Goodbye 2008

The joy of New Year’s is that it’s the most obviously arbitrary of holidays (as opposed to all the rest which are less obviously arbitrary), but that’s also its downfall. People always complain that New Year’s Eve always has too much pressure to have fun and not enough fun. That’s probably true. Nevertheless, we are heading out to dinner (though not one of those god-awful overpriced “special” menus, thank you) and a party. Better someone else host it rather than me. And I do take seriously the need to reflect, assess and commit to change. The fact that people fail to live up to their new year’s resolutions each year–including me–does not make the activity any less valid. For those of us who dwell in the secular world, there are not enough opportunities for this kind of introspection. It is always a good thing to take stock and try again, which is what you do when you review the previous year and resolve for the next one. Plus those music lists are useful for me since I don’t have enough time to pay attention. I always pick up a few extra albums this time of year.

I’d hoped to end the year with a few entries on what I wished I’d covered but alas, it’s down to a list and wave, as I head off to NYC tomorrow in historian drag. It’s been an up and down year for the blog, though one reader said he liked the “less frequent but more substantial entries,” so maybe I’m on to something. In lieu of doing it, here’s what I wished I’d written more about, not exactly in order of priority but close to it:

1. The Australia trip
2. The Europe trip
3. Ambivalence about Obama
4. The coalition threat and the bizarreness of Canadian democracy
5. The ICA party
6. There’s always more to say about academic politics, food (though we did get the food page after answering one too many emails about food for ICA last summer), music, and lord knows what else.

2008 was a year of intense highs and lows. I could handle more of a middle path for 2009, but it’s clearly not entirely up to me. See you next year. Hopefully it’s the year I finish that mp3 manuscript and get it under review (but no that’s not my resolution–I’d try to do that anyway).

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