It's now 2009. Wow. What a year 2008 was. I went from teaching in a college to going back to practicing veterinary medicine, something I didn't think I would do. My kids got older, and my son discovered the addiction of video games. My wife grew more beautiful, and we both lost a lot of weight (in a healthy way!). Our country went through a tumultuous election, as well as extreme financial hardships. Gas prices rose and fell. And through it all, life continued.
The start of a new year is rather arbitrary in a way. Today isn't significantly different from two days ago, even though we're technically in a different year. But psychologically this can have a profound effect. We have said goodbye to the old, and have a chance to start again. The troubles of the past, while not gone, have given way to the hope of tomorrow. What will that tomorrow bring? Who knows. And frankly, it's impossible for us to really tell.
Anybody remember Y2K? Nine years ago the world was supposed to end as prophetic visions came true, the Messiah returned, and the computer systems world-wide crashed and left us in a new Dark Ages. Remember the movie series Back To The Future? According to the second movie, in another six years we'll have flying cars, auto-adjusting shoes, and self-drying jackets. But in the late 1980s that may not have been far-fetched. What about the TV series, Space: 1999? That was in the mid 1970s, and imagined moon bases in only 25 years. Go back farther than that and we should have colonies on Mars by now. I remember reading about electric self-driving cars when I was in third grade in 1977. Have we seen them in the 32 years since? Will we see them any time in the near future, even though the technology is getting closer?
What will 2009 and beyond bring? Honestly, I don't know that any of us can tell. Even the best prognosticators are usually wrong, and it won't help us to prepare ahead of time for something that likely won't happen. Still, it can't hurt to speculate and dream. After all, it is hope and dreams that keeps our spirits up. It's believing that we will have a better life that gets us through the drudgery of our daily grind.
So here's to the new year! May it be better and more exciting to the old one!
And I still haven't given up on the flying cars!!!