Here's to another Auld Lang Syne

Weekly Editorial by Mark DeLap

As we come to the end of the chapter that was 2020 in the book of our lives, we want to remember the victories, defeats, advances and setbacks, smiles and tears. And the bottom line. We created memories that we’d never had before.

As a nation this year, we endured the pigs in the parlor mentality which yielded the election of our 46th President. Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash; the Dodgers won a shortened MLB season and the Lakers won a shortened NBA season. But the only news wasn’t coming from Los Angeles. Right here at home we saw several teams with their bags packed for state tournaments only to be cancelled at the last minute.

We were quarantined, held hostage by politicians, masked and made to believe that a miracle was to come from a syringe needle.

Nationally we imagined the apocalypse as there were typhoons, hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, things appearing in the skies that our generation had never seen before and pandemic on the ground that hadn’t surfaced, the likes of which mankind hasn’t seen for over a century. 

As Wyomingites, we saw blistering temperatures and record setting lows which marked a very tempestuous year for our environment. We saw both a spring snowstorm and a summer snowstorm and we seem to be heading out with the consistent winds coming over the Laramie Peak which is our trademark.

Locally, we saw changes in our governmental leaders and in other areas, some great accomplishments and some tragic losses.

Personally, some actually had a great year and are hoping for another one just like it. Others are hoping that 2020 will mean turning a corner and heading into bluer skies.

If you’re reading this, you made it. You made a memory. You left a carbon footprint on this earth and furthered your legacy. The questions now remain; what did you learn and who’s life did you touch? What kind of a difference did you make? How did 2020 prepare you for opening the chapter entitled “2021?”

Some anonymous memer posted today, “Nobody claim 2021 as ‘your year.’ We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Don’t. Touch. Anything.”

It’s easy to be cautious, but we caution you not to be cynical.

We challenge you to sit with someone you love in this final week of the year and compare notes. Answer those questions and savor the memories. Go through the past year, month by month and share the times that touched your heart; the times that made you laugh; the times that made you cry; the times that made you angry and the times that brought you peace. Take a good look at your accomplishments and warm yourself by the embers of your experiences and stoke the fire of your expectations.

Don’t let the year steal your ability to dream for better times.

Closure comes with reflection. Explore the things you didn’t do and make a plan to finish in the new year. Come up with more than a resolution – develop a plan to finish.

And finally, there are two words that are very hard to say for anyone who has been hurt or abused or laughed at or taken for granted or bullied. Two words that can bring healing and the power to illuminate your path. Two words that can start your engine and propel you forward. “I’m sorry.”

Follow that up with an embrace of the heart and your sky will be a little bluer, the air will smell just a little bit fresher, your heart will become a little bit larger and your next chapter will be a little more exciting. It’s like sippin’ that sweet tea on a front porch in a warm summer’s night. “I’m sorry.”

We want to thank all of you who have supported us and subscribed to us and who have gone through this chapter of our life with us. We are growing, we are learning, we are going forward. There’s nobody we would rather walk with than our families and the people of Platte County.

"Auld Lang Syne" is an ancient Scottish song written in the 1700s by Robert Burns.  According to the “howstuffworks” webpage, a good translation of the words "Auld Lang Syne" is "times gone by." So, when you sing this song to close out 2020, you reflect with, "We'll drink a cup of kindness yet for days and times gone by."

And you can smile as it goes out the door and into the history books. It didn’t beat you. It gave you its best shot, but look at you…  still breathing. Still reaching. Still wishing. Still dreaming. Still grateful.

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