According to the Chinese, this is the Year of the Dragon.
The power and strength of this mythical creature is supposed to bode well for the coming year and foretell of prosperity and promise of things better.
With all due respect, the Chinese may have it wrong and this may be the Year of the Draggin'.
This came to light when Cousin Elrod called in dismay and noted it might not be a good year when he looked out the window and saw the repo man draggin' away his car.
Of course, draggin' is pretty much a way of life for Elrod ever since his ball and chain days and the car was draggin' its transmission before it was repossessed so it may not have been that great a loss anyway.
But there is no question draggin' is part of our world right now.
Think about it, the election will be draggin' on for another eight months and no matter how much misery we are in, our systems calls on us to vote for someone. Come November we'll be draggin' to the polls.
The two frontrunners for the Republican nomination for president, Mitt Romney and New Gingrich, both seem to be draggin' a lot of baggage, and they keep taking turns trying to empty their own while dumping more in the other guy's poke.
President Obama may be enjoying the spectacle, but the steamer trunk he's draggin' around is not exactly empty.
No doubt the economy is draggin' and what we've heard so far from our fearless leaders has done little to get it out of the ditch, since the ditch looks like the Marianas Trench.
For some, draggin' is more pronounced and more of a problem than it is for others, but we all face draggin' issues at some point. Foot-draggin' is the common aliment.
Congress may be the perfect example of foot-draggin' because not only do they drag about they seem to be draggin' an anchor with them the whole time.
But we can all be afflicted with the condition, like not getting that cavity checked and then when you finally get around to going to the dentist he says, "I'm not sure we can save that tooth, but I am sure that whatever we do is going to cost a lot and hurt reeeeal bad."
Then he drags one of those little-bitty picks across you tooth and just before you hit the ceiling you promise yourself to never foot-drag a trip to the dentist again.
There is also the famous draggin' the putter on that 3-footer you miss and it costs you $5, not that I've ever done that.
Sometimes when we get up to go to work we're draggin'. There can be a number of reasons for this: the job stinks and we hate being there; it's a good job and we still hate being there; and on occasion there are some who have those mornings when the evening went long but the night was short and draggin' out of bed is the best we can do.
Sometimes we are just draggin' because we hit the wall from yard work, shoveling snow, household chores, all those little home projects that costs us a weekend and a bad back.
For three days I assembled, reassembled, moved and removed furniture, and by the time I was finished I felt like I was draggin' about 12-feet of bowel behind me.
And for some of us, especially as we get older, we think that time just flies by, but try telling that to someone in prison when time just keeps draggin' on.
The good thing is draggin' does not have to be permanent. Whatever the source of the draggin' condition, there is always the possibility of better days ahead.
This is the hope for the Year of the Dragon.
Let's just hope next year is not the Year of the Toten'.
Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at Rlatarski@aol.com.