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Ring in New Year's Eve with four-legged friends

December 30, 2013 - Jenny Rukenbrod
Dan Fogelberg’s song that speaks of eloquence and auld lang syne is one of my favorites this time of year. The title of the Scottish folk song of Auld Lang Syne translates to "times gone by" and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten. In a community where people and pets are connected, reflecting on the past can involve all creatures great and small. Social media has become a popular medium for public reflection. Perhaps this is a reason for the reduction in holiday parties and occasions of revelry. It is not necessary to physically gather together when you can communicate in real time on sites like Facebook in the comfort and safety of your own home. It is common to receive announcements of joy and sadness within moments of a noteworthy life event. Especially during this holiday season sharing of glad tidings abound along with every conceivable emotion. Last week a post by a friend on Facebook announced the passing of her beloved cat, Zoey, after a wonderful life that gave them 22 years together. A former classmate asked for prayers for his daughter who experienced a life threatening medical crisis. A couple mourned the loss of their first child and family member to cancer even though she happened to be of the four-legged furry variety named Lucy. Vivid photos allowed me into private lives in order to share in the festivities on Christmas morning near and far. Welcome to the holidays in a technologically advanced world. But no electronic device can capture the reflections and memories like the heart and mind. No doubt that there will be plenty of sharing and advice offering on-line when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. According to several surveys, 50 percent of Americans vow to spend more time with family or friends. This promise can easily incorporate several other popular resolutions involving improved health, fitness, self-improvement, volunteerism, finance and work/life balance. Including your spouse, your kids or family members, friends or pets immediately achieves improvement on more than one level. But, perhaps one simple way to successfully complete nearly every popular resolution comes down to limiting one addiction. As productive, efficient and important social media is to your business or organization, limit is when it comes to your personal time. Take out the ear buds, put down the smart phone and step away from the keyboard. Why not head outdoors for a breath of fresh air alone or with a friend, family member or your pet. Exercise your spirit by signing up for a seminar, class or to volunteer. Cut expenditures by trading mall excursions and fast food take out for lunch or dinner dates or at-home cooking and entertainment. For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. In a community where people and pets are connected, no matter which direction your paths may take you, lifetime memories remain where patience and kindness live. Resolve to include a daily dose of these qualities for a healthy, happy new year.


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