Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

We will soon be heading out to an annual New Year's Eve party, where our hope is that the host will once again avoid being arrested for putting on an awesome fireworks show at midnight that starts off with the firing of a cannon. Cover your ears!

Should be geeky fun. Word is that there will be a new Wii game featuring mind exercises for the elderly (Brain Academy). Maybe tomorrow I will post a video of a related challenge to your brain's ability to pay attention, but today I will comment on the past year and an observation posted yesterday by Profgrrrl as part of a meme:

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Much of happiness is a choice. Actually, I think I already knew that but saw it many times over in my life and when observing other people. Perhaps more of what I learned this year was to embrace the moment and the situation. And just live.

I could not agree more. I have worked around some unhappy people, veritable nabobs of negativism, and I have worked around happy people. The only difference appears to be that the happy people choose to be happy. It may be personality in some cases, but it is also contagious. Every day at work is a fun day because of the people I work with. I owe them many thanks for making the best job I have ever had into an even better one.

Finally, below the fold, a video about one of the people we lost this year, and some comments about ones that I lost.

I lost an uncle who had lived a long and successful life, but the loss was particularly touching because he was the very special older brother to my Mom.

And I lost a colleague who "died in harness". He never got to give a 'last lecture' like you see discussed below, but he was a solid, very committed teacher who lived every day to the fullest. I'm sure he was gloriously happy right up to the last seconds of his life.

I only knew about Randy Pausch because of his "instant celebrity", but I wish I had known him in real life:

I know several people who have died of pancreatic cancer. It appears to be the least treatable fatal disease out there. The numbers are not as high as other diseases, but it seems to get little attention given how dangerous it is and the way it seems to strike people in the prime of life. Is it increasing (as seems to be the case since I never heard about it all until recently)? Why?

But regardless of the answer to those questions, my answer is that we should all live our lives so we can face the end the way he did - with dignity.


The Thomas said...

My how time flies. The uncle died August 30th 2007.

I know it seems like yesterday, but my mail archives give it as 6am on that date.

Doctor Pion said...

Memory can be so fallible.

I guess it is because I was thinking about him this holiday season when I ran across a silver cup he gave me (or, more realistically, his little sister) when I was born.