1. Obama. Don't need to say more.
2. Family and friends stayed healthy and alive with many marbles intact.
3. Our three beloved teenaged cats are all still with us.
4. We didn't lose all of our savings (just most of it).
5. Husband didn't really die after he fell down the stairs by the pool in Maine — just fainted while snoring loudly and rolling his eyes around, terrifying the hell out of me. The worst minutes of 2008, and perhaps my life. But he's fine now.
6. I have not had to beg on Boylston Street or wash pots despite losing my job. Yet.
7. One trip to Paris, 2 trips to Italy, and 3 trips to Maine: Wonderful times.
8. We discovered Venice, and were smart enough to return for a second visit.
9. We learned how to handle and cook lobsters.
10. I stopped being a picky eater by eating squid, octopus, shrimp, oysters, and everything put in front of me except for one antique-looking piece of Italian sushi.
11. I take evil strength-training classes twice a week. I can do a few guy push-ups now.
12. I finally stopped making excuses to Some Assembly Required and started a blog.
13. We made new friends, especially in Italy, and saw dear old friends, especially in France.
14. I wrote a good number of healthcare magazine articles, and even got to play doctor by writing some gullible client's "Ask the Doctor" column.
15. We saw about half of the color-plates in Jansen (my Art History II textbook) come to life in Florence. But this occurred over just 3 days so it often felt like flipping through postcards while roller-skating. But it was still good to be in the presence of the Great.
16. I spent an awesome hour alone with dead aristocrats in the covered galleries of the Cimetero Monumentale in Milan, during a violent thunderstorm.
17. We still feel like kids although we are technically deep in middle age.
18. I figured out the NYC subway system.
19. We decided to buy a kitten in NYC, but the Pope, in a limo, commandeered the street between us and the shop. And this other couple bought "our" kitten in those few minutes, while I was making eye contact with Himself in the back seat. There's a wee chance the kitten would not have provoked an eternal war with our other cats, but this was such an absurdly ham-handed case of Divine Intervention that I must assume it was a 2008 Good Thing. Send us an angel next time, okay? And please tell us which of the cats has your Ear.
20. I did not completely wreck the dining room of our friend's ultra-posh apartment in Beekman Place when I tried to gently close his drapes and sent more than 200 square feet of tapestry fabric crashing down, along with the ceiling track. Luckily, that silly old Rockefeller porcelain collection was between me and the drapes at the time.