I've blessedly gotten to that point in my life where there aren't a hell of a lot of things that I really want, or really need all that much. And there's nothing, really, that I can't take care of for myself. Sure, I like to give and receive presents as much as the next guy, but, in truth, I could pretty much live happily ever after without getting.
Some of this comes with age, of course. It is easier when I already have a lot of stuff. But I never had champagne tastes to begin with - other than for champagne, itself - which has made life so much simpler and easier than it could have been. Lucky me, that I don't want or need a fur coat. I don't want or need bling. I don't want or need to drive a Lexus.
All of this is a very good thing.
It's not that I don't help fuel our consumption-crazed economy. "Tis the season for gift buying, wine-drinking, and tree wrangling, and I do my share - including the nice new bathrobe and comfy new slippers I ordered for myself from LL Bean last month. And I'm sure that, after the first of the year, I'll finally break down and get an iPod. (Which I could really use, given that I make a business jaunt to Syracuse several times a year and the only viable way to get there is to drive. Since someone snapped my antenna off, and since I was too cheap to begin with the get a CD-player when I bought the car, and I'm sick of my worn out old tapes, an iPod will make a wonderful traveling companion.)
But mostly I don't want stuff.
For my family and friends (including all those wonderful former colleagues who became friends), I wish a happy and healthy new year. (And, yes, the "happy" can and should be their definition, not mine. If someone wants a Lexus, I hope they get one, as long as they can afford it....)
For my new friends in the blogosphere, I wish the same - plus many happy returns on their blogs. I'm a blogging newbie - only doin' it since September - but it's been a real pleasure so far. Especial best wishes to Mary Schmidt and Charlie Green, two bloggers par excellence whom I would not have met other than for blogging. I have a strong hunch that if we'd ever crossed work paths, we would have really enjoyed working together.
For the poor and homeless guests of St. Francis House, I wish a lot of new single room occupancy (SRO) housing in Boston this year, a mild (but not globally warmed) winter, and more opportunities to rebuild your lives. (For W, I wish sobriety. Please, W. I don't want to pick up the paper some morning and read that you've frozen to death during the night.)
For my clients, I wish them the best of luck with bringing their products to market, with focusing on what matters, with making their numbers, and with making their customers happy. (Hope I can be of help in making it happen.)
There are so many "big picture" things to wish for... Safe home to our military men and women. A way out of Iraq that doesn't leave Iraq and the U.S. worse off. A better understanding of who the terrorist enemy is and how to deal with them without bringing down so many innocent by standers.
How about a strong economy, but some serious discussion on the fragile and declining middle-class, which is so essential to the health of our nation. More political civility, starting with no pay-back on the part of the Democrats now that they're in charge. (While I'm at it, I'll throw in a prayer for Senator Johnson's swift recovery.)
Some progress toward dealing with our fragile and declining earth, starting with a recognition that global warming - whether it's "natural" or man-made - is for real. (Come on, if we saw a new ice age coming, wouldn't we be using our scientific and technological brilliance to keep those glaciers where they belong?)
Sometimes the tag-lines get it right:
How about "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men" (with the implicit Women and Children implied here).