Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Well here it is folks, my last post of 2007. I thought it was important to get to the computer and jot a few things down before our visitors (all 30 of them!) arrive for New Year's Eve celebrations.

As I sit here in my father's office at the family home in Kelowna, I can't help but think that i'm perfectly positioned for the transition to 2008.

Geographically speaking, I am almost smack in the between the world i've known for the past 18 months (Victoria) and the world i'm returning to soon (Calgary). During my time here I have often found myself torn between those two worlds, so its fitting that i've spent so much time here in the Okanagan this year.

The year has been a rather eventful one.

Trying to adjust to life in a place that's different from Alberta (and I mean REALLY different) has been a challenge. I use the word challenge because I think it denotes both the positive and negative aspects of the adjustment. Negative in that it became clear over time that, while I enjoy visiting, Vancouver Island isn't a place where I can settle down. But positive in the sense that it has crystallized a few things for me. I also leave the Island with a number of new friendships that I expect will carry on for some time to come. And, for as much as they can drive me nuts, living alongside your typical Vancouver Islander has certainly helped me better understand what drives the other side of the political spectrum.

In keeping with the theme of discovery, I was able to take my first overseas trip this year. Even though my destination, London, was less of a culture shock than other places would have been, it was still a moving experience. No matter the similarities, there was still the undeniable feeling that I was in a completely different part of the world. Those of who with experience travelling abroad know what I mean. To those of you that don't... DO. Whatever it costs you to get on that plane, its worth it to come back with a suitcase full of memories and a better perspective of the world we live in.

Politically speaking, its been quite a year. Ups and downs, left and right. You've heard it all from me through this blog so i'm not going to bother rehashing it. Why?

Because for as much as travel and politics and all that other jazz matters, sometimes it doesn't matter at all.

I say this because, for all the things that have happened this year, none were more important than events surrounding my family and friends. I watched one of the most intelligent people I know walk down the aisle with, truly, the woman he was born to be with. I have shared in the joyous news that a few more of those special people in my life will be walking down that same aisle next year. And, best of all, I found out that my little sister was going to give me a brother-in-law to terrorize AND a niece/nephew to spoil in 2008. This is what its really all about.

So what do I hope for in 2008?

Politically speaking, I obviously hope for election victories for both Premier Ed Stelmach and, should Canada go to the polls, for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I have great respect for both of these men and their visions for the province and the nation. In the broader sense, I hope for a return to a more civil tone in the national discourse that goes on in Ottawa. I realize that no one party is guilty or innocent when it comes to the horrendous behaviour in the House of Commons, but I sure hope that the rabble rousers on all sides grow up and remember they are conducting the people's business.

In the blogosphere, I hope that more people with well-thought opinions choose to join this vast online community. I also look forward to continued interaction and the occaisional battle of wits with those who care so passionately about the future of Alberta, namely Dave, Will, Ken, Allie, Duncan, and the mysterious man from Calgary.

On the lighter side, I hope for a Royal Bank Cup for my hometown Fort McMurray Oil Barons, a Stanley Cup for the Calgary Flames, and a Super Bowl for the Seattle Seahawks. And, if the Seahawks can't have the Super Bowl... I hope that the Patriots are equally denied.

Most of all, though, I hope for good health and happiness for all my friends (that's you) for the coming year. Because, when the dust settles, that's really all that matters.

Company's here, I gotta run.

Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year Blake! :)

  2. I have been out to the Island a few times to visit friends and have noticed the differences politically and what drives it. You should do a post on that dynamic and what drives it. I think the folks in Alberta that read your blog would be well served. I still don't understand it fully but am getting there. If I spent more than a couple of weeks at a time I would probably have a better grasp of it. I think it is an entirely different mindset. Ocean does that to a person...