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The Year in Review: Let’s be realistic for 2007 (and dream a bit)

The year is almost over. For many, it’s going to be a sigh of relief. For some it is going to be with some enjoyment about the things that are taking place in the area. Ever-rising condo prices are leading some to consider buying homes in areas that many would feel are not quite ready for reinvestment. The future of the city is tied to the reemergence of our residential neighborhoods as well as the reinvention of our downtown as an 21st century urban center, complete with its second wave of loft dwelling pioneers. The pioneering spirit carries over to our commercial districts, as many small businesses prepare to open or expand in the coming year outside of the city center. It has not been perfect by any stretch of the imagination, with needless murder and mayhem in our streets, most notably for us the unfortunate death of a family that seemed to fade from memory for a time. The city must and will move forward, though many may not be happy with the speed of that change, regardless of the results at the polls next November.

I’ve taken in conversations with people to say that “New Yorkers realize that a New York minute is much longer than everyone else thinks it is.” This is to say that to expect problems that developed over time or that have existed for longer than they deserve to disappear overnight here or anywhere else is insane. I wish the city of Birmingham patience as the New Year begins. I have a feeling that the best is yet to come. I also hope that the city gets to live up to the vision that I wrote about earlier this year.

UPDATE: Click here to check out our year in review series

Another favorite line of mine is one that I learned my first year of college, “Leadership is action, not position.” Perhaps people need to stop waiting for the leader and determine how they can help lead. That’s one of my goals for the coming year. Here are some other predictions for 2007 for Birmingham, Alabama.

Generations X & Y will take a bigger stand than they already have for the future of their city. Organizations like Catalyst and a recent addition to the landscape, Enuff, will have a great deal to say in the coming year, and people will begin to listen realizing the passion among these groups.

2007 will be Birmingham’s year of culture. It may be the year of art for the state, but it will spill over and allow all of our cultural institutions to benefit. Stories published in the New York Times and the Washington Post and the recent recognition of the Civil Rights district as a national historic district will lead to an increased interest in the city. There will also be an expanded focus on music from outside as well as a rush on the city due to such incredible events as the Pompeii exhibit to our Museum of Art.

We’ll see that next hip area of Birmingham emerge. There’s too much interest in some of our other areas of city besides our city center for this not to happen. I’m just not daring enough to predict where that area will be, but it will be in the city boundaries.

Speaking of goals…

Some personal resolutions too

Resolutions have become somewhat arbitrary, especially considering the amount of time put into them and the follow through that doesn’t occur on many. In many respects my 101 in 1001 is a long term resolutions list. After I edit the list, there will be a lot of things that were done in the last year that it helped to get checked off the list. It also allowed me to accomplish some things that I did not think were possible just by seeing that some of the items were attainable. I never thought I’d be taking random shots of people, places and things all the time, much less that people would actually look at them, and to believe that people would come out to talk or to give just because someone suggested it as a thought in their corner of the blogosphere is something that I’m still trying to understand and hope to never abuse.

There is a recent comment on the 101 page that asks about why a great number of them involve money. I confess that there is a method to my madness with regards to that. Some people live and die based on the physical property that they have, of the possessions that one can claim. A while back I was given a new perspective on the process; that perhaps some of the best things that you can possess are memories and feelings. These things are what you can take with you, or at least pull from in a moment of despair much easier than the (insert the blank) that may be in your home or office. Money is a tool; I’m just choosing to use the tool to my advantage instead of someone else’s. There are several things on the list that sound like they’d require money, though a few of them actually overlap and would not cost that much at all. The other thing to note is that I have nearly three years to complete the list from start to finish. A couple of them may seem impossible, but I’d have to say that I never thought I’d be where I am right now just three years ago. The best part about the list is if I’m not successful, it gives me a base for the next 1001 days.

Don’t get me wrong about the material items; there are several things that I cherish greatly that would cause anguish if they disappeared. The idea I’m working on though is that when my children, grandchildren and hopefully students ask me about what I’ve done, I will be able to pull from a vault of memories and feelings that give a full meaning to life. If there’s money there that can help them see what they need to, that will be great, but maybe they’d have to work for it too. It may sound incredibly cheesy and childish, but I feel as though it is the best way to move forward. I spent a long period of my life spending more time worrying about money and the problems that stem from improper use and management. I learned that I needed to stop doing that.

All that being said, if one sets realistic goals for the year and figures out a method of commitment, then it makes sense to establish some. These are the ones that seem the most reasonable, so far:

Lose 30 lbs.
Have only student loan debt remaining at the end of the year.
Finally renew my passport.
Do everything possible to live a meaningful, enjoyable life.
Continue writing the blog (and maybe start two more).

We’ll see how I do. I hope that all of your goals are met this year and that you get the support that you need to achieve them.

Enjoy the New Year.


Published in2007 predictions2007 resolutionsCommentaryThe Year in Review