We all know of at least one horribly annoying overachiever who accomplishes every goal she sets for herself. She’s run countless marathons, clocked in hours of volunteer work with Guatemalan orphans, and obtained dual doctoral degrees in music performance (she plays cello) and mathematics (her dissertation on four-dimensional fractals sent shock waves through the mathematical community). She doesn’t eat meat or carbohydrates and her French is impeccable. She’s really nice. She leaves you no option but to hate her.
So here we are in January 2010, conscious of the fact that our middle-aged little planet has managed to complete one more twirl around its rather ordinary star. For many, just reflecting on the nature of time can generate enough anxiety to fuel at least one or two New Year’s pledges.