That’s right, another year is beginning, another chance to start over and make this year better than the last one.
When I was young, every New Year’s Day, my parents would sit us around a table with a pencil and a piece of paper. Before we could get around to watching bowl games or parades, before we were allowed to play, or even eat breakfast, we had to write out New Year resolutions.
The process was fairly simple: We were to write a little about the previous year and how we met or didn’t meet our goals. Then we were to talk about resolutions that for the current year. Nothing fancy.
At the time, this was the most boring practice I could think of. I mean, there were things to do, still new Christmas toys to play with. Who wanted to write? That sounds a lot like homework, and we didn’t want to have to do homework while school was in session, let alone when WE WERE ON A BREAK! But we really didn’t have a choice in the matter, and screwing around would only delay our ability to go out and have some fun. When I got married and moved away, I let the practice lapse. It seemed silly to me to write yet another to-do list.
Most of my peers did a post sometime at the end of last year (like yesterday!) about how 2009 ended. Some talked about their personal lives, others talked about their site stats, and others talked about the world at large. Most ended with the hope that 2010 would be a prosperous year for all.
Call it a twinge for the nostalgic, but I decided to do something like what I think my parents would have wanted me to do when I was young.
- Last year, was the second year of the Greater Depression. Unemployment went up to over 10% for America, and even higher for many states, like mine. I became one of those numbers. My career as a public school teacher has yet to get started because California can’t afford to hire teachers and give them the compensation that the teacher’s union will allow.
- That will change this year. I have been picked up as a substitute for one district, and I am working to get picked up by other districts. Even if it doesn’t though, I will be finding full-time work very soon.
- Last year we saw housing prices begin to fall back to where they should historically be. This was slowed somewhat by several programs that will ultimately prove to be ineffective, and the market will continue its correction in the new year.
- This year, as the job situation fixes itself, I plan on buying a house that is close to work and family, where my family can grow without the limitations that renting puts on us (my wife has always wanted a couple beagles, and my mother has a couple of dogs that she and my dad can’t handle by themselves– the dogs can come live with us).
- Last year, we saw government taking over car manufacturers, banks and mortgage finance companies. For the first time in a long time (ever) we saw the federal government telling private companies how much they could pay their employees. Now, we have a federal minimum wage and several federal maximum wages! The government is still trying to take over health insurance, and will probably do so very soon.
- The voiceless youth (which is all youth) is getting screwed here, and nobody has said a damned word about it. I’ve said a few things, in a quiet voice, but nothing cage rattling like I should have. That changes this year. In addition to nice, friendly posts that I have been doing, I will be taking F4Y in a direction where I hope to incite young people to get angry! I want to piss you off. I want you to take that anger and look at the politicians who would use you but won’t work for you, and tell them “not this time!”
- Last year, was a year for boxes. Everybody was put in a box with a nice label on it. Liberals trotted out the old saw, “Progressives” because government schools have been teaching that the last progressive movement was such a good thing (we’ll talk about that this year for sure!). There was also “tea-baggers”, “astro-turfers”, “radicalized extremists”, “leftists”, communists, socialists, “energized youth”, and others that I probably forgot.
- This year, I don’t want to talk about groups, or group think. See, when “they”, “the man” or whatever you choose to call those in power are able to put you in a box, they are able to minimize your power. They are able to silence you. On the other side of the coin, if everyone is in a box, there is nobody responsible for the mess, and nobody to clean it up. I want this year to be the year of the minority of one. I’ll talk more about what exactly that means in later posts, but this is the year we stop hiding behind hyphens and labels, and start calling people for what they are.
Additionally, I see 2010 as a year where many projects I have been working on for F4Y will be finished. As these happen, you will be made aware.
I have a lot of optimism for what 2010 will bring, but this optimism is tempered with the knowledge that there is so much in life that is just out the control of many of us. Regardless of what the new year brings us, as long as my wife and I continue to have good health and families that we can share good and bad times with, I have no doubt that the year will be ultimately fulfilling. I can only hope for the same for all of you! Happy New Year!