Remember when the millennium freaks predicted that, as the New Year rang in for 2000, everything would blow up?
It had something to do with computers. How they weren’t calibrated to accept a year beginning with the number 2. When confronted with the new millennium, computers around the world, especially big, powerful government computers, were expected to go berserk and start launching nuclear weapons. Jumbo jets would rain from the heavens like ripe plums, or Arkansas blackbirds. Chaos would ensue. Anarchy would reign.
Remember how we ran around in a snit like Cinderella at the ball, knowing that her coach was about to turn into a pumpkin? We were buying generators and stockpiling water, food and first aid supplies.
At least some of us were. I personally found the notion of worldwide mayhem exciting, but hardly compelling. I couldn’t get into it somehow. It all seemed so sci-fi, and besides, there was the holiday to prepare for. Who had time to get all worked up about survival when we had presents to buy, stockings to knit, pfeffernusse in the oven and a 20-pound turkey to defrost? Very few women with families to tend to bought into the millennium hysteria, I’ll bet you.
“Oh honey, that’s very interesting, but everybody get out of the kitchen now,” we said.
There’s an age thing, too. We baby boomers have actually been expecting the world to blow up since the Fifties, when we could be found on any given school day crawling under our desks at the sound of the air raid siren. Only a drill. Just a test! OK, everybody, back in your seats and open your books to page 36. They must have made those school desks pretty sturdy back then.
Mostly the worst things that happened on New Year’s 2000 were the same worst things that happen every New Year’s Eve, usually alcohol related, prompting the same old New year’s resolutions. Luckily, as it turned out, the Millennium freaks were wrong.
Ah, but that didn’t stop them! No, because some people who were good at arithmetic figured out that the second millennium would actually begin in 2001, not 2000. It’s like, when you’re 1 year old, you’re actually in your second year. Or no, wait.
Anyway, pretty much the same things happened at midnight on January 1, 2002, that always happen. Some of it was no doubt inappropriate, but at any rate, once again the world didn’t blow up. Maybe everything will blow up next millennium, in 3000 or 3001. Or maybe next week. Who knows?
I do know it’s high time to make New Year’s resolutions.
I don’t wonder that New Year’s resolutions seldom succeed. We are all in a weakened condition after the holidays, even though, once again, we have failed to blow up. We are certainly in no shape to be overhauling ourselves for the future. But somehow there is no getting around it
. So go find a pen that works. A broken crayon will do. Use the back of a Christmas card envelope. You shouldn’t be wasting so much paper anyway.
It’s time to search your soul. What’s wrong with you, anyway?
The same things that were wrong with you a year ago, probably. Pardon me for reading over your shoulder, but this year’s list looks suspiciously like last year’s. If you were a little more organized, you could find the list you so optimistically and painstakingly made out last January and save yourself some time.
Get Organized! That was always number one for me. I look at the goals I set for myself sometime back and ask myself, Martha, just who did you think you would be in the coming year?
Self improvement would be so much easier if resolving to change were all there was to it. A flash of inspiration, a flourish of the pen: Don’t Procrastinate. Done! Think before you speak. No problem! Unfortunately, getting rid of bad habits is a tedious, lackluster business, like letting the dog in and out.
We Americans believe in progress. The concept is ingrained in us. But if we really progressed year to year, according to our annual resolutions, the Baby Boom generation would be getting healthier and wiser with age, not to mention increasingly ripped and buff. Not that I’ve entirely given up hope.
Happy New Year!
Fact BoxThis column was first published in our print edition. To subscribe to the Lake Placid News, call 518-891-2600