Posted by: GeekHiker | December 31, 2008

Writing On A Train For The New Year

(Written partially whilst happily traveling by train; edited after enduring a depressing event I’ll detail later. This post may be a bit, uh, dyslexic?.)

Trains are good for writing. It rather makes me wish that I could travel by train between Southern and Northern California since, in addition to writing, I could get in a bit of reading and napping as well.

It’s nice to think of the potential of train travel, given the renewed interest in it. Well, the renewed interest so long as gas prices remained high. A bit sad, too, to think of what was lost between the great era of rail travel and now. Yeah, sure, I love my truck, but I’d much rather take a train for a visit on the East Coast or Canada or the South or wherever.


Watching the world roll past the windows, I find myself thinking ahead to the New Year.

Sitting with my friends over the last couple of days, the only thing I’ve been able to come up with so far is “I resolve not to fuck up my knees again this year.” The Best Friend expanded that to include any and all physical injuries, which sounds good to me.

Beyond that, I don’t think I’ve ever entered a New Year feeling less anticipatory of what’s to come.

That probably comes off as sounding a bit down but, much like the cloudy, foggy sky outside the train windows, it’s not. I’m not all bright, sunshiny happiness, but I’m not pouring rain, sleet and snow either.

2009 just doesn’t seem to have any mystery to it. Yeah, I’ll meet new people. No I probably won’t meet “the one,” though I’ll probably meet more women who will play with my head. Yeah, I’ll travel. No, probably not to all the places that I’d like to go. Etcetera, etcetera…

Over the past few days I’ve read many bloggers who’ve written lists looking both back at 2008 and, more importantly, forward to what they want to accomplish in 2009. I haven’t had the urge to do any of this, and not just because I usually save that for the blog anniversary come February.

Looking forward for my own life, it just doesn’t seem like anything’s going to change that much.

I suppose I’m feeling this way because, as I think back over the last couple of years, it seems as though all the efforts I’ve put into changing my own life have been thwarted. Or mostly thwarted.

Going into next year, I know that I’m not going to stop the things I’m doing. I’m not going to become a shut-in, not going to stop traveling, not going to stop trying to establish a more expansive social circle.

I just can’t get over the feeling that it’s not going to make a whole lot of difference.

The upshot is: I feel surprisingly blasé about it.

I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

* * *

Now, just for a bit as the minutes tick down to 2009, to all of you.

I thank you for stopping by and patiently reading my drivel.

I thank you for being supportive and giving such good advice (even if, often, I am too much of a dolt to follow it).

A large number of you have found love and happiness in ’08, and I wish you all the best as you all deserve it.

Others of you have felt the opposite, and I hope the feelings pass and all is well with you soon.

And to all of you, I wish you success and happiness in 2009.

Happy New Year.




  1. Happy New Year and best wishes to everything in 2009! I have been reading your blog for a while now and your raw honesty always touches me and ironically your predicament resonates with me even though we are very different. Keep doing all the things you are doing now. At the end of the day, if I can tell myself that “at least I have tried” and that I have no regrets, then it (the effort, the time, the energy, the pushing myself out of my comfort zone…) is all worth it.

  2. Happy New Year, my dear 🙂

    Here’s to a fabulous ’09!

  3. Happy New Year. And I mean it, HAPPY new year.

  4. Ditto!

  5. I’m SO jealous. I have ALWAYS wanted to take a train ride!

    You know, you may have the right idea. Maybe saving the resolution-making for a non-Jan. 1 Rollout date makes it more likely that they’ll stick. Hmmm, I may have to adopt your scheduling.

  6. The Wife really likes the train. I presume the reason you can’t ride a train from southern to northern California is cost as the trains do run. If more people rode the trains the cost would come down but the gasoline prices have come back down and the motivation evaporated.

    I think you should resolve to stop looking for “the one”. If you could stick to that resolution, your 2009 might actually be happier. At least, that’s my opinion.

