Hold up...just one quick second before you close the book on 2008! I would like to take you back a few years to your first day of first grade. Remember the smell of the freshly painted room, your desk with your name written on it in perfect teacher-print, and that highly coveted box of 64 crayons. Oh, the possibilities.

That's how I am feeling about 2009. I know, I know...we're in the worst recession since the Great DE-pression. There are wars on several fronts. And the glaciers are melting about as fast as Ted Drewes in August. All the more reason for us to be excited.

I could make the point with a barrage of memorable quotes: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". That's the first one that comes to mind. But how about one all of us have heard a million times before: from our moms, our dads, teachers, bosses, well-meaning friends. You have even told yourself this before: DO YOUR BEST.

That's how I plan to define oh-nine. DOING MY BEST! At home, at work, at play (never had a hard time dialing up my best for a party). I may not leave it on the mat every day, but darn close. When 20-10 is within earshot, Father Time will have to pry my fingers from '09...begging me to JUST.LET.IT.GO!

In my desk at work, I have a box of 64 crayons. No joke. You never know when you may need to color. In '09, I plan to do a lot of the lines...and outside. Doing my best and hoping you will too. Together, we can "color the world" to a brighter day.

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