"I don't believe in happy endings." - Jeanette Winterson
"Beginnings are always messy." - John Galsworthy
"It's the end of the world as we know it." - R.E.M.
So, all of us who survived the predicted apocalypse can breathe a little easier now. It's okay, the Mayans apparently got it wrong. That, or perhaps the end of their calendar only signals that they got tired of counting out the hundreds of years. Or maybe they didn't, and their Calendar Pt. II was actually created with numberings out to, say, the year 6060, but it got destroyed in one of the attacks. I dunno, but regardless, we're still here. Whew, I say. Break out the champagne, I say.
Then again, apparently the Golden Dawn predicted a century or so ago that the end of the world would happen in 2010. We survived that one, too. I've heard Pat Robertson said the same for 2007. A lot of people thought January 1, 2000, would be our official End of Record marker. We've stared down about a dozen apocalyptic prophecies thanks to the combined efforts of Harold Camping and the Jehovah's Witnesses. And frankly I refuse to bother with a count of all the times people have claimed that their interpretation of the works of Nostradamus says that the world must end on a certain date.
It's nothing new. The Romans thought the ending would come somewhere around 600 years B.C., based on the theory that Romulus had seen 12 eagles, and each eagle represented 10 years, and so basic math (if you can do basic math with all those Ms and Cs and Xs and Is) gave Rome 120 years from its founding to exist and then die. Yep, really. Later another Roman, Pope Innocent III, said that the world would end 666 years after the rise of Islam, in a year that passed by apocalypse-free a thousand years ago, give or take a few dozen. Returning the favor, the head of the Nation of Islam predicted that the Gulf War of the early 1990's would be the "War of Armageddon."
Nope. Still here, guys.
No end in sight, then, but rather a continued turning of the wheel.
No grand ending of doom is in sight, that is. We mortals, I think, have a difficult time looking at the passage of time as one long string. We need endings, and we also need beginnings, because without them life wouldn't make much sense when bookended between our own beginning at birth, and our own ending at--well, at the other end. We often, as a result, manufacture our own endings, and what flows naturally from an ending is another beginning.
So which is it, then? Does this self-manufactured mark at the New Year point to a beginning, or an ending? The answer is fairly simple; it's both. The year 2012, when it began, offered us all sorts of promises for what it might bring. I was certain, for example, that it was heralding my becoming a famous (and wealthy) author who could buy a private (and perpetually warm) island where I could do nothing but drink and write. Clearly, that didn't happen. But other, less grand, promises were fulfilled by what was truly a great year. I've already listed some of them on a post a few days ago, but other stuff happened as well. Through Kiva.com, for example, I played a part in helping an Argentinian lady launch a business. Through my day job, I played a part in helping well over a hundred people become trained and certified and launched into new careers.
One of the news agencies labeled 2012 the year of 'meh.' Their point was that nothing all that grand happened in the year. I disagree.
It was a pretty good year.
And it's over. Done. Ending. Tomorrow, in fact.
That brings us to the beginning. The year 2013 isn't nearly as round a number as 2012, which is probably why I haven't heard any grand prophecies regarding the year to come. And odd as it is, it's not a prime number either. It just--is.
And yet, it's gonna be great.
I'm still working on the goals for next year. Hopefully you have, or are going to have, some too. If you haven't yet sat down to consider where 2013 will take you, please do so with me over the next 24 hours or so.
As much as we loved (or didn't, depending on your own experiences) the year 2012, let's get it ended so we can get on with a fresh new beginning.
2013, beginning in just a couple of days, is going to be our best year ever.
So tell me--what are you looking forward to the most with this new beginning?