I can think of a lot of years I would have wanted to add time to, but 2008 will not go down as one of the great ones.
Did you ever wish you had an extra hour in the day to get things done?
Your wish is about to be granted - at least 1/3,600th of it.
At 5:59:59 p.m. (CST), Wednesday, The U.S. Naval Observatory, keeper of the Pentagon's master clock, will add an extra second in coordination with the world's atomic clocks.
Since 1972, 24 seconds have been added. The tides, snowpack, or lack of it, and other factors tend to slow Earth's rotation just enough to require a slight addition to keep everything in order.
You'll have to work pretty fast to take advantage of it, but maybe it will help you take one more step toward success in 2009.
I don't think many of us will miss 2008. I can think of a lot of years I would have wanted to add time to, but 2008 will not go down as one of the great ones.
Which part would you want one more second of?
Do you want another second of gas prices soaring toward $4 a gallon or a little more time to enjoy the economic meltdown that brought those gas prices back down to levels they hadn't seen in more than five years?
Thanks to numerous issues, food prices skyrocketed. Unemployment's rise was only outpaced by the number of corporations standing in line before Congress asking for handouts to stay afloat in an effort to avoid more unemployment.
We're still fighting two wars, and that doesn't count the ones where we are merely spectators.
The newspaper industry had a rough time this year, as well. First, the cost of the paper we print on increased more than 25 percent. Then, the advertisers who make us profitable began having issues due to the weak economy. These and other factors led to a disappointing financial year in 2008 for our entire industry.
But this isn't the first challenge we have faced. We have many successes to look back to.
Newspapers were around decades before radio and television stations and before Web sites were ever imagined.
We have gone from paper, film and lead to digital cameras, computerized design and regional printing facilities.
We face huge challenges in 2009.
The best homily that teaches how to overcome huge obstacles may be the story of David and Goliath.
Goliath was a giant. David was a seemingly unprepared shepherd boy who found himself in a battle he never imagined.
We know that feeling.
Even in 2007, the crisis that affected our industry and the entire nation could not have been foretold.
But even though David had never fought anything like Goliath, he had won other major battles. He had killed a bear and a lion. The fight against the giant would be different, but he had fought and won before.
He had faith in what had brought him this far and slung a new stone at his new problem and overcame the giant.
We can, too.
The newspaper industry, and the country in general, are in a fight that is different from any before.
But the same principles and determination that led to past triumphs coupled with new solutions and direction will help us win again.
The year ahead could become a seminal moment in the success of a new economy.
If we work hard and make good decisions, we will be asking The U.S. Naval Observatory to add another second in 2009 to savor the victories the year brought us.