Why Every Day is the End of the World… and the Beginning

Are you are surprised that you are breathing and checking email today?

Yesterday was the end of the Baktun, the Mayan long count calendar. For some reason modern people think this means it was going to be the end of the world? It was just the end of a unit of time. As in, December 31st is the end of our Gregorian Calendar, not the end of the world, and the calendar starts over on January 1. Same exact thing with the Mayan long count calendar. So basically… 12/21/2012 is one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties ever… for the Mayans.

Photo from my backyard telescope: lunar eclipse, 2010 winter solstice
 December 21st is nothing to sniff at, because it does happen to be the winter solstice (for the Northern hemisphere), the shortest day of the year.  If you feel connected to earth cycles this would be important to you on any year. Aside from that any significance (for me) quickly fades.

Why? Because:

Every day is a present to be unwrapped. It’s a clean slate. This isn’t hokey New Agey feel good mumbo jumbo. This is true. If you haven’t lived it yet, the new day can be anything. You can make it the end of something – the end of anything you want. The last day you smoked a cigarette. The last day you went with or without a cold beer. The last day of your old job. The last day of living in your hometown. The last day you could see the world as a cold, mean place. It can be the beginning of whatever you like. The first day of the rest of your life – the first day of finding a new job. The first day of learning to like Brussels sprouts. The first day you were happy and comfortable in the company of strangers. The first day you stood up for what you believed in. The first day you recognized your body as precious and complete. The first day of whatever you wanted. Your first day down the path to be the next President of the United States.

Tray of bubbly from our 2010 winter solstice celebration
 Every day is equally likely to have some horrible tragedy – equally likely that you’ll be murdered for no good reason, equally likely you’ll be hit by an asteroid from space, equally likely you’ll contract cancer. But it is also equally likely you’ll buy your first jackpot-winning lottery ticket, be gifted with a random act of kindness, come up with the next great invention, taste or see or do something incredible, or learn something about yourself that will make you stronger for the rest of your life.  It doesn’t matter where this day falls on the calendar. It doesn’t matter what the statistics are. It doesn’t matter what your track record is. Any day – any day – could be anything.

I think one of the reasons that people feel New Year’s Day is so great is that they feel it is a clean slate, that they can start over, that anything can happen. Well, I will let you in on this – there is nothing magical about New Year’s Day, or New Year’s Resolutions, or the year ticking up to another number.

Every day is a New Day.
Every day is time for a New Resolution.
Every day you make or break your future.
Every day your fate is up for grabs against the forces of nature.
Every day.

Even on a so-called apocalypse day.

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