we are. This fact literally fluttered through my mind while on a mini-vaca over the last week of December, and remained with me until the 31st.

And so, this year, when the clock struck midnight, and I had the choice to begin 2011 with action or delay, I chose delay. And before you accuse me of abandoning my resolution before the new year had even begun (!), let me explain what I mean. Maybe this year, I can commit to pausing to enjoy. Maybe we all can. What does it look like? Finding contentment in the simple things, because they are so rare. Finding gratification in the people who bless us, because we know that each year makes staying in touch more difficult. Finding joy in the minor things we accomplish, because accomplishing anything is something.  Finding happiness. And then giving it away to someone who is having trouble finding it.

Remaining in the moment, and procrastinating tomorrow until, well, tomorrow.

Just for old time’s sake.


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