Well, we’ve made it to the end of another year. And in spite of predictions to the contrary, you might have noticed that the earth as we know it was not destroyed on December 21, 2012. That is, unless you’re still hiding in your underground shelter and are not planning to emerge until your beef jerky and bottled water supply are depleted.
I had an inkling that the Doomsday interpretation of the Mayan calendar might be incorrect when I noticed with some relief that the gardeners in my neighborhood, most of whom hail from south of the border, did not throw down their hedge cutters and walk off the job. Instead, they went about their business as if it was an ordinary day. Honestly, in the face of an apocalypse, would an untidy lawn be of any consequence?
I do hope the end-of-the-world people were not too disappointed. Particularly the man in China who spent his life savings and two years of his time building an ark. I did not make this up. There are photos on the internet. It looks as attractive as a condo in South Florida. But you know how it is with real estate – location, location, location! Too bad for him it won’t be waterfront.
Although I personally did not embrace the end-of-days theory, I will admit that there were moments when I asked myself what I would be doing right now if I thought there would be imminent destruction. Here are some notions that occurred to me.
I would: dive into the super-sized box of popcorn at the movies, finally figure out a way to insert the word “kerfuffle” into a conversation, immediately quit the gym, watch more “Law & Order” marathons, dash off 975 more blogs so I can reach my goal of 1000 things to say before I die.
And finally, I would encourage my husband to swallow the rest of his Viagra, and if he has an erection that lasts for more than four hours, definitely do not call the doctor. (Sorry, T.S. Eliot, but a whimper is not how my world will end!)
However, there was a tomorrow, my husband did not have to seek medical attention, and we lived to see another holiday season.
December 21 also brought the Winter Solstice, which is one of my preferred commemorative occasions. It is the shortest day of the year, and conversely, the longest night. Following the pagan traditions, candles are lit, fires are built, loud music played, garbage cans hit with sticks to frighten the evil spirits that lurk in the darkness. Come to think of it, it sounds like just another night in my old neighborhood.
Alternatively, we could celebrate as the ancient Greeks did, and hold a Saturnalia, indulging in food and drink and all other types of excesses. Then the next morning will only feel like the end of the world!
The Winter Solstice signifies the gradual lengthening of days – the conquest of the darkness by the light. Or put another way, here in Florida, a few more frustrating minutes to spend on the golf course.
December 2012 was also marked by the kerfuffle surrounding the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, a phrase we heard so many times that it was starting to take on a cartoonish aspect. Picture thousands of lemmings hurling themselves over the side of a mountain into the sea. Or was that my fantasy about our representatives in Washington? The haggling continues, even as I write.
But here we are. New Year’s Eve. Do you have big plans for tonight? Like staying awake past 10 pm? Whatever you’re doing, be it black tie, pajamas and a robe, or something in between, I hope you have a wonderful time.
And even if, like me, you have given up on making New Year’s resolutions, I have a suggestion you should consider. Each of you should resolve that in 2013 you will forward my blog to twenty people you know and encourage them to sign on. That way I can increase my readership, get a book deal, a movie contract, and perhaps even a Broadway musical with Barbra Streisand playing me. If you perform this deed, you will receive nothing but good fortune in the coming year. If you fail to carry this out, (and you know who you are, people who break chain letters), you will irretrievably lose your car keys and your married children will move in with you.
As the year draws to a close, I want to thank you all for reading my blog and for the loyalty and encouragement that has kept me going since the beginning of January of this year. I hope I will continue to be worthy of your time and attention. I raise my glass in a toast to you. My sincerest wishes for a truly happy and healthy New Year. May we all be on-line same time next year!
The more spiritually optimistic interpretation of the Mayan calendar is that December 21, 2012, was not about Armageddon, but about renewal. It marked the end of one long chronological cycle, and the dawning of another — a new age and a new beginning. Let us hope that this is true, and that this fresh start brings with it real possibilities for peace on earth.