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Hitting the reset button

Photograph by Bruce Brummitt, taken at Monument Valley. Used with permission.
I was going to be kind of sassy as I rang out the old year. Something like, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, 2011.” But then I remembered my upbringing. Some people have bad things happen to them and ask, “Why me?” My people have bad things happen to them and ask, “Why not me?” If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that things can get worse. I’m optimistic enough to believe that they don’t always get worse and they often get better, but you shouldn’t be giving Father Time the finger.

So here’s what I have to say about 2011: Thanks for stopping by. It’s a shame you have to go so soon. We appreciate the fact that you’re leaving us all in one piece, more or less. So long.

I’ve been thinking about 2012 for a while now. It’s gearing up to be a big year, with a milestone birthday for me and the launch of my eldest into the world. Sam’s senior-class motto is something like “2012—it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the year we take over.” Because Sam loves reading about such things, he’s grown up knowing about the Mayan prediction that the world will end in 2012. Imagine suffering middle school angst under such a cloud of doom. Hey, this is miserable, but in a few years I’ll graduate from high school and have at least six months to enjoy my future. This is the generation that was in grade school for Y2K and 9/11. Harold Camping’s rapture predictions this year probably sounded quaint to them. These kids can handle anything.

And fortunately, it turns out this Mayan prediction is all a huge misunderstanding. A recent article in National Geographic explains that 2012 is simply the end of a 400-year period in the Mayan calendar. Metaphorically, says NG, it’s like a 1960s car odometer that resets to zero after hitting the 999,999-mile mark. Whew.

Some people believe that 2012 will bring a major positive change to our world. When you think about all of the tyrants who have been brought down in the past year, and the rise of the Occupy movement, it brings hope that humanity is coming to its senses, that greed and violence will be replaced with compassion and peace. Come to think of it, 2011 brought some good along with the bad. As for 2012, bring it on. We’re just hitting the reset button.
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