It is as if we have been hurtling through time and space to reach the end of this year. Achievements and setbacks are par for the course in any year, but this one came loaded with both. But while the speed at which we will arrive at our destination is constant, I notice a change.

The cosmic engine feels like we're coasting towards the finish line. Still moving, but with a lot more quiet time for reflection. This last year sits as an eleven month checkmark on the timeline. Perhaps I discount too much the great things that have happened when I say that. To be sure, I'm ahead on the scoreboard in this game of life -- good job, little debt, terrific friends and a loving wife. But I'm not satisfied.

I want deeper connections with friends. I need to better at being one if I have any hope of doing that. I need to do more charitable acts, and not just sending a check. I have peace to make with a deity before divine whoop-ass comes raining down. My karma bank is probably overdrawn, too. I need to reconnect by unplugging a bit.

This is what the holidays set into motion within my troubled mind. The stillness of winter sneaks up on your very soul and says, "hello, old friend." The warmth is carefully, tentatively received and it spurs a change in attitude and demeanor. A smile fills a room. Laughter is contagious. Some call it "the Christmas spirit." I look upon it more as a fragile peace accord.

The start of 2012 comes soon. Another year In the life.