These days, if there's any significance whatsoever to the calendar flipping over to a new year, it's nothing I particularly care for. I never make resolutions, I don't expect things locally or globally to suddenly get all better now just because it's not last year anymore, and I have to start compiling crap for doing my taxes. My next birthday, assuming I get to it, adds another number to my age; okay, sure, I'm thrilled to have gotten this far, but I'm certainly older in body than in mind. Aging really ought to stop somewhere between 33 and 41, and then you're good from here on out. Ha ha.
Make no mistake, I have much to be thankful for, and I truly am. In 2008, I have a new book to look forward to (Other Gods, due in the spring from Dark Regions), and a couple of other deals that, if they work out, should be sweet indeed. I'm writing fiction as prolifically as I ever have, and I'm selling it regularly and profitably. My family has always been close, and those of us who are left have only grown closer in the past year. And New Year's Eve is usually pretty nice because we spend it with good friends. Tonight, we're going to party with our friends the Andersons and the Vinsons. Better folk there aren't.
2007 has had more than its share of rockiness, particularly in its opening months. Peg had surgery right after Christmas '06 and had to function at far less than full capacity for many moons thereafter. In February, my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer; thankfully, the resulting surgery seems to have taken care of it all. In March, my daughter suffered a blood clot in her lung and had to be hospitalized. Our little cat Charcoal, whom I loved dearly, died of a tumor in April. An unprecedented number of old friends of the family have suffered extreme health problems; a few have passed away. Just a few weeks ago, my good friend Bruce "Boo" Smith died. As we get older, death becomes a more prominent figure in our lives. It takes some doing to deal with him.
But the latter months of 2007 have been largely among the most personally satisfying times I've known for many years. I've been able to spend a good amount of time at the old homestead in Virginia, getting in long, meditative walks; exploring places I've never been; and spending quality time with my mom. Old friendships have been renewed and/or re-invigorated. Peg and I have had some great times of sharing. I got to see my daughter at Thanksgiving; missed her at Christmas, but our time together has reinforced how special she is to me—more than I ever realized when she was just a wee young 'un.
I think, in the overall scheme of things, 2007 made me a better, stronger person. Didn't much like the way life has of going about such things, but nobody ever said it would be a picnic. Still, I might just be happy to settle for a tad less personal growth in 2008.
If you've spent any time here at my blog or, even better, reading my fiction, you have my gratitude, and my hopes for a good year to come. Bless you.