"For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne."
As the year 2011 comes to an end, I find this to be a perfect time to write. I am always quite nostalgic at this time of year. I am easily moved by music, so I am certain that the traditional "Auld Lang Syne" deserves some credit for the reflective mood I tend to embrace at this time of year.
I don't tend to over-indulge in the Christmas season so much, however, I take great joy in the vacation time and extra time with family and friends. I had a wonderful vacation in Anchorage over the holiday break-- relaxing and taking in all that the city has to offer (shopping, movies, dancing, lunches and dinners at my favorite restaurants, etc).
If you have been following my blog for awhile, you will remember that my father passed away on New Year's Day 2005. As I type that, I take a deep breath. It can never be acknowledged without a bit of heaviness. One would think that perhaps this would make New Year's harder for me. But, in truth, it just makes it more special to me. I believe my dad looks over me and, seeing as this is such a time of year for reflection, I believe that I listen a little more closely. As much as I love a good soiree, NYE/NY means so much more to me than a night on the town. It is still an emotional day, but it is anything but depressing.
Each New Year, I want to be a better me than I was the year before (and, really, day to day). I want to know more, experience more, learn more, appreciate more, love more, forgive more, understand more, laugh more, feel more, see more, and embrace more. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." Simple, yet well said.
So, at this time of year... I don't know that I will create a list of resolutions. But, I will take time to reflect on what makes me me. What defines me? What makes me who I am? I will reflect on all the good in my life. I will take a special moment to breathe all that in and be thankful. I will also reflect on the direction of my life... is it where I want to be? What personal and professional goals do I have? What steps will I take to get there? And whether it is physically or mentally, I will make a list of attainable goals to keep my dreams, hopes, and aspirations alive. Lastly, I will take time to reflect on my relationships... with family, friends, colleagues, strangers, potential life mates, and people of conflict. I will take a moment to be thankful for the amazing people in my life who inspire me, encourage me, challenge me, cheer for me, lovingly correct me, balance me, support me... for those who make me laugh, make me see life through a new lens... to those who help me see the worth in myself and in others... for the people that have been a blessing to me.
This is also a good time of year to reflect on the weeds in our lives. The people, things, circumstances, etc that maybe need to be plucked. Forget maybe-- we ALL have weeds. And, they all need to be plucked! Maybe this new year will give us the clarity and strength to do so.
If I were to sum up all that I want in the year 2012, I would say that I want to be a blessing to others and that I want to receive blessings. I am saying... I want to accept blessings. To truly embrace them and be thankful for them and to nourish and cherish them. And, I want to bless those in my life-- strangers, family, friends, colleagues, students, etc.
Continued growth. Continued passion. Continued love in 2012. That's my campaign ;)
We are on this incredible journey of life. Each of us experiences loss and heartache to some degree. For those of you who celebrate NYE in the traditional American way, I challenge you to make your New Year's monumental. Find your passion. Surround yourself with those who encourage your growth. Be inspired. Make the time to live, laugh, love. Goodbye 2011.
Happy New Year, everyone!