2012: Reflections vs Resolutions

Auld Lang Syne

Here’s the necessary lyrics for those of us who hope to ring in 2013 with the age-old tradition. The meaning and history of this New Year’s Eve song, traditionally played and sung as midnight strikes, are also fascinating.

Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem, thought to be composed by the Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns in 1788. It is sung to the traditional folk tune Roud 6294.

It is well known across the English-speaking world and has long been associated with New Year’s celebrations, commonly played after people watch the ball drop. Auld Lang Syne literally translates to “Old Long Since,” and more roughly it means “long, long ago” or “days gone by.”

Before we start singing and choking back the tears like John Boehnor after a 5 gallon barrel of Merlot (his lunch ration) – here (and this is the David Letterman element in me) are the:


And nowwwwwwwww —- the English-translated version of the Auld Lang Syne lyrics (Scottish to follow):

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.                                                                       CHORUS
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.                                                                      CHORUS
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.                                                                       CHORUS
And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.                                                                      CHORUS

Here is the original Scottish version of the Auld Lang Syne lyrics:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?                                                                   CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.                                                                      CHORUS
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.                                                                      CHORUS
We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.                                                                      CHORUS
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

*Thanks to The Huffington Post for the above excerpt in 2010.

NOTE: if you throw-up or pass-out during the rendition, it is considered good NYE manners BUT -if you are clean and sober, you are the designated driver anyway so this is not a problem – except the clean-up. You have my sympathy if some have wet themselves. Ewwwwwwww.

To be sure you’re familiar with the song (by now you likely are:) here’s a video of it with lyrics —- ( like you haven’t had enough already, huh?). This,….. so you can work on your act —- if you are able to stay awake long enough to ring in the New Year.

Since I gave-up drinking, drugging and drama, there’s no chance for me without my props, (using several Starbucks Gift Certificates) each with at least 5 sugars.

auld Lang Syne: Video with lyrics

Okay,………..now try it with a Scottish Brogue and pretend your Commander Scott on the USS Enterprise. Here’s a clip from the new Star Treck Generations for inspiration:


The rough translation is Days Gone By.  So they have this eve, the last of 2012, a year in which there were far to many “numerology-gasmshad i.e.,

01-02-2012, 02-02-2012, 12-12-2012……..literally a binary Friggin Feast (we are allowed to use such language because of the festive nature of the occasion).

And what do these rare numberistic events mean? Not a fracking thing! They’re all past tense – days gone by.

But yezzzzz,……………….there were events we all can take glory in remembering in 2012, some that we are good “NOT TO RECALL” as well,….(contemplative moment),……… bidding them good riddance. What are some for you?

*This is the part where you reflect upon remembrances  of recollections (1,000pt alliteration score) and we might as will make them interesting,…. (play adult version here).

What was your favorite day this year? Was it the The Presidential Election  or maybe the best moment in 25,000 years – The mighty astral convergence or as now known, the “Not So Mayan Apocalypse”?

Take your time to remember important events that happened this last year of your life; it’s a worthwhile exercise using our fond recovery skill: Inventory.

This presents the possibility for us to account for what went right, what went wrong and what we would’ve done differently if we had a chance to do it all over again….(which we are never going to be able to do)!

It’s also a moment to remind ourselves, using another of our recovery skills: Gratitude. During 2012 we’ve had at least some things to be grateful for, and for many of us it presents a moment of spiritual joy for the abundance of good fortune we’ve experienced, not the least of which was the Mayan Apocalypse missing it’s mark ——— or the Astral Convergence not resulting in the reversal of the Earth’s Magnetic Polls, sending all humankind hurtling into the cosmos in our recliners, screaming in disdained fear for eternal salvation. I mean, the gravity of the matter… ( or lack of :).

Many of you missed this Astronomical Event of a meteor coming inside earth’s orbit this month. If it had hit us we would all be Dinosaurs by now. Here’s CNN to give us their cheesy version: (who hires these announcers anyway?)

Asteroid Near Miss Report: CNN

Now — about those resolutions………..

This is also the time of year to resolve in righteous resolution (that’s almost too Spiro Agnew, huh?) what we promise to do differently this year.

For Catholics…… say, give-up just about anything except prayer and contrition, (Twinkies and Cup Cakes will be a lot easier this year). If you’re Republican, go for the really hard stuff, like giving-up obstruction of the congress or hating Obama. Mostly, its about making ridiculous promises that you have no real intention of fulfilling ( don’t worry, God knows this) but sound good. AND —- if you had any self-discipline —- you might try for a couple of days ( okay then… hours).

