Perhaps the only reason 2008 did not have the greatest impact on my life of any year yet is because 2007 was practically scorched-earth by comparison.
In 2007, I got married, began my career (including learning the hard way what it means when politics control one's job), ran into significant difficulties with licensing, finished out what was left of a lucrative side gig, transitioned from a postgraduate-academic lifestyle to a suburban-salaryman lifestyle, and experienced eight-plus months of "the baby is on her way" vicariously via and alongside Steph.
In 2008, I became a father, a published author, and a property owner. Three watershed events instead of the unending turbulence of the year before. I am far from the first to reach those milestones, of course, and I expect no particular acknowledgment from the world at large, but the seismic shift in my mindset that accompanied those events has been significant and profound, and I am better for it.
In any event, this was a productive year, a healthy year, and a year in which I left the world better off than I found it and left myself better off than I began it. It's as much as I could have hoped for back at the starting bell.
Christmas this year will stand among my better memories of the holiday since my own childhood because Ali enjoyed it so much. Steph and I already have the material things we need -- far too many of them overall, in fact -- so we bought for each other a new living room set and asked our families to direct their gift-buying generosity toward Ali instead of us. Our 11-month-old daughter, meanwhile, got to enjoy her very first Christmas with lights, ornaments, singing, shiny ribbons, ringing bells, and more toys than I can ever remember seeing under the tree. Our folks did give us gifts in the end, despite our protestations, and we are humbled and grateful.
I advanced more in my understanding of Objectivism in 2008 than in any prior year, and I do not count it as a coincidence that I enjoyed generally good results in productivity throughout. Correlation may not be causation, but a positive mindset and a clear, rational moral philosophy go a long way toward channeling worthwhile thought into worthwhile action. I also found that it became easier to identify my enemies and to recognize their true nature for what it was. One example that I found just today is these idiots. They are my polar opposite in virtually every respect. Where I exalt human life, they subordinate human life to the brute and the inanimate. Where I will exploit the Earth or die, they would rather die and apologize to the unhearing, unthinking, uncaring Earth for the exploits of people like me. They claim suicide is inconsistent with their mindset, but their mindset is, in fact, already suicide -- just on a longer timeline. It is difficult to find words adequate to convey my revulsion at encountering the absolute negation of value that VHEMT represents. Fortunately, as long as I follow my values and they follow theirs, things should work out the way they ought.
Happy new year, everybody, and may you be healthy and prosperous in 2009!