Long, Long Ago….In days gone by..
Here comes the New Year! What a wonderful time for people all over the world to celebrate the new as they say goodbye and leave the past behind. The Scottish poem, Auld Lang Syne is used traditionally in song to celebrate the beginning of the New Year at the stroke of midnight on December 31st. It tells of things which occurred in the year past and gives hope for a shinning future. Auld Lang Syne literally means “Old Long Since”, and is revered for it’s touch of nostalgia and reverence for life. It has been sung in the Celtic countries and other English speaking countries, however, there are versions of it all over the universe.
The dance that accompanies Auld Lang Syne is practiced with everyone joining hands with the person next to them in a circle. Traditionally, it is custom at the beginning of the last verse, for everyone to cross their chest and give their right hand to the person on their left and their left hand to reach the person on their right. As the song ends, all rush to the middle, then still holding hands, move back in the circle and turn under arms to end up facing outward. Celebrations continue with dance, song and New Year’s Resolutions.
New Year’s Resolutions are part of the tradition of starting the new year. We eat too much, we don’t work out enough, we don’t get together enough; these are just a few of the things that make us promise to do better in the coming year. Losing weight has to be the number one resolution. After making it through the holidays with feasts and sweets, it is time to stop and get to the gym. January is the month to join gyms who hustle business by giving great savings and incentives to join. The best way to stay exercising, whether going to the gym, walking or biking, is to have a buddy to go with. Time always flies when you are with a friend!
Another resolution is to stop drinking so much. After the New Year’s ruckus, it is natural for anyone to want to be healthier. Believe it or not the healthiest thing one can do is drink more water…that’s right, plain old water. The human body cleanses itself naturally by adding water to it’s system. Let’s make a promise to take water everywhere we go. Keep extra bottles in our car and get ourselves a nice recyclable large drinking cup.
If we tell ourselves we will read more this year, we have plenty of options. Every library has a wealth of information at our fingertips. Even easier, public libraries let us borrow audio books online free. Just download the application and start browsing. Think of how much time we spend in our car. We can listen to an audio book in our car. There are so many opportunities to read more. Joining a book club with friends who encourage us to read, may be the answer.
As a curious culture, we each need to learn. With the new year take on a new adventure by learning something new. Take art lessons, learn to play an instrument, join a choir, learn to play chess or bridge! Take a cooking class with your significant other. Grow a garden, even a potted garden gives so much satisfaction! All of these suggestions will help expand the mind!
One of the top resolutions each year is quitting a habit, and of course smoking is always on the top of that list. With the harmful effects of smoking looming as an eventual death sentence, focusing on quitting is a great service to oneself. Think of all of the advantages of quitting. Healthier lungs, more money at the end of the year, and less sickness. More and more people are turning to electric cigarettes. They still dispense nicotine, however, there is no tar, and no tar smoke to yellow teeth, no stinking smoke breath and no smoky clothes.
Everyone wants to save money. As a new year’s resolution, it is important to save as it teaches great lessons. Organizing the day can save on gasoline. Getting online to take advantage of coupons, groupons and other specials, will help save money on goods and restaurants. Eat at home more and make simple healthy meals. Again, the internet will help with simple recipes to follow. Men and women alike can cook and clean. Calendar the days for each to do their duty. It makes for an organized and happy home.
One of the most important things one can do to balance their life is give service. All organizations need volunteers. Libraries, soup kitchens, retirement homes, recent disasters, emergency pet sitters, the list is endless. As one gives service, their life becomes more meaningful and balanced. For Auld Lang Syne my dear, for Auld Lang Syne we’ll take a cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne.
Remember, no one is perfect. Take one step at a time. Celebrate the New Year by hugging one another. Be grateful. Balance life by saying goodbye to any old ‘baggage’ and bring in the new with a smile!