Every year, along about December 15, its seems we all take a collective look back. The magazine racks are littered with double-thick issues devoted to heartfelt farewells to deceased celebrities, poignant reveries of world events and photo montages on myriad sporting events, wars and fashion trends. Meanwhile, every channel from the networks to the premium cable brands devote hours of programming to keenly edited and thoughtfully soundtracked nostalgia.
It's tempting to luxuriate in this tepid bathtub of warm, fuzzy memories, straight through to New Year, but why be typical? Plenty of others have allocated ink (or in this case, font-space) to the topic and many have done so better than me. Rather than wax rhapsodic about the year that was, I think it might be more interesting (and funnier) to pine away about the year that wasn't.
2007 was not the year I set aside time each week to clean my apartment. Try as I might, my upbringing in a home exclusively cleaned by people who got paid to do the job did not prepare me for a life of scrubbed floors and dust-free cabinets. My apartment is hardly filthy, mind you, but I just can't seem to get motivated enough to spend my free time engendering a spotless shower.
2007 was also not the year I made a significant dent in my Netflix queue or my reading list. Alas, the lure of Project Runway, 30 Rock and The Office or the incessant pings from my IM often distracted me from such highbrow pursuits as reading the poetry of Neruda or finally watching Hotel Rwanda. With the writers' strike on shaky ground, there's some hope for me in 2008. But, with Facebook and Sex and the City reruns as ever-present and mentally unchallenging distractions, you might see this pop culture-ridden confession appear again next year.
This year also proved a failure for many broad-scale endeavors of humanity. Beauty pageant contestants the world over must be uttering a communal "aw shucks" for not achieving world peace; just as hippies and their patron saint cum sellout Al Gore must kick themselves over the latest energy bill. Citizens of the globe did not cure cancer or AIDS and Bono still didn't clinch the Nobel Peace Prize, but at least we're still fighting the good fight.
2007 was not the year I got engaged or married or had a baby as so many of my friends did. Thus, I did not make my debut appearance in the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times, much to my grandmother's chagrin. Of course, it was also a year wherein I did not get divorced or fired or shot, so I avoided those sections of the paper too. By this accounting, as of December 30, I'm probably ahead of the game on the milestone scores.
It was not a year where I learned from all my mistakes, but now I get to write about some of them for your general amusement and possible education. I'm not one for resolutions - lofty, fanciful or plainly obvious - though I will say that I am optimistic for 2008. I don't expect clear answers to life's burning questions over the next 12 months, but I sure as hell better have a good time trying to figure it all out.