Auld Lang Syne

20121230_182537New Year’s has come and gone as the holidays are winding down.  New Year’s Eve Kate and I went out for appetizers and cocktails, then snuggled up on the couch in our pajamas, watched the ball drop in NYC, Facebook’d with friends, and passed out a few minutes after Midnight CST.  New Year’s Day was another action packed holiday in which I chose to never leave my pajamas and spent the majority of the day working on a puzzle or napping.  With 2012 firmly behind me I began to reflect on auld lang syne (or “days gone by” as it translates to modern English) and knew if I was going to make any resolutions for 2013 it would have to relate to the anxiety that developed in June of 2012…which is a tough thing to be resolute about.  Anxiety is birthed out of fantasy…it is your mind fantasizing about all the possible bad outcomes a situation could have.  Reflecting on auld lang syne is tricky as well since depression is focusing on the past.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?  Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?

No, auld (old) acquaintance should not be forgotten or dismissed – we are where we are today because of the choices made in auld lang syne.  However, we mustn’t linger on them for they are merely that:  A road map to now, and no amount of thought can change the past.  Your decisions can now only affect the present and the future.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup and surely I’ll buy mine.  And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Yes, lets raise a glass and toast to the decisions that have brought us to where we are.  If you are in a good place than cheers to where you are.  If you are in a bad place then tip a glass and make a better decision tomorrow.  Let’s not live in depression (the past).  It’s a new year and we should forgive ourselves for petty crap that is behind us now.

We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine.  But we’ve wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.

I’m not as young as I used to be…in fact I got outfitted for a new pair of glasses this week.  I’ve lived in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Up State NY, and now here I am in Wichita.  This is home now.  I’m not the spry 20-something who weighed 175 lbs, smoked two packs a day, and hurdled myself into any scenario without thought.  I’m the 30-something who weighs 215 lbs, takes medication for my health, and tries to remember that my actions affect many more people than just me.

We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine.  But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.

Kate and I have danced till sunrise in the clubs of New York, clinked glasses with celebrities on the left coast, and gone diving head-first into the waters of Lake George before it freezes in January.  Though pajama-clad and exhausted from work and children…the joys in life have changed.  I’d die of liver poisoning if I tried to keep up with 23-year-old me in New York, and 23-year-old me would die of boredom if he was stuck with me today…but we both were/are happy in our own time.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend and give us a hand o’ thine.  And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

RobertBurnsThis is why people hold hands when they sing this Scottish poem by Robert Burns.  Lend a hand, raise a glass, and ever onward we will go.  Kate has become more than my wife and best friend…she has become someone who cannot be described by any word in the English dictionary because my love for her is constantly growing and has surpassed my ability to define it in words.  All I can think of is that she is an enigmatical and prodigious rapture…but those are just words.   That’s okay.  I see it in Kate’s eye as well and THAT is the special bond that ties us together.  THAT is why life is wonderful.  THAT is why she is the completion of me…the missing piece of star-dust I once was…the molecules that hum when we are close and crash together to create the boring word of “love.”

Salmeron_Fig1_AB_copySo as “Auld Lang Syne” rambled around in my head in the days following January 1st, I found my 2013 resolutions.  They are not fantasies and therefore not anxiety inducing…on the contrary they are anxiety ebbing.  I’m not going to resolve to lose 15 lbs (which I would love to do).  I’m not going to resolve to remodel the downstairs (also…would love to do).  I’m going to make resolutions for you, for Kate, and for everyone I encounter.  I resolve in 2013 to think less about myself and more about others.  I resolve in 2013 to not hold those around me to unrealistic standards.  Even harder…I resolve in 2013 to not hold myself to unrealistic standards.  What does that mean?  It means I’m giving myself permission to be human and make mistakes.  It means I’m going to take it easy on myself and those I love.  It means I’m going to go with the flow.

Kate and Max2012 was not the year I developed GAD and retreated to my home to cower in agoraphobic terror…it was the year my body gave me the wake-up call I needed to chill out and give myself credit for the good things I do.  I’m bringing another person into this wold in two months…I have to go with the flow…there is going to be two little boys running around the house for the rest of my foreseeable future and it will be much more fun if I let it be whatever it is going to be.  Life is good.  Life is great actually!  All the good stuff is the stuff I don’t stress about…so why am I stressing?  This is a resolution I can achieve but taking it easy isn’t achieved by doing nothing…it is achieved by appreciating auld lang syne, not fantasizing about tomorrow and all its potentially horrifying outcomes, and enjoying where I am now.  I am now.  This is now.  The past is behind me and the future is full of potential.  Bring it on 2013, I’m ready to go with the flow.

Max on Ryan's Sholders

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