Does anybody really know what "auld lang syne" means. I didn't, so I did some serious research on YouTube.
This scene from "Sex and the City" pretty much sums it up.
I think I'm starting to get it.
We see Carrie home alone in bed, before midnight.
We see Miranda home alone eating Chinese food.
We see a pregnant Charlotte home celebrating with her husband and daughter.
Each of those scenes feels very 2020.
The way I see it, this is how most of us will be ringing in the New Year. (Who knew Candace Bushnell et al. was the new Nostradamus?)
Anyway, "Auld Lang Syne" translates to "times long past".
In other words, Pre-Pandemic.
Here's what the holidays looked like for me Pre-Pandemic:
Looking forward to staying home from work
Looking forward to my kids staying home from school
Looking forward to everybody's amazing Christmas cards showcasing highlights of their year, envious of some, hanging them all anyway
Looking forward to family parties with ugly sweaters
Looking forward to fancy parties with my hair blown-out, bright lipstick, a little black dress, and chic heels
Looking forward to hitting the grocery store to buy just the right ingredients to make Grammie Lee's Merry Cheesecakes (Land O Lakes recipe here) and her famous fudge, and of course the cookies with my kids
Then Covid came. Wasn't looking forward to any kind of pandemic. Lasting this long.
And things we used to complain about were put into perspective. Did I remember to tip the cleaning lady extra? The cards! What am I going to wear to the work party? Do we have enough vanilla left for the recipe? Gotta hit the store! Where's that one address? Stamps! Ugh, she got me a gift, and I don't have one for her! Do I have an equal amount of stocking stuffers for the kids? UGH!
Now we have some real concerns to worry about.
Hindsight is what - 20/20? Not funny, Life.
So now, here's what the holidays look like for me Mid-Pandemic:
Working from home for...wait, what day is it?
Kids staying home from school for...wait, what day is it?
Receiving only three Christmas cards so far, and sending out only 20 of really recent pictures, taken outside, compliments of Mike and the Lucky 7 and Josh Hartman Photography
Just wearing regular sweaters that are becoming ugly all by themselves
Zoom "parties" where we look decent waist-up, but bottom-down we all know we're in jammie bottoms that we recently had to buy...a size up, perhaps?
Using Instacart, or other apps, to have a well-meaning, struggling stranger, working a second job, who buys our preciously-held ingredient list in his or her hands, hoping/praying that there aren't any "substitutions"(don't forget to tip them well, please)
Needless to say this has been a year of instability and lack of structure.
But that also offers opportunity. And introspection.
Were we really that stable to begin with? Or is being home with my children more stable?
Was being so structured really that good for us?
Sometimes structure felt like oppression. Prison, even. I feel like Red from "The Shawshank Redemption" when he finally gets out of Shawshank and goes on with life without the rigidity of the years he served his time.
Unstructured. Shapelessness. Formlessness.
It has its benefits. A teacher can pee anytime she needs to?
So I conceded to the shapeless and formlessness of 2020. Not like I had a choice.
Sure it sucked at first. But I conceded.
And I stayed home most of the time. And when I had to leave, I wore a mask. And social distanced. And followed the rules. And when I needed social interaction-because it's a NEED-I made sure my friends were Covid-negative.
For the sake of family. For the sake of vanity. For Heaven's Sake.
For the 16.2 million Americans who have tested positive. For the 298,000+ deaths. Let's not look at that as just a number. Each of those deaths were lives. Some of them people we knew. Who were also looking forward to their holiday plans. For my sister Amy, an ER nurse, who puts herself at risk every single day she works.
So what if we've put on the "Covid-19 lbs" and covered it with an ugly sweater? It's better than putting on a ventilator and covering it with a nursing gown.
So, stay home most of the time. And when you have to leave, wear a mask. And social distance. And follow the rules. And when you need social interaction-because it's a NEED-make sure you're in small groups and everybody is Covid-negative.
I think I'm starting to get "Auld Lang Syne": times long past. It's sad. There's grief.
But we all know the old adage: for every goodbye, there's a new hello.
Just ask Elizabeth Taylor. Or Evelyn Hugo (good choice "Book Club Bitches"). Or cats because they have nine lives. Or Tony (Ricky Gervais) on Netflix's "After Life".
Seriously though: here comes a new year. Vaccination included!
Sad goodbyes? Yes, of course.
But new hellos. A warm-hued horizon of hope that begins in 18 days at 12:01.
And when I wake up on New Year's Day, some things will be the same. I'll still eagerly await the next season of "After Life". I'll still keep working on Noom. I'll still keep working on Zoom. I'll still keep rhyming for fun.
And some things will be different. I'll take that shot of Pfizer's cold miracle, and I'll move forward with my life in ways never expected.
The shapelessness. The formlessness. It keeps us on our toes. It makes us question the way we lived. It offers opportunities to creatively change.
That's what a new year is supposed to be for, anyway, right? Let's wake up. Let's shake it up.
So, goodbye 2020.
And, hello 2021.
I look forward to meeting you.