It’s the final hours of 2016 and as we are gathering to welcome the new year it is also a good time to look back. It has been a suboptimal year and lots of things happened I’d rather not have witnessed during my lifetime. By that is pretty much all there is to it. Sure, we can be unhappy about its political landscape, about all the disasters that happened, about the smaller and larger catastrophies. I rather look on the bright side. I’m healthy, in a good mood and optimistic about my future. Some of my friends married last year, some became parents (that might be older though, so let’s just say they stayed happy parents), my sister got engaged, and I participated in as many conferences as never before. Scientifically it could be better, but it could be worse. I hope everyone cares about their own, private happiness, because that can be contagious. I have a lot to look forward to, too. It’s time to make some plans and start the new year with new enthusiasm. In the last days of the year, the Germans wish each other “Guten Rutsch”, which is equivalent to saying “have a great start into the new year.” I wish you all the best for 2017, and hope that you may reach your goals and fulfill your dreams. Take care of the little things and never forget to have fun.
I’ll see you in a couple of hours after we finished our traditional journey to Tokiwa Jinja to celebrate the start of the new year. Stay well!