This is a new year.

I always like New Years and today--even though I'm still tired and recovering from last night--I'm in a generally hopeful mood about 2008. A big part of that is owing to the fact that it's an election year--not that any of the presidential candidates inspire a great deal of hope, but there's at least some potential to take some positive steps forward. Angel should also be finishing up the hardest part of her education by summer, which means that although the next few months are going to suck, this time next year shouldn't be quite as pressure filled for her or I. I should also finally almost be finishing up the slog of the pre-seminary discernment process by this time next year, so I'll soon have a better grasp on what my future's going to look like. I'm staying in the same jobs, so things should be relatively stable on the career front and I should start to develop some level of routine (at least until that's all thrown into upheaval again next year).

On a political front, I'm still looking forward with mixed emotions. Positively, the US seems to be waking up a bit to the hole that we've dug for ourselves in relation to the natural environment, our oil dependence, our healthcare system, our international relationships, the war (I currently have two brothers-in-law in Iraq, by the way), the problems of global poverty, and so forth. The thing is though that we're becoming more aware because the problems seem to be becoming more acute. Should we expect to look forward to anything like stability? It seems like it makes more sense to prepare for significant upheaval. The thing is, I really have begun to feel that the basic ideas are there which could potentially (within 10-20 years) stabilize our world-wide environmental crisis, our oil dependence situation, the American (and global) healthcare crisis, and eliminate the worst aspects of global poverty. The problem is that there seems to be little hope that we'll actually put the plans in place. Time will tell, but in my lifetime the US and much of the rest of the world has been amazingly consistent in avoiding doing the things that make practical long-term sense.

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