Auld Lang Syne

I know it’s a bit late to be writing a New Year themed post, but I’m nothing if not an iconoclast.

This year, I had the distinct pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, and taking part in the Hogmanay festival with my husband, my sister-in-law, and one of our good friends.

Edinburgh Castle, seen at sunset on the last day of the year.
Edinburgh Castle, seen at sunset on the last day of the year.

At the stroke of midnight, with fireworks filling the midnight sky with light, the familiar strains of Auld Lang Syne filled our ears, sung from a thousand nearby throats. We sang along, filling the lines we didn’t know by heart with ad-libbed gobbledegook.

Afterwards, as the husband and I wandered homewards, our conversation went something like this:

S: What does that mean, exactly? Auld lang syne?

Me: It means old…long….

S: You have no idea what it means, do you.

Me: Nope. I got nothing.

Which was weird, because I really thought I knew. So, I asked the internets. Apparently, for auld lang syne roughly translates to “for the sake of old times.” And that got me thinking.

Why is a song traditionally sung at the stroke of midnight at the beginning of a new year all about days gone by? Good old times? Sure, it’s nice to reflect on the time that has passed during the year, weigh the good against the bad and remember those you’ve gained and what you’ve lost, but shouldn’t the New Year season be more focused on, well, the New Year? To take stock of what you plan to accomplish? To look forward to new friends, new experiences, new joys?

"I dress this way for old time's sake. Don't you?" Image courtesy of Monty Python.
“I dress this way for old time’s sake. Don’t you?”
Image courtesy of Monty Python.

Maybe it’s just me.

I’ve never really been much of one for resolutions, but I thought this year, for new times sake, I’d make a few. Hopefully setting a few specific goals will allow me to look forward into the New Year with purpose and anticipation.

So, with no further ado: I resolve to finish my current WIP and write another novel all before next January. I resolve to stop hiding in my little  writer’s-bubble-of-fear and start putting myself out there like I mean it. We’re talking short story submissions, agent queries, maybe even some conferences. And finally, I resolve to write three blog posts a week, come rain or shine. I think I’d like to diversify a little–add some book reviews, some flash fiction contests, maybe even some guest posts. And that’s just to start!

Overall, I’m feeling good about my resolutions, and can’t wait to see more of you stopping by to see some of the exciting changes that’ll be happening soon.

Do you prefer to look backwards or forwards during the New Year season? Did you make any resolutions, and if so, how to you plan to keep them? Answer in the comments section below!

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