    Happy 2009, GH!

  7. Happy New Year, GH! I agree with Homer-Dog that you should stop looking for “the one” – one less thing to worry about anyway! (I should consider making that my resolution, too… haha)

  8. I used to take the train from Southern California to college in Arizona. Clearly, you and I used to 2 different rail carriers because my trips were never, ever romantic. I always got stuck next to the lady with a quart-sized plastic bag full of photos of her grandkids. Ugh!

    New Year’s is my favorite holiday because it’s about hope and prospects and possibilities. The unexpected. The people you meet may end up being the traveling kind, thus killing 2 resolutions with one stone. Here’s to heading into 2009 with anticipation and a life of little surprises.

    Happy New Year, Darlin’!

  9. The older I get the less I am into the resolution thing. I think, like last year, I just want to stay open to new things that scare me (such as sitting in a restaurant by myself, going to a party where I am only acquainted with a few people, running another 1/2 or whatever).

    I think the no injury is a good one though 🙂 That and you not shutting in.

    Hope 2009 has some good surprises for you my friend. *hug*

  10. *hugs* I know I came late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too!! All the best to you!

  11. Drivel? where? And no ijits to be seen either.

    There’s a pretty cool train run out to Glacier Nat’l Park, but I’ll second the HD comment – more need to ride the trains (way better than flying)

    Thanks for the warm wishes! A Happy New Year to you as well!

  12. C’mon, GH… put the “happy” in Happy New Year. What’s that saying, “fake it til ya make it!”

    I love riding the train too – we have it easy out here on the east coast. I rode the metro last night so I didn’t have to drive on New Years Eve. I took the Acela from right here in DC on my last trip to NY. It’s all good for getting some reading done.

  13. I’ve been on the train to Glacier. Took the train from home (then Oxnard, CA) to Whitefish, Montana. We had free train tickets – cashed in frequent flyer miles. It was a relaxing two days-nights on the train though the coach seats are a little uncomfortable to sleep in for me. The Wife thought they were great. Saw great scenery and read a lot.

  14. Nuthin wrong with some mellow resolutions. They don’t all need to be “to the moon” type. As long as you stay open to the possibility of it all, then you’re good.

    Happy, peaceful year ahead.

  15. I won’t tell you t ostop looking, because I think that demeans the way you feel about being alone; I hate it when people say crap like that. For you, I hope for peace; peace during this chapter while you feel like you are stuck. From my very distant perspective, I think this is simply a hiatus, NOT a rut, and underneath it all things are being worked out.

  16. Dingo really did take my comment. Complete with the emphasis on the ‘happy’. All the best to you this year my friend!

  17. kw – Welcome to da blog! I have to ask, though, don’t you have some days where you feel like it isn’t worth it?

    East Coast Teacher – Thanks, and to you as well.

    Dingo – Will do my best!

    Gany – Ditto!

    Ms. H – It is too rare an event for me. I’ve found I do better with it all at the blogiversary.

    Homer-Dog – It’s not the cost, it’s the scheduling. It would take something like 10 hours to do something I can do in the car in only six. As for the one, *shrug*, she doesn’t exist, methinks.

    Gabe – Check, no more looking.

    TheCoconutDiaries – Is there a carrier other than Amtrak?

    Just A Girl – I dunno how open I am to things at this point… well, except the whole “no injury thing, of course!

    Narami – No worries and thanks!

    Marie – Now that sounds like a fun train ride!

    Charlotte – Meh, I’m tired of faking it all the time, ya know?

    Homer-Dog – Sounds fun. Now if only I had more vacation time! LOL

    BackPackerMomma – Mellow is good.

    Kori – Thanks on multiple levels!

    Brandy – LOL, that Dingo! Thanks to you too!

  18. i know i’m so late with these comments but Happy New Year! you know, another cool thing about a train ride is that you never know who you might meet.

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