My 16 year old daughter had a New Years Eve party last night. She had 7 friends over, two of which had to go home before midnight. So five of them slept over. My dear wife and I stayed up till midnight to welcome in the new year, share some bubbly and a new year's kiss. Then she headed for bed. I ran herd on the party to make sure they didn't stay outside making too much noise for too long. Then I finished up some volleyball scheduling I was working on, then headed to bed. The girls were all settled down to watch movies. But since they were watching them while laying down with their heads on pillows and snuggled under blankets I don't know how long they all lasted.
Yep, that was it, the wild New Years times at our house.
However getting through the early evening I was reading a lot of blogs. The one common thought I found all over the internet last night can be summed up as:
"Thank God this horrible year is over."
"2009 is going to be so much better!"
Say what? The only thing that ended last night was the functionality of your 2008 calendar. Our economy is still tanking, the recession is still gaining momentum, our elected officials are still incompetent boobs who think they are smart enough to fix our problems, as a nation we are exchanging freedom for socialism, our retirement accounts are still worth only 60% of what they were a year ago.
So what has changed? Overnight, in the last 24 hours what really changed?
The answer is NOTHING!
Yeah, Personally 2008 wasn't that great a year in many ways.
- I turned 50
- I ended up in a job that I really hate.
- My savings and investments aren't worth as much as they used to be.
- Gas was $4.50 a gallon.
- I didn't bowl well in the city tournament.
- I didn't get to go to the state bowling tournament.
- I finished the summer golf league with a losing record.
- My club volleyball team tore itself apart off the court and didn't play well at Nationals because of that.
- My middle school club team followed up three years of local championships by finishing fourth this year.
- I think our new President and the administration is going to lead this country down a path to nanny state communism that we may not be able to recover from without another civil war.
But there were a lot of good things that happened this year also.
- I turned 50. Hey, 20 years ago I wasn't sure I would make it this far.
- I hate my job, but it pays the bills, and it is necessary work, even if it does bore the living crap out of me.
- Sure the market tanked and my savings and investments aren't what they used to be, but at least I have some savings and retirement left, for a while at least. But more importantly, I'm still able to support and provide for my family.
- Gas was over $4.50 a gallon but now it is under $2 a gallon.
- I didn't bowl well at city, but at least I got to bowl.
- OK, missing state sucked. No silver lining there. Except that I missed it because I was with my club volleyball team. I can't think of a better reason for missing something I love doing other than to do something else I love doing.
- Yeah, I lost more matches than I won golfing this summer. But I still got to golf. And at 50 years old with my 60 year old ankles and 70 year old knees I can still walk the course, carrying my clubs, in 100+ degree temperatures and still be competitive in most of my matches.
- Yeah, I screwed up as a coach - I let my club team's off the court problems effect their on the court performance. But we still finished tied for 5th at Nationals which I thought was pretty good for a first time club team with a first time club coach.
- Yeah I screwed up again in middle school. I wasn't able to get my 8th grade team that had more 6th and 7th grade players than 8th grade players to compete well enough to beat all the other 8th grade teams at our end of the season tournament. But we had fun that season and we did finish higher in the other two tournaments we playing in than our previous teams ever managed. I have been complaining for years about the level of volleyball competition in the middle schools in town. Well I finally got my wish. The other schools in town don't roll over and play dead for us anymore, and that is a good thing.
- I am going to try and be optimistic that our new government won't be as bad as I think it will. But I'll give them credit for one thing. I have wanted to buy several different guns for many years now but just never got around to it. But with the pending gun bans that are going to happen I finally got in gear and bought the guns I wanted. So far my son, oldest daughter and I have had a blast at the range shooting them.
So let me wish you all a happy new year. You know what the new year really means don't you? For the next four weeks most of you will be writing year old checks.