I remember asking this very question of my father when I was a little girl, perched upon his feet as we glided around the room, dancing in the New Year. Was it a guy with an enormously long beard, emaciated and destitute-looking, dragging along an hourglass with only a few grains of sand left to fall? His robe puddled around his sandals and he seemed, uh, rather grim. Definitely not round and roly poly with ruddy cheeks and a ho-ho-ho jelly shakin' belly.
Oh. Okay. So that was not Mr. Old Lang Zyne.
THAT was Father Time...on his last legs.
NEW Year's Eve. So where did all the NEW people go? Is this the celebration where all the OLD people fall off the cliff? Dour and dilapidated, outdated fossils grimacing into permanent paralysis?
SHOULD old acquaintances be forgot and never brought to mind? Sounds kind of rough. And mean. Raise a glass to poor Old Lang Zyne. Not long for this world.
The thing is...I'm rather sick of this OLD business myself.
Looking back over my blog pages, the word OLD seems to have cropped up quite a bit.
I'm not surprised.
I need to make a resolution.
No, I need to make a confession.
I did. Feel OLD. All year.
The first year EVER I refused to have a birthday. No candles. No muss. No fuss. The first year a number, my age, made a difference. The first year I truly noticed and became unglued. An oatmeal and molasses birthday. Full of fiber and stuck. The year my wobbly bits wobbled.
Too comfortable with being uncomfortable.
The truth is I was forty at fourteen. I seemed to grow younger with each passing year. Life got better and better and better and so did I. Year after year, birthday after birthday. A celebration.
Good Old St. Nick. The pack is heavy, the responsibility well shouldered and the load lightened by a friendly team. Ruddy cheeks and rosy outlook plus a gleaming smile and he becomes Jolly Old St. Nick Nick Nick...
Nick. Nick. Nick.
A kick in the shins. A twinge in your back. A hitch in your giddy-up. Hiccups. Body parts that used to shimmy and shake, shudder and quake. Heating pads. Soaking baths. Muscle ointments and dental appointments. A loss of flexibility. Hardening of the Arts. Tents blown down by wind and rain and the thought you might not rise again.
Knock. Knock. Who's there? Your birthday.
Go away. I'm busy being OLD.
MRS. Old Lang Zyne
And I am B-O-R-E-D with the likes of her.
I am not an heirloom...yet. I know this because on Christmas night, my son put on a DIsco CD and our entire family danced by the light of our Christmas tree, in front of the windows for all to see, like loose limbed fools. '80's music. Loud. Really loud. And we sang too. Even louder.
I was supposed to be resting a busted knee. Instead, I swear I felt my shoulder pads and my hair inflating '80's style. We danced and danced and danced.
The next day, muscles I never knew I had, did NOT ache.
I celebrated my birthday, in private, right then, with firm resolve.
Time for something NEW.
I have time for something NEW. In a short while, the hourglass will tip over and who knows, all that lovely sand may be between my toes in January on some faraway beach with the sound of the surf pounding out the beat.
Hindsight is 20/20 if I put my glasses on...and there.. in my blogs..is the word "Dance". Just dance. When all else fails, turn on the music and tap your feet.
You'll feel brand new.
Happy NEW Year...