Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I knew I would need to do a year end post like this, but I still don’t know where I am going with it.

So much happened in 2009; nationally; internationally; locally and on a personal level. But in some respects, was it different than any other year? The history remains the same, only the names have changes.

Even Obama occupying the White House. Yeah, he’s the first African American President. But doesn’t each of them carry a special label of some sort? Admittedly, some are more esoteric than others- and the election of a minority race was special I suppose, but it would be even more special to me if he were able to govern the country in a Constitutional manner; something he seems incapable of at the moment.

The Federal bailouts of 2/3s of the American Automakers and half of the banks was a big deal, but it will take 10 years to fully assess the damage done or salvaged from by those actions. I tend to think we will find that as a whole the country was damaged extensively by bailing out GM and Chrysler. AIG should have been treated like the Savings and Loans were 20 years ago (Broken up and the assets sold off); I personally think that any entity “Too big to fail” needs to become several smaller entities that CAN be allowed to fail. Why else do we allow the Federal Government regulate business?

Even personally I have seen births and deaths, weddings, engagements and divorces. No more than usual, and no fewer. Again, the names have changed, but not the occurrence. Some were more special or more devastating to me than others, but that didn’t stop them from happening. New friends were made; old acquaintances were reaffirmed and some friends drifted away. Again a year like any other.

So why bother to take stock like this on a day that is only different from any other because of a quirk of the calendar?

Tradition I suppose. We tend to look at the expiration of the calendar and note that all things are finite, including ourselves. When I was younger tonight was a night to avoid those examinations by partaking in drunken rituals. Was that because we didn’t feel we were yet finite, or to avoid thinking about it? At some point we do start to realize that despite our best intentions to live forever, we don’t.

Usually it is the death of a parent that plants the thought of our own mortality in our minds. For most of our lives parents are the rocks we anchor to; Mom and Dad and the Home we always know we will have with them.

Then one New Years Eve we pause to think, instead of rush to drink. It’s then that we realize- I just might be getting older, and won’t live forever. We start to think about not only our parents and their failing faculties, but our grandparents, probably long gone, and their parents, gone even longer.

Then we turn and look the other way; children, and maybe grandchildren. We start to think about how different life will be for them, and how our actions will affect their lives. We take stock of what we have done and how we have reacted to events and how those actions can make or break the next generation.

And we end up about where I did. For the most part things remained the same as the year before. A little worse in some ways (the healthcare fiasco) and a little better in others (2nd Amendment Rights). By Monday morning the real world intrudes again and we start laughing about dating things as 2009 instead of 2010 and forget our New Years Eve reflections.

Until the Next December.

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