Properly compartmentalized, 2008 has been a hell of a year. Improperly compartmentalized, it was kind of, well, hell. Such is the fundamental dichotomy of my world. Of course, the hellish bits are pretty much all professionally rooted and tied to factors beyond my control like the implosion of the global economy and the vagaries of Taiwanese circuit board manufacturing, so I choose not to dwell on them.
2008 was a great year, personally. A year of firsts. My first successful heavy powder day on a snowboard. My first trip to Hawaii. My first half marathon and half ironman.
Along the way I've been privileged to get to know some pretty incredible people, and to count several of them as friends. I've managed to reach back into the mostly walled up and ignored reaches of my past and make contact, however tenuous, with people I haven't spoken to in years but think of often and well. I've lost touch with, and had to make the harder decision to forcibly cut away from others, but that's what happens. Roads diverge and sometimes you just can't build a strong enough or long enough bridge. Things come together, evolve and fall apart at the edges while the center strengthens.
This being the holidays, and reading all the other posts about reflecting, I guess I should say that, like Ben and Annie, I don't put the religion of the season in the front of my head. Frankly, I'm more of a New Year's guy than a Christmas one. I don't know, as I've gotten older, I just don't feel like it's everything it's supposed to be. I get burned out on the retail pressure and the personal pressure to get something right, to find some kind of insight that makes the previous year worth it.
It always seems to me that the small victories, finishing the longest race yet, catching a great wave or having a flawless run on a waist deep powder day, adding a few new people to your life to keep things interesting; it's these things that make the year worth what it took to get it in the books. The big victories, while they are incredible, are too few and far between to count on.
And that's why I like New Year's. It's a time to plan out your path through the coming year, to choose your battles. To have, as the saying goes, one last drink before the coming war.
All the way around, while parts of this year have been, shall we say, less than awesome, it's been a hell of a ride, and I'm going to chalk it up to a win. Frankly, I can't wait to see what's coming down the pipe in '09, or who's going to be walking the road with me. I hope we can have as much fun as we did this time around, if not more.
So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Give your family and friends a hug and a pat on the back. Thank them for what they've done for you and resolve to return the favor as best you're able. Have a drink and get ready to get back on the ride. The 2009 show is completely different than the 2008 show, and it's gonna be a mind-blower.