Were you sad to see the end of 2011? Or completely ecstatic to finally see it end?
I have to say that I don't get all wrapped up in the end of the year. It is more of interest to me when the seasons of the year start and end. Christmas is a holiday with its own intrinsic value and part of a different cycle of seasons. New Year's is embedded in the first part of winter, when the days are still short and the temperatures are getting lower. Ask me how happy I am as the temperature warms in late February and March and days get longer--I am very happy at that transition.
2011 was stressful for our nation, as many became unsatisfied with our national leadership, both presidential and congressional. The economy continued to stagnate, not producing jobs, exhibiting all the signs of painful structural change ahead. Locally, we watched our homicide rate go up, rapidly outpacing most metropolitan areas. We watched as a new administration took up residence at 11th and Oak, and did not seem much better than the old one. Water pipes continued to burst. Power plays and players came and went, and it seemed that the basic services that hold a city together were being neglected. It was more fun to cut ribbons and spawn real estate development ideas.
2012? It will be dominated by the national presidential circus. As I type this, CNN is playing speechifying by Republican candidates in Iowa. The caucus there is the opening salvo in an ongoing drama of nominating an opponent for the weakened incumbent and we will hear this stuff endlessly until November. Many regard the November election as one of the most important in our nation's history. It certainly will be one of the longest campaigns leading up to that election.
Meantime, some believe that the world will end apocalyptically in 2012. We tried that road in 2011, and funny, we are still here. I suspect that we will be here in 2013. A little bruised maybe, but still here.
Happy New Year. Whoopee...