When the year turned 2000, everyone was worried. Would computers work the same after Y2K? Or would there be massive power outages and chaos? Maybe the world was ending. But, I mean, was it even the turn of the century? Doesn’t that technically happen in 2001?
I was in eighth grade. Our math teacher warned us that our calculators wouldn’t work in the new year, so we better learn these calculations by hand. He was storing water and canned food at home.
Y2K turned out to be a buzzkill. The world didn’t end, and it wasn’t even the turn of the century. All we got were these “00” glasses that people awkwardly tried to extend to 2010 and beyond.
Then there was 12.21.2012. People thought this might be end of the world. According to the Mayan calendar, this date marked the end of a 5,125 year time period. Perhaps a cataclysmic event loomed. Others countered this gloomy theory, predicted the dawn of a new age of peace and harmony.
In 2017, people mostly feel relieved that 2016 ended. Instead of an exciting start or a blank slate, it feels like we are flushing something unpleasant down the toilet. Problem is, one of the unpleasant parts of 2016 is now President of the United States.
But this is not a political screed. This is not me screaming on a busy street corner: Hey everyone, wake up! Donald Trump is about to control the nuclear arsenal! Run for your lives! This is not me hoarding water or moving to Canada. This is not me, afraid of being thrown in a political prison, deleting all critical writings from my blog.
The New Year is a time to reflect and to look forward. Any transition is ripe with opportunity to enter the doorway with intention.
So here are three New Year’s resolutions:
- Unplug to connect. My urge to connect with the world often causes me to scroll through social media. This is the biggest lie of the decade. I want to spend more time this year striking up real conversations with members of my community, and learning stories. I want to spend more time reading books, magazines, and newspapers–things into which individuals have invested time, research, and reflection.
- Pray, in my own way. To act with intention, I am convinced that a person needs to connect with some deeper reality. To avoid going through the motions, a person needs to get in touch with deeper desires. Some may call their deeper reality God. Others might call it getting in touch with their emotions. All I know is it takes place in silence. In nature. In slowing down and being aware of interior movements. I want to cultivate more of that this year.
- Stay mindful to the personal sphere. I tend to be an optimistic person, but I am not optimistic about the world right now. So be it. I still have students in the desks in front of me. I have friends and family. I’m getting married this year. There’s plenty of good things to keep at the center of attention. Plenty to be grateful for. Living simply, living well…This can be a heroic act in disruptive times.
Happy New Year to everyone reading this blog. I appreciate your time.
Stay human in 2017.