A look back at 2014

A look back at 2014

As I make my final journal entry and blog post of 2014 I find myself waxing nostalgically for the year gone by.  Like all other calendar years of our life before it, 2014 had its personal, political and economic highs and lows along with its special moments and of course its fair share of forgettable ones.

For me personally the year wasn’t bad.  I finished one out of town employment contract and began another, one which is open ended and conducive to the lifestyle that I have been seeking.  This was the year I felt an epiphany, that moment in life where I accepted that time is more valuable than money and began to plan my future accordingly.  I am grateful for taking time to travel to old haunts, visit an aging relative and reconnect with certain people who I have not seen in some cases for decades.  Among these aforementioned individuals is my original kindergarten girlfriend with whom I reconnected in April.  As the year ends the fabulous Vickey is still putting up with me!

Election 2014 proved to be a golden year for the GOP.  It seemed like so many Republican candidates could do no wrong regardless how awful the results of their policies and governance may have been.  Here in Oklahoma it really didn’t matter as so many Sooner State voters would not check a box for a candidate with a “D” next it if their life depended on it!  Democrats elsewhere that ran against incumbents with marginal approval ratings or that were defending vulnerable seats proved that running away from President Obama and his successful policies was an ultimately losing strategy.  Hopefully the take-home message of the campaign post-mortem will be taken to heart; if you are going to go down by double digits at least stand for something Democratic in terms of values.  Running as GOP-lite is a tactic that needs to be permanently retired.

Economically, the nation by and large has done well with the Dow achieving a record high of 18,000.  Job creation continues at levels not seen since the halcyon days of the Clinton Administration.  In spite of these impressive numbers, income inequality is keeping the US behind is so many other areas and is going to be an issue in every political campaign until wages catch up with worker productivity.

The Grim Reaper had a field day with thinning the ranks of beloved entertainers in 2014.  This year we said goodbye to Shirley Temple Black and Mickey Rooney, the last two living performers to have acted in film with Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers.  With their passing we stepped over that threshold from living memory into history.  Others who will be sorely missed include Oklahoma’s own James Garner, Harold Ramis, Lauren Bacall, Joan Rivers, Eli Wallach and radio personality Casey Kasem.  Musicians we lost include Pete Seger, Tommy Ramone and Joe Cocker.  The two that probably hurt the worst was the loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams.  There were others but the body of work of these I chose to list holds a special place in the hearts of their fans.

For better or worse, 2014 will soon be part of our collective history.  Nostalgia is all about remembering the good and not so much the bad.  May we remember as much we can fondly.

Journal Vol 40