Thursday, January 1, 2015

Auld Lang Syne

Why DO the years get faster as you get older? Here we are on the first day of another new year and with this one, I mark the "one year anniversary" of going public with my blog, of trying to intentionally regularly blog, of sharing for the first time ever in a public way my stories, of being courageous in my writing. I don't know if you know this personally from your own experience, but there is never a time or a moment when I write that I feel it is good enough, engaging, or even good. So, sharing is courageous. I have slogged through the first year, have zero more confidence than when I started, and still maintain that every time I bang something out on the keyboard that it could be better, that it isn't entertaining enough, and that there is little value in what I write. 

I don't say all of that for a pity party, or for a barrage of ensuing encouragement, but I say that to share simply the heart of what goes on behind the white page, and to say that even with the reality of those emotions, I am content to keep trying. What I have discovered over this past year is that it is enough for me to try, that there is enough satisfaction in my own heart over my efforts, and that while I do not always feel worth in my efforts, that I do have joy in the process and in the finished product.

Most importantly, thank you for being part of the journey. Thank you for being part of the joy. Thank you being part of the process. I pray that somehow something I have shared has enriched your life, reminded you of your purpose, inspired you to press on, revealed a deeper meaning, recalled to your own mind a memory, given power to your own story. 

As I look ahead, peering around the corner at the blank canvas of 2015, my heart is full of equal parts of contentment and uncertainty. When a year finishes, it is always remarkable to reflect back on it, to savor each moment, to recall the highs, to ponder the lows, to contrast the historic reality to the perceived expectation. I would say that 2014 was better than expected in many ways. We survived the emptying nest. We managed to adjust. We found good. We created new routines. We found, or recreated, joy and meaning to a table for two. 

But, as I look at 2015, I can predict none of what it holds. It does not owe me any promises. There are no big red letter dates circled for me on it already. It will be our first year - January to December - where both boys are in school full-time, and that is an assumption in and of itself. I am old enough to know that anything could change at any given moment. I am hopeful that I can adapt to what the year holds, that there are good and happy times ahead, that we are all kept safe and well and whole. I pray us all enough for the coming 364 days.

While my own life has changed over 2014 in major and minor ways (job change, weight loss, emptying nest), I am sure that your world has had its own set of changes. I think that as all things have changed and will continue to change, I find in myself an increased longing for the constancy of family. One bright moment in 2014 was my son's graduation party, and the presence of my brother at the party. It was a tender and sweet moment for my parents, my three siblings, and I to all be together for a few hours. 

I don't see my brother very often. He has three younger children and they are in many and various activities. He leads a full and busy life five hours south of me. What I do love about seeing him is that time never robs us of our connection. He and I go way back. Way back. Growing up, in our early single digit years, he and I shared a bedroom for a few years. I can still chuckle this day when I recall what an utter perfectionist he was at procrastinating on cleaning up anything. Mother sat on his bed many times, urging him to clean his room with the presence of the spanking tool. I am not certain he cleans any faster today than he did 40 years ago, but I do know that he is still impishly charming, incredibly funny, a gifted storyteller, a brother that cares deeply for me, and that he is a good and honest man. 

It has been seven years since they were here with us for New Years. We had the complete pleasure of having he, his wife, and his three children here for the holiday. It was in the waning months of my stay at home years, when in reality every day for me was a holiday and New Years Eve and Day on a Monday, Tuesday was no concern, and toward that end, entertaining was then so much easier. My house was picked up and clean and regularly devoid of piles of unattended mail and unfolded laundry. I love to entertain, as does Steve, and that is one of my working regrets. I feel that work crowds out my entertaining heart. 

But, in that moment, as we welcomed in 2008, we had five guests, and the world was as bright for all of us as as the sun on that New Years' day when we walked to the park. It was a wonderful relaxing holiday. I made snowflake sugar cookies for my nieces to enjoy, we played games, we enjoyed meals, we were together, and we shared stories.  We were simply embracing each other and taking in the holiday and all the hope and joy it can hold. 

Even though I don't see him very often, he is always on my mind and in my heart. I think that is the point of the traditional New Year's song Auld Lang Syne. We pause, we reflect, we ponder, we remember. Auld lang syne translates to times gone by, and it is our call each new year to remember the old, as we greet the new.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear

For auld lang syne

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet

For auld lang syne
Wherever you are on this day, may your heart be light, your day relaxing, your hope renewed and your memories held dear. Enjoy the new year, and cherish the times gone by. Happy New Year to you, and blessings to you and yours for a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2015.

Happy New Year ~ Grady & the Fam ~ New Years Day 2008

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: Fancy Pants
Title Stickers: Doodlebug


  1. Beautiful story for a gorgeous LO! You are a talented lady Mrs. Penny! :)

  2. Loved your words and your fun to be able to revisit a happy memory this way. Two thumbs up...Elena