How Will You Ring In The New Year?
The True Meaning of Auld Lang
Everyone around the world celebrates the New Year a little differently. As Americans, we traditionally celebrate on January 1, but some also observe New Year’s traditions from other religions or cultures. For example, many Asian cultures celebrate the Lunar New Year, the date changing from year to year. In India, each religious group has its own date for the beginning of the year. The Hindu New Year comes in April or May. No matter when you celebrate the New Year, it usually involves thinking about the past year and planning for the year ahead.
As I personally reflect on this past year, it has truly been full of highs and lows. In January of 2021, so many businesses were shutting down as COVID ravaged our country and our economy. As a result, my work came to a screeching halt. No one had the budget to market and build on their business because they were simply focusing on staying safe and healthy. At this low point, I seriously contemplated shuttering up my own business. Although I’ve been cultivating my client base for over 20 years, I considered going to work for someone else to earn a steady income. I updated my resumé, redesigned my website, and began the often-dreaded job search.
After countless “zoom interviews” and (often) multiple rounds with the same companies, the bear began to peak it’s head out of the den. Slowly businesses were re-opening and people were thinking about their brand and marketing once again. In fact, after months and months of hibernating, people were knocking down my door for design work; new logos, advertising, branding and websites. It was a beautiful turn of events.
As I look back over those earlier challenging months, I realize that it made me rethink my own work and my own strategies. It reminded me how lucky I am to get to do what I love every day and even get paid for it. I am thankful for every client, and I appreciate their efforts to broaden their horizons, to push boundaries, and to come back stronger than ever. You inspire me.
When the clock strikes midnight and the calendar flips to 2022, you’ll likely join in with others around the world singing "Auld Lang Syne." Many will ask, as I do myself, what in the world does that mean? Translated from the Scottish to modern English, it means "old long since" or more familiarly “old times, especially times fondly remembered”. The following line, "Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?" is a great reminder to cherish those memories that we've already had, which makes the message a fit for New Year's Eve night.
As tradition has it, most make a New Year’s Resolution (or two or three), something to better oneself. I’ve decided that I am not making a resolution this year, but rather challenging myself to continue this trajectory. I am thankful for the rollercoaster of the last year, and I am proud of the growth I’ve seen in others, as well as in myself. How’s that for “Auld Lang Syne”?
Kirsti Rochon is a senior level brand designer and marketing professional in the Greater Seattle area. For more information, visit KirstiRochon.com