I myself have returned to the place where my mother spent her formative years: Mar del Plata, Argentina. It was my mom's 50th high school reunion, so the whole family joined her for a rare group holiday.
As a kid and young adult, I spent a lot of time here, and made some really good friends. In fact, my two oldest friends are from Mar del Plata, despite the obvious challenges presented by distance and ever-changing circumstances. There were others, no less loved, with whom I had lost contact.
Facebook's great, but nothing beats bumping into someone on the street whom you haven't seen for 20 years. Nothing tops finding out that another dear friend has returned to Argentina and has opened a restaurant on the port, a restaurant you have the privilege of dining at with your entire family the next night.
If you read my column regularly, you know that I am a perpetual and staunch advocate of retaining the humanity in everything you do. Google, LinkedIn, even our dear MediaPost (sorry, guys) are nothing more than tools to help us connect with each other as people. You don't need the Internet to spend midnight on the 31st dancing with your 4-year-old niece or playing bingo with your 87-year-old stepfather.
My fiance asked me today if I had any New Year's resolutions. I told him I don't believe in them, but now that I think about it, I do have one: to continue to appreciate the people in my life, and to sustain and nourish and grow those human relationships that, to me, make this short stay on Earth worthwhile.
I wish for you in 2009 the delight of human relationships, the joy that they provide and the meaning that they bring -- and I look forward to continuing our relationship. Thank you, always, for reading, and happy New Year!