I really can't think of many years I have wished to be over as much as I have wished for this one to be over.
I hate to even say that because despite all the difficulties 2008 has presented, God has been pretty good to us personally. My husband and I both have jobs. We have our home. We have our health. We made some major home improvements this year by replacing our first floor carpet with laminate flooring and extending our patio in the back yard. We didn't take one of those crazy adjustable rate mortgages that so many people are trapped in now. I saw some really wonderful concerts this year: the Police, Michael Buble, Chicago/Doobie Brothers, Dave Koz, Harry Connick, Jr., and yes, even Barry Manilow. I also attended some good plays and musicals, so I am very fortunate in that I am in a position to do those things.
On the other hand, I was laid off from my contract with Anheuser-Busch and had to go through a 2.5 month jobless period while I conducted my employment search. The company I am now working at was bought by another company, so there is some uncertainty as to my future with the new organization. There are assurances from my company that things are looking good for our group here in St. Louis, but you never really know. I suspect I won't know much of anything for at least three more months. All that "job uncertainty" that we hear so much about in the news is exactly what I am experiencing right now. On top of all these things, my friend Kathy passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving.
I visited my friend Jan and our friend Amy on Christmas at Jan's home. I wore a pretty and cheerful reindeer pin on my coat lapel; I have worn it in my coat lapel every year since I received it as a gift from Kathy. Jan and Amy immediately complimented me on it; neither of them could restrain themselves from welling up with tears when I told them it was a gift from Kathy. It's been that kind of year -- that kind of holiday season.
Additionally, I am not at all happy with the existing administration, but am hopeful President-Elect Obama will be able to right our country's standing in the world after all the damage President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and crew have done to it over the past eight years. I am also hopeful that the environment will once again become top of mind for our administration and more importantly, our citizens. $1.30 a gallon gasoline is a relief from the $4 a gallon we experienced earlier this year, but let us not forget that our gas-guzzling ways got us to $4 a gallon in the first place.
So 2008, I won't miss you too much. Here's to a happy, healthy, and hopeful 2009!