Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true.
~Alfred Lord Tennyson
What a great theme to start the New Year. Just when you got accustomed to being the year 2013, it is already time to change. Yes, 2014 is here. We get to experience all of the ‘Best of”s’ the ‘Worst of”s’ and all of the other reminiscing that goes along with ending the year. It is also the time of year where it is known to make resolutions, for all of those things that we want to accomplish and didn’t do last year…a fresh start.
‘Gimmie That Old Time Tradition
At midnight, across the whole world, the old Scots poem, written by Robert Burns in 1788 and put to the music of a traditional folk song, Auld Lang Syne, will be sung. The translation into English is something along the lines of; “old long since,” “long, long, ago,” “days gone by,” “old times,” or, “(for the sake of ) old times.” It was probably not until 46 B.C. that January 1 celebrations began, as the Romans changed the calendar from March 1 to start the New Year.
So, in addition to watching the ball descend in New York’s Times Square, or, Raleigh’s big Acorn drop at the stroke of Midnight, what else happens to be ‘out with old, and, in with the new?’ In addition to watching a lot of football, and eating chili, here is a suggestion…
Reflect on the Year
- Take some time during the holiday to reflect on the year, naming/listing the regrets for which you might feel bad, guilty, ashamed, disappointed. These are the things that can weigh us down, as we head into the year to come. If you have a significant other, you may want to even confess or share these, perhaps in the form of a prayer, as well, or you can do this by yourself.
- It can also be helpful to identify those to whom you may have been wronged or offended, and spend some time to begin the process of forgiveness, and healing.
This process offers a ‘cleansing of the soul,’ to then be followed by ‘in with the new,’ by identifying/listing some hopes/dreams/intentions for the New Year.
The New Year becomes a clean slate to launch, much less weighty and much more optimistic. Happy New Year 2014!
Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Miller Counseling Services. He has practiced in a variety of behavioral health settings in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 1981, including innovative approaches to substance abuse and chronic pain management, crisis intervention, as well as working with relationship issues with couples and families. Areas of interest, and expertise include: mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse education/screening/outpatient follow-up, ADD/ADHD, relationship/premarital/marital counseling along with co-therapy, stress/pain management including biofeedback modality, life transition issues especially with college students as well as older adults, adolescent counseling.