But let’s do something unlike our conservatively caucused congressmen,…let’s compromise. How about if we try to “not give-up things” but instead promise to try and actually do some things we ought to. Here’s a few ideas:

1) Be positive. Let’s all look to the possibilities for the common good instead of the constant cynical pessimism we’ve come to love in our drama addiction.

2) Help someone else with an occasional act of random kindness. When you sense a chance to be an anonymous angel in another human beings life presented,………….take it. Our hero, Jesus Christ would have. Be like him — instead of just talking the same old religious smack.

3) Promise to make your expectations of life realistic. None of us should set stupid goals but all of us do in our New Year’s “Dumb-o-lutions”. No oaths to play the lotto or blow your paycheck at the casino either. No promises to land the job of a life, finish your Phd (start with your GED) or become CEO. How about a “keep it simple” resolve to do the best you can, to accept life on its terms, and to aspire towards the finest of human qualities: patience, tolerance, compassion, understanding, charity, genuine universal love for your fellow man: a regard for the common welfare of all your human kin.

4) If you’re a racist – quit it. “judge not least thou shalt be judged”. The color of the world is now more brown than white – deal with it – blend in – get along or be left behind and with good riddence.

5) Before we get into item #999 (and no, devil spookers, those are not upside down 6’s) let’s just quit here for both of our own goods with this final thought………..remember this episode from Kung-Fu?

Kung-Fu Episode

We learn to accept life by adapting to it. If you want you can join me in this 2013 resolution, one which we can both surely attain:

In this year, I will effort to adapt when life has it’s way with me.  As the reed bends to the wind, so will I, swaying with life’s gusts and breezes. Surely those that aspire to this skill in all matters of their days will prosper and survive. They will wonder as they wander and the New Year will bring some inspiration by their new survival skill.

OKAY! Now — the plug. Wishing you all the best of recovery: a life of contentment and living in the present.Watch for the new book coming out this Winter and if you don’t have it in your spiritual library, here’s my dear old friend that so many use in working their 12Step lives of recovery. Link-up and download right now: (cut and paste into your browser)





Desiderata: A Perscription for Living

Go Placidly

By Max Ehrmann (1872-1945)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

And remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly & clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull & ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud & aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain & bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing future of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself.

          Especially, do not feign affection.


          Neither be cynical about love;


          for in the face of all aridity & disenchantment


          it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness.
Beyond wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees & the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labours & aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

“Desiderata” was written in 1927 by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945). In 1956, the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore, Maryland, used the poem in a collection of mimeographed inspirational material for his congregation.
Someone who subsequently printed it asserted that it was found in Old St. Paul’s Church, dated 1692. The year 1692 was the founding date of the church and has nothing to do with the poem.


The Santa Clause: Carrier of the Message

Merry Christmas! "The Sanat Clause"Happy Holidays! Peace & Joy in 2013!

Leagues of legends tell us Santa truly exists in the hearts of those who believe. Since childhood, we’ve thought of Santa as a “Jolly Old Elf” with his modern workshop full of toys like Christmas video games, CD’s and DVD’s at the North Pole – the part that hasn’t melted due to global warming and climate change. Santa may have to get a boat – a big one, or an endorsement from an oil company who will build him an island) I know – ramble,ramble,ramble,……But — Ho! Ho! Ho!

Back to the message, his gift of Love, Joy, Mirth and all that makes Christmas the most revered of International Holidays. Here’s Mistletoe so you can stop and kiss yourself ( or if your lucky somebody else – not the dog or cat – don’t go there – you know what they lick – Ewwwwww)!

Santa is an idea. It’s true.  Our man Kris Kringle represents all that is good about our Human Kin.

In recovery, we talk far to much about the contrite Oxford Group viewpoint of Character Defects,  but it’s definitely Christmas, so let’s call Santa’s attributes:  character assets.

Of our 5 emotional or spiritual filters (you’ll find this mentioned in the book – see: livingtwelvestepsrecovery.com)…..Fear, Anger, Sadness, Joy and Surprise, which two do you think typify the legend of “Mr. Claus”? If you guessed Joy and Surprise “Good, we’re on the same page.” If you guessed any others – book a session with your therapist or talk to your sponsor right away.

Yes! Our man “Father Christmas” is a jolly old soul and a jolly old soul is he. He laughs, he Ho! Ho! Ho’s! near constantly but it never becomes annoying ( okay — except maybe the Department Store version – some irritating triple-decibel commercial message played over intense 3″ speakers while you shop). Not so Ho! Ho! Ho!

