For some sad reason, right as a year is close to screeching to a halt, I can’t help but utter the phrase “good riddens.” It rolls off my tongue almost perfunctorily. Each year has its highs and lows, and this year was no exception. 2007 kicked off in morbid fashion when my mother was almost killed in a head-on collision (thanks to an ignorant driver) in the leafy Chicago suburbs. Luckily, she survived relatively unscathed, at least physically. On the plus side, I moved to Seattle and made headway on some new goals, established new routines and dived into graduate school and volunteer projects. But besides mourning our own unpleasant experiences, it’s easy to be sullen over the year our own nation has endured: We continue to heartbreakingly lose too many American soldiers as tension swells in the Middle East; the housing market continues to look grim; scandal riddled the sports worlds; and the most recent blows – floods battered Seattle and the senseless slayings in Carnation. At times, it’s difficult to not want to disencumber yourself from the fetters of all that plagues our world, and just pretend it’s not happening.
However, there’s a sort of dis-ease that comes with a new year as well and as I’ve grown older have tried to ask myself, how am I going to make this year a step up from the previous? Even slight tweaks in one facet of one’s life can undoubtly make the new year more resplendent. But that’s always easier said than done. If your 2008 starts murky, here’s a web site that might quell your moroseness and prompt you to unleash chuckle or two.
Let’s hope 2008 is great! Cheers!
Sweet Home Chicago!
Going home to Chicago for the holidays was more than enjoyable. It had been a year since I had seen one of my brothers and sister-in-law and months since I had seen my parents and other siblings. Presents, food, laughter and fun brimmed my empty-nester parents’ home. What was most surprising was how maneuvering the airports during the holidays was quite a cakewalk. Though my redeye flight leaving Seattle was delayed two hours (mechanical aircraft problems really ease my mind, j/k), which meant we took off from the Emerald City at the ungodly time of 2 a.m., leaving me zombie-like for the first few days of my trip while my friends and I braved the malls for holiday gifts and indulged in a Chinese massage.
One thing that was apparent was that returning to the Midwest had me reverting to the fast-paced way of talking, going-about-things that I have somewhat left behind since I’ve lived in Seattle. It’s interesting to hear if others observe differences in a person that hasn’t been back in months. My mom (jokingly, I hope) repeatedly called me detached, which made me ornery and react with a slight cringe. Though I attributed any disconnectedness to the redder than red redeye flight and time change. Five days in Chicagoland was plenty, especially with the bitter cold that is inevitable there, but I treasured mingling and going to church with my numerous friends and family there. One of my hobbies is writing novellas, so I was also tempted to start a yearly book club with the family since books became a hot topic at the dinner table at certain points, or whip out the Scrabble board, but my geeky self resisted!
As a sort of news junkie, I couldn’t help but inquire into how the Chicago burbs have handled the intense media scrutiny that has swirled around Bolingbrook, IL (neighboring town of my hometown) and embattled ex-cop Drew Peterson, who is under the glare in regards to his missing wife. Some of my friends mentioned the onslaught of Fox News trucks around and others just cited an eeriness to the areas amid the hubbub.
And go figure, we didn’t have a white Christmas in Chicago, but I heard Seattle sure did. And how about the last two gorgeous sunny days we’ve had here in Seattle – just an anomaly? Perhaps yes.
Happy New Year to you all!