I've never understood the fuss about New Year's. It's not as though anything really changes other than the last two digits of the number signifying the present year. Tomorrow will simply be a continuation of today, much like today has been a mere extension of yesterday.
I suppose I can easily enough grasp the symbolic nature of it all. A fresh start, a celebration of having survived another year, blah blah blah. I will at least concede that it's a great time for cleaning out closets and reorganizing and, of course, it's an excellent excuse to consume massive amounts of alcohol with friends.
I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions, partially because of my "take it or leave it" attitude regarding the milestone, but mostly because I don't see the need to set myself up for failure.
Of course, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not really that much of a goal-oriented person anyway. I don't set long-term goals for myself, I simply decide to do something and go out and get it done.
But in an effort to get into the swing of this New Year's thing, here's a short list of things I'd like to accomplish in 2009:
* Complete the EMT-Basic course and pass the state certification the FIRST time. I've heard that a lot of folks fail the first time but I refuse to be one of them.
* Make myself go to church EVERY Sunday (unless of course I'm sick.) As much as I enjoy going and even miss it when I don't go, I still find excuses to to go about once a month.
* Blog on a more regular basis. I've gotten slack in my blogging, primarily because my mind has been filled with shit not fit to see the light of day. I have this wonderful outlet, I need to use it. Of course, this may mean that I ramble even more.
* Get my teeth fixed. My teeth are a nightmare and in major need of some extensive dental work. I have dental insurance, but I'm a complete wimp when it comes to having dental work done and I'm too cheap to spend the money. I have a hard time justifying it as a necessary expense if the tooth isn't hurting.
As long as we're at it, I suppose I might as well go ahead and recap the primary lesson I learned in 2008:
* There's no need in worrying about that which you cannot control. My logical self has always known this, but I never really applied it to my own life until this year. Leaving my job, a second surgery, extremely tight finances - things that would've all had me in basketcase mode in years past - seemed to roll right off my back this year. Granted, I was often stressed about how we would pay the bills, but I paid what I could with what I had and refused to let it get to me.
As I look around the world at the beginning of this new year, I have a very difficult time mustering up any grandiose hopes for peace, prosperity or progress. It seems as though there are more people hell-bent on destroying each other than interested in cooperation.
Our own country is gripped in the throes of bipartisan fear-mongering that has rendered our government virtually incapable of of any real change, although it can be assured, the beast that was intended to be by and for the people will continue to bleed us all dry to finance continuing greed and corruption.
Somehow I have still managed to retain a belief in the basic goodness of man. It's sometimes difficult to do when I see how man treats one another. One has only to look at the comment section of any news story to see the hate, distrust, cruelty and often utter stupidity that festers in the hearts of so many others. Sometimes I begin to wonder if the human condition has deteriorated so much that it is beyond the point of salvation. Civility seems to have gone out the window and in this "me first" society, it's sometimes hard to remember that there are still people who care. There is still kindness, compassion, generosity, love and integrity in the hearts of many of our neighbors. You just have to look past the surface scum of our society in order to see it.
So as we venture further into this new year, I am doing so with a loving heart. We're all we have on this earth and I'm hopeful 2009 will see more of us reaching out to take the hand of those beside us.