The 19th century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (often called the first existentialist) distinguished between two ways to travel by horse: Riding a stallion or riding in the back of a hay wagon.
Both get you somewhere, but riding a stallion requires you to take responsibility for your situation. Why this is relevant today: Riding the stallion, as much effort as it takes, represents being in firm control in tough times. The back of the hay wagon may be more comfortable, but you have no control where you end up.
The end of the year is a good time for reflection and, in this case, mental preparation. How will you approach 2009? Will you ride the hay wagon and let it happen to you, determining your fate for you?
Or, will you do whatever you can to make it happen as well as possible, live it fully, and get whatever you can from it?
Ride the stallion!