Katie Couric's Notebook: New Year's Day

The aughts. The uh-ohs. The Decade from Hell. There have been lots of nicknames for the past ten years...the decade we said goodbye to last night. None of them really stuck.

Perhaps the best thing we can call it...is over and done with. Most Americans had a negative impression of the past decade according to a recent Pew poll and who can blame them? Nine eleven, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a stinging recession don't really add up to make the best of times.

But were they actually the worst of times? There were some major advances in technology and medicine...some nations like India and Brazil made steady climbs out of poverty...and we elected the first African American President.

Perhaps history will say the bad outweighed the good...but one thing hasn't changed...Americans remain optimistic about the future. 59 percent say the next decade will be better.

Here's hoping...and may you have a happy and safe New Year...and new decade.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.