Santa carries an essential part of the message of recovery, he is: Happy, he is Joyous and he is definitely Free – just like we all are promised we’ll be if we apply these principles in all of the moments of our lives. (Yeah,…..sometimes quickly,sometimes slowly and some-days hardly perceptibly,  or just plain NOT)!

Santa loves everything about Christmas: the food, the toys, the decorations, the lights, the under the tree sex, (maybe he just remembers that:) even the snow – and of course: Christmas Music!!! In fact, how about a little right now! Who better than Alvin & the ever-adorable “Chipmunks” singing: Here Cones Santa Claus (don’t be a Christmas Hater)


Wasn’t that inspiring? (Ho! Ho! Ho!) Just makes you wanna get the peanut butter and set some Holiday Traps, huh?

How about a cookie then?Remember, Santa loves us all and is symbolic of our basic need to share the joy of Christmas and Recovery, being of some service to our fellows and our fellow man, and yes that includes listening. (I know, I know, you have sooooooooo many important things to say).

Let’s make an effort to practice our principles (the 12Steps & Traditions) using the 5 “P’s of recovery: Principles, Practice, Patience, Persistence and Prayer. This month, December, many of us focus on Step12:

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to alcoholics, and practice these principles in all our affairs”.

What is this message that we carry?

It’s that of a Spiritual Awakening – that all who are willing to go to any length, that all who are fearless and thorough from the very start; that all who’ll make an effort to be rigorously Honest              ( especially with and to themselves) ; that those who practice these principles in all their affairs will find in them a power greater than that which they had previously relied upon and failed in doing so,….that of themselves.

There is a “Santa Clause” in the message of recovery: that if we give of ourselves to others, doing so as freely as Santa would; that if we try to emulate the joyous myrth of Santa laughing along with all good souls – and those in trouble as well – doing this while showing patience, tolerance, goodness and mercy – the principles of genuine concern for our fellows and our fellow man – it will be as the primary principle the carpenter (Happy Birthday Jesus) gave to us on the mount:

“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” Ecclesiastes 11:1

A contemporary understanding of this old testament adage could be: Whatsoever you give, so shall you receive. Maybe not in kind, maybe only in the joy of giving, which encapsulates the message that the Santa Clause carries resonating in our recovery phrase: “Freely give as ye have been freely given”.

Now ——— finally, I didn’t write this book for nothin’! Here’s an excerpt and a copy of this month’s illustration. But first – the link to Amazon if you want to have your own eBook copy,………or

If you want one of the remaining softback 1st editions signed, go to the website mentioned earlier in this post. Ho! Ho! Ho! (p.s. and yes, you’re to late for Christmas but not for a life of recovery).


December 22
True Ambition: Service to God and Our
Fellow Man

How great for us that we no longer need special recognition. In our glad rendering of service, obligations squarely met, facing our troubles with God’s help and knowing we are no longer alone but in a partnership, we see that love freely given brings its return along with the surety that we are not misplaced,…… but a part of the scheme of things.
These remain the finer points of ambition for which no pomp, glory, nor heap of worldly goods could ever substitute.
Now our studies of A.A.’s Twelve Steps come to a close. Weighing
dilemmas and troubleshooting have been so much our task that it may seem it is what we are mainly about.
It is, in part, truth: we are problem people who have found a way up and out and wish to share that with all who can benefit by it. It is by identifying, accepting, and solving our problems that we can embark on a path toward harmony with the world about us and the God of our understanding. That’s the key toward the principles and actions of good living—the theme of A.A.’s Twelve Steps. One day at a time across the passing of our lives, each of us finds a continual expansion of inner meaning in A.A.’s favorite simple prayer:

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things that we can,
And wisdom to know the difference.



A New Lease on Christmas!

“Love and Joy come to you!
Yes and bless your spirit through!
That life grant’s you a Happy New Year (fa-la-la-la)
May God grant you a Clean & Sober Year”!

Good things come to those who wait! Can I make it any better? Don’t think so. Its the 12th month, Workin the 12th Step: Carrying the Message – there is a spiritual path by which you can get and stay clean and sober, living a reasonable life of recovery as you learn to adapt!
BUY a KINDLE FIRE at the “cheapiest” price below, then sign-up for a FREE Trail on KINDLE PRIME – then get the book for FREE on loan till you decide you’ve got to have it for your daily reprieve.



Or go “all in” and buy an original signed soft-back which we will send by USPS to you anywhere in the world (okay,……..be real, NOT Antarctica). www.livingtwelvestepsrecovery.com

THE KINDLE DEAL LINK: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083Q04IQ/ref=pe_171880_27279690_pe_vfe_dp1