This time last year I was homebound and pretty sick, and all I could do was think about how glad I was to not be in the hospital. Apparently not much changes, because it is New Year’s Eve and I find myself several days into a battle to avoid being an inpatient—and extremely grateful to be able to type from home.
But to say not much has changed in 2008 would be a big understatement, both personally and publicly. Looking back over this year’s posts and this year’s headlines, I find that perhaps inevitably, there is some overlap.
Of course, 2008 was the year of my first book, and I found myself thinking a lot about writing, language, and the power of narrative medicine. I did lots of things I’ve never done before, like radio interviews and book readings, and some things that were all too familiar (hello, canceling highly anticipated plans due to various plagues…). Now, I’m looking towards the next big project.
In the larger world of health care, health policy and economics, there was the same blend of highs and lows that made their way into my world. Massachusetts made great strides in terms of universal health care (despite some complications), and 2008 was an election year in which health care and the female vote mattered. As exciting as moving in a new direction is, of course it’s also tempered by serious economic woes, job loss, and even everyday expenses are more of a burden.
Whether it’s hope in the future president, hope for a new job or a steady job, hope for health insurance or housing, hope for a family or a diagnosis or simply the hope for more good days than bad, may 2009 be a year where we hold onto the highs and where the lows even out, a year of hope for our futures.
(As a seasonal aside, visit me here for simple tips for a healthy New Year!)