Brave New Year
I'm not gonna lie to you. There have been other December thirty-firsts when it felt more natural to pop the cork and toss the confetti. From the subprime mortgage crisis to the Bhutto assassination to the sleazy binge of popular culture, 2007 was not a banner year, and I'm feeling the anxiety heading into 2008. But not every age can be gilded. With hindsight, the 90s look excessive, like a wild party that we're still hung over from. (Though I admit -- I'm glad I went.) If we're called upon to show a modicum of character, that's not such a bad thing, and maybe it's even overdue.
Here's what I'm raising my metaphorical glass to this New Year's Eve.
Counting blessings. Family. Friends. Pets that give us joy. Meaningful work. Safe streets (or at least safer.) Good food. If we have these things, or to the extent we have them, we should count ourselves lucky, rather than fussing over what we don't have or envying others their good fortune.
Reading. Television is on hiatus, and I don't really miss it. The movies are all about men and violence (except Juno, which is so, so good. Here's hoping that Hollywood won't squander Ellen Page.) I'm bored with my computer. It's a moment when books feel new and exciting again. I've been eating up Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. And I just reread Dune for the first time in fifteen years and found it fresher than ever. I guess visionary science fiction stays relevant because it never stops predicting the future, even as the future unfolds and morphs into something stranger than we expected. What the hell was Frank Herbert doing in 1965 forecasting a Sunni jihad that would overtake the known universe? But read it; he did!
Living Healthy. I'll eat and drink tonight, but tomorrow it's time for moderation. Here's to friends who've quit smoking, started or kept exercising and moderated diet and drinking in the past year. For those of you who want to, we're with you!
Voting. This is a big one, and I have to say, I'm actually optimistic. Voters are taking this election very seriously. The focus is on issues over hairstyles, on who can lead rather than who'd be fun to have dinner with. We can't predict what's ahead, so get out there and vote. Just pick somebody who can navigate tough times.
Giving. Whether it's bringing a meal to a sick neighbor or giving money to a worthy cause, thinking of others feels right. What feels right feels good.
And finally, of course, here's to The Lipstick Chronicles, to my blog sisters, to our backbloggers, and to our lurkers too. Thanks for keeping it real in 2007. I can't think of better people to hang out with in 2008.