Only half awake, my Facebook feed came up with Rod Stewart, a longtime favorite, singing Auld Lang Syne. Maybe it is the coming super moon landing on the first, maybe it is the end of a year that perhaps wasn’t my best, but the poignant rendition made me start to reminisce.
The very lyrics remind us to not forget the past. The good and bad times, the changes, and most importantly the people that have come and gone in our lives. Although the literal ‘raise a cup’ got out of hand somewhere down the line and New Year’s Eve is often a time to drink to excess, the kindness of raising a glass to those we love is always a good idea.
I began to think of NYE past and how in my youth, I too, partook in a bit of excess, but as the years went on I realized that nothing was more satisfying than ringing in the New Year with the people that mattered most in my life.
I have lived through Y2K and the end of the Mayan Calendar. I have heard prophecies claiming numerous dates that the world might end, and yet, here we are. I wanted to look back at 2017 and sort through the many challenges and heart aches that made it a difficult year, but then I realized, I’m still here, too. I made it and despite much adversity, I still have hope that 2018 will be a New Year full of promise.
A year to try again. To make plans, dream dreams, and live life. It is difficult to live “the life you’ve always imagined” you will find naysayers at every turn. It’s too risky, it’s crazy, ridiculous… the list goes on. It is also very easy to slip back into the familiar, the comfortable, the easy. Your old life is constantly knocking on the door trying to find a way back in, but once you have cast it away, it is impossible to live that way again.
If you analyze your past and look at the times you felt the most alive, you will find a good starting point to finding your true self. And though we all have responsibilities, we must on occasion dream about the life we would live if we didn’t have so many; “I musts.” We must not use it as an excuse! Life can be a long and twisted path, but if we don’t make changes we will never grow, never get much further down the road.
I started small. Made little changes. Silly things really and it took several years and the help of the few that believed in me, to make the leap. Yes, it was risky. Yes, I’ve made mistakes and most certainly I still have responsibilities, but as I look toward many new choices that I must make this year, I only know one thing for sure and certain: I am not going back. Not getting on the treadmill to nowhere. People will shake their heads and gossip behind my back. Do I care? Sometimes, but why would I let that stop me from living my life?
I have lost many people over the last few years, in many ways. In retrospect, I have spent most of my years either alone or feeling alone- either by choice or circumstance- and I have learned some important lessons. Ultimately, we all are alone in our journey, but those who walk with us down the path are integral in helping us find the way. Those who decide the road is too treacherous, would have only held us back anyway. I've heard it said that “Some come into our lives as a blessing, some a lesson,” Well I say: A lesson is a blessing. Without them we could not move forward.
Each time we move forward, change routes, recalibrate and start anew, is just as scary as the first time we set out, but for each lesson we receive we bank a little more confidence, a little more faith, clarity and a little more certainty, that we are on our true path.
When I was a child I took part in many family road trips, and like many others, was fascinated to find the moon following our car so closely. So, as the Super Moon rises on a New Year, I will take comfort in knowing that light will always be there to illuminate my path no matter where I go and the lessons I have learned will guide my tentative steps. I may not end up where I have planned to be, but that is okay, because I will end up where I am supposed to be.
Whatever paths you choose, and wherever your life lessons lead you, I wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year spent in the company of those you love.
Now, won’t you raise a glass with me: for Auld Lang Syne?