It’s a quarter to five on New Year’s Eve and I’m sitting here thinking about how 2009 played out — how the whole decade played out, for that matter.
And it wasn’t pretty.
In 2000 we saw the collapse of the dot-com industry. A year later, we watched terrorists wage a brazen attack on our shores that left thousands dead. We saw a still-unresolved war heat up in the Middle East, and we saw the stock market tank and the nation’s travel and airline industries struggle in the wake of those terrorist attacks.
We saw some pretty bizzare things too, including the wacky saga of the “balloon boy.” We watched Tiger Woods implode and lose lucrative endorsement contracts amid allegations of multiple affairs. We watched Michael Jackson die needlessly as a result of the heavy medications he was taking.
And as the decade wound down, we waded through a deep recession that was fueled by the collapse of the nation’s subprime mortgage industry. As more and more loans went bad, banks and other financial institutions began to fail, igniting a global economic downturn – a downturn we’ll probably be feeling for years to come.
So what about 2010 and the rest of the coming decade?
My gut feeling is that things will turn around, producing one of the most productive and innovative decades ever. I don’t base this on anything scientific. But I do know that when you’ve been down — really down — you either give up, or pull yourself up and move forward with new ideas and a new determination.
As Morgan Freeman said in “Shawshank,” you “get busy livin’ or get busy dyin.’
I think we’re all ready to move forward. And let’s just be glad we’re seeing this past decade in our rearview mirror.