Once again we sit on the threshold of a new year while we bid adieu to the last. For most of us the transition from one year to the next will pass by unnoticed and uneventful. However some will hear the tolling of the bell as a time to reflect on and celebrate all of the wonderful events that transpired within those 365 days. There are those who will see the calendar of the year to come full of new, exciting and much anticipated opportunities that seem so far away. Others will gladly close the door on a difficult year that they wish to forget. Which of these resonate with you? I have experienced all of these scenarios at different times in my life.
I remember one New Year’s Eve day when my husband and I decided to take a lunch at a local restaurant. It had been a year jam-packed with activities and challenges. We each had the sense of being filled to the brim with stressful situations; almost to the point of spilling over. The lunch together was our last opportunity to reclaim some tranquility before closing the book of that year. We began to review the travels, the illnesses, the surgeries, the basement twice flooded, the weddings, the store foreclosure that nearly imprisoned my mother-of-the-groom dress and a soon to be daughter-in-laws wedding dress, as well as the ongoing challenges of being small business owners.
This time together over a simple meal was just the therapeutic moment we needed to purge the stress of a very long year……. and then….. a car drove through the restaurant window, throwing a family of four in our direction and bursting our last bubble of hope for squeezing out a peaceful moment for that year. We paid our bill, went home, locked the door and held on to each other while we watched re-runs of old black and white movies –waiting for the clock to tick, tick, tick towards another new year. It couldn’t come soon enough. We were ready to put all of that behind us. Yet that time together was our way of acknowledging a difficult year and giving the gift of kindness, understanding and compassion to each other for all we had been through together during those 365 days now behind us .
Auld Lang Syne –roughly translated from the Scottish tune by the same name means “times gone by.” The lyrics read, “We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.” What a lovely thought; to take a cup of kindness yet, for times gone by. Not every year will produce good times and good memories. Yet difficult times, though part of the human experience, are not with the majority of us for long. They get woven through our lives along with the times of good cheer.
As we ring in a new year we can remind ourselves that the past needs to stay in the past so we can focus on the future and the possibilities it may bring our way. The gift of difficult times is the realization of just how resilient we can be. If your past year was filled with joy or your coming year fills your dreams with anticipation, you are fortunate. Appreciate the gift. Express gratitude.
However, if you have had a difficult year, I hope that you will take that cup of kindness and drink to surviving, and to the promise for new hope, new dreams and a renewed spirit that a new year can bring. Happy New Year to you all.