In my humble opinion sadness is one of the most under-rated human emotions. There's nothing like a quiet, deep sadness to get you in touch with the profundity of life -- having a sad year because of the loss of someone you love or because of bad relationships or some painful memory is something that we all experience but rarely appreciate and celebrate. And while sadness inherently isn't something that is fun -- it is a strong emotion and is a heck of a lot better than feeling numb to the world.
It's funny to be writing about sadness on the happy new year-- or at the very least it's ironic. And more importantly, I think it's appropriate given the catastrophy in SE Asia and the grief that is being experienced in a large part of the world. For the survivors, the memory of December 2004 will be very sad.