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Looking Forward to 2009

January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

For many folks, 2008 wasn’t exactly the best of years. But we’re not here to talk about the past. Instead, let’s consider what we have to look forward to in 2009.

New Years Resolutions (to make and brake)

With a new year, it’s a new start, and it’s as good a time as any to set goals like exercising, losing weight, reading more, getting a new job, etc. You’ll probably never keep them up, of course. Resolutions are made to be broken. Still, go ahead and make them as they’re things to aspire to do.

More affordable travel

Gas prices have decreased so much from what they were (remember the old days of $4 a gallon?) that the mileage reimbursement rate for work travel has actually been been lowered. A year ago, the average rate was $2.76 a gallon, and people thought twice about driving. Today, it’s $1.61 a gallon, and it’s only $1.44 across the river in New Jersey. That’s a pretty remarkable dip. So hey, not all is bad with a struggling economy. You can now easily afford those summer trips down the shore or day trips to New York or D.C.

New seasons for sports teams

The old adage for perennial also-rans in sports is “Wait till next year,” because, well, with a new year, everyone starts over at 0-0 again. This year, of course, it’s a little different because locals actually have a defending world (actually, North America, or more accurately, United States and Ontario, Canada) champion in the Phillies. Repeating as a champion is even harder to do than winning the first time. So we’ll see how they do. The Eagles continue to hang on, agonizing fans with stretches of dominance and fits of ineptitude, often in back to back weeks. I know some folks would rather the season have ended already so they wouldn’t have to invest so much into what appears to be a flawed team and to just “wait till next year.”

A better economy and job market?

There’s nowhere to go but up (right?). Firms and companies have made corrections for the current environment through some layoffs and job hiring freezes. After employers reassess where they stand through these measures, it’s likely that they’ll find that they’re not in as bad a shape as they originally thought, and they’ll start hiring again as they previously did. At least that’s the hope.

So let’s say farewell to 2008 and welcome in 2009. In the Chinese calendar, 2009 is the “Year of the Ox.” Maybe for our purposes, the motto for this year can be “2009: Can’t Be Worse Than 2008, Can It?”

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