In some parts of the world it's already 2009 but where I am now it's still 2008. For at least a few more minutes. So, I took the opportunity to get to my laptop and make a few remarks.
I am the kind of person who subscribes to agito ergo sum by nature. And the more I'm on the move, whether it's by way of actual travel or just active engagement to what I do, the more amazed I am by how much gets accomplished in a single year.
However, this is not about a hierarchy of achievements. Far from it.
Achievements in and of themselves mean little if they don't reveal much of consequence about the overall human experience. I believe that and I'd like to think I live that, too.
Here is a list of my most memorable things 2008:
1) Experiencing the quotidian with my parents. The text behind this is hugely significant for me. I hadn't really done do since I was a wee kid as a result of my 15-year formal education. It was a wonderful, marking experience. Whether it was discussing life and philosophy with my Dad when on our way to the grocery store or Starbucks, or rediscovering the absolute wonder that is my Mom's artistic ability, it was a stupendous experience and the personal, familial, and professional highlight of my 2008!
2) Sharing some of the day-to-day summer routine with my 17-year-old German-raised niece and appreciating again how grateful I am for the linguistic and cultural diversity of one single family.
3) Grateful for the 'wells of inspiration' and that they did not run dry. On the contrary, they were kind, very kind.
4) Grateful and more mindful of the hands-on support I get from my behind-my-scenes 'peeps'.
5) Learning much more about current research in my immediate field of academic research and producing more published writing in it.
6) Music and how it empowers me daily. And grateful for the human factor who tolerates my constant need to be in its company.
7) Web 2.0. What a great technological expression! Even though I've been a blogger for a while it was not till 2008 that I became experientially and cognitively aware of the beauty of Web 2.0 and how it makes the fragment be in constant touch with the aggregate. Beautiful notion. Thank you, Web 2.0, for feeding those of us who thrive on constant information.
8) The gift or Art. Even though I am no artist, the arts run deeply in my my veins. For I am the granddaughter of a poet and the daughter, sister, cousin, friend, and lover of artists. This year I had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about the art of those closest to me and I stand in awe and full admiration. I think about their artistic contributions and I feel lucky to have enough sense and ability to appreciate their work.
9) The wonders, exhaustion, and beauty of travel.
10) Economy of speech and extravagance of action.
11) Driving by the mountains and being aware at that very moment of how 'infinite' I felt. It took years to gain actual awareness but I can now pinpoint a moment in time in 2008 when, faced with the mountains, I became one with the moment.
12) Living up to the old 'Ribaj clan' adage: 'We say we're going to do something and we actually do it."
13) Rediscovering the joys of discipline.
14) Embracing the fact that some of us unwind lying down looking at the screen while others do so moving about or doing outdoor sports. Accepting both routes with ease.
15) Loving, fearing, and appreciating every second when engaged in mountain biking on hard terrain. This might sound trivial to some but it's life-defining for those of us who 'are by doing.'
16) What a great year this was in the business of books! I raise my glass to the countless hours of great reading! Thank you, Tuesdays at Barnes&Noble. Who needs to chew brunch or lunch when you can cruise the new titles.
And so much more.
Have a great 2009 everyone. May the year be full of moments of active awareness. I wish that upon you, me, and mine.