This is where I have nothing really to say so I just start talking. The direction this conversation takes is always a surprise.
This opening thought isn’t the way I was going to lead off but I’m liking it better than my original thought.
I was just text chatting with a friend, wishing her a good year in 2022 and moaning about not believing how many years have gone by since the calendar changed to 2000.
You think the hoopla about climate change, covid, and all the other scares of the day are bad? We were all worried that the minute the clock struck 12:00 am on January 1st, everything computer driven would cease to work and we would find ourselves in the Apocalypse. No power, no banks. Planes, trains and automobiles would die where they stood at that moment. Stock piling knew no bounds. Afterward we joked about how many years it would take to use the canned/dried food supply.
Just like now there were varying degrees of worry. Some just knew that the end of the world was upon us while at the other side of the issue some believed in the resilience of humans and the ingenuity of the their minds.
Some worried there wouldn’t be time to figure out a solution while others believed tech savvy gurus would come through with the needed answers. Some even believed computers could handle the change to a new century just fine the way they were.
The year and a half or two years leading up to January 1st, 2000 were traumatic. There wasn’t much of a visible indicator of the worry and turmoil we were all feeling inside but it was definitely taking an emotional toll. It left an indelible impression on everyone old enough to care about such things.
We’ve never heard anyone publicly talk about what actually happened that night. Collectively, we held our breath as midnight was about to strike.
Nothing happened. The lights stayed on, the music kept playing.
It was anticlimactic, that’s what it was.
Every year we remember… all that worry and nothing changed.
Not even the sound of a switch clicking to mark the momentous calendar change in our world.
It’s funny how at the time I wasn’t scared, at least I didn’t think I was. I was part of the group believing in human resilience, with heavy duty problem solving skills. I believed someone would figure out a solution, if in fact one was needed. Underneath all of the confidence there must have been a small part of me that wasn’t so sure. Of all of the momentous events in my life 1999/2000 is right up there in the top ten of today’s memories.
Things have dramatically changed since I was young. (that’s a huge understatement covering more things than we are talking about here, but that’s a different post) In the first 30 years or so of my life I went merrily on my way and didn’t question things I probably should have. Later in my forties I can remember being aghast looking back. If I had known in my twenties and thirties what I knew in my forties I would have worried and questioned a whole lot more.
At this point in my life I am back to not worrying much once more. I look all around me and the world is still carrying on, and it looks really good.
2000 wasn’t the only deadline to sneak quietly by. There have been many others. There were years when I believed some of the predictions could happen. Not anymore.
On Christmas day we were sitting around visiting and the conversation turned to covid and pandemics. My son-in-law loves asking Google questions. We found out that pandemics go back pretty much to the start of time. There have been many of them – some much worse than what we are seeing – and they all had an end date. They weren’t stamped out but they petered out to small pockets here and there.
Speaking of health and bodies, I was thinking about what happens we get cut. If it was my shirt that was cut I would be sad, especially if it couldn’t be repaired. If it was my finger it would be a different story I wouldn’t be sad because I knew it would heal and disappear.
I’ve been thinking on our many worries about the earth.
I like to watch the videos on YouTube about abandoned places. The thing I noticed watching them was how nature is relentless in taking back areas humans had cleared and built. Our planet is built much like our bodies. It is a living thing with the ability to heal itself. An amazing fact someone pointed out was how in World War Two when the enemy sent out submarines to blow up whatever ships they could find, the water was cloudy with oil spilled from hundreds of destroyed ships. The amazing thing is that somehow the water has cleared and is healthy again. Nature takes care of itself.
Sometimes we worry because we know too much. Sometimes we worry because we don’t know enough – if we knew more we would know that worry wasn’t necessary.
My take away from all of this? Usually the things I worry about don’t happen. I’ve decided not to worry whenever possible. Someone said that worry is like spending time in a rocking chair. There is constant motion but we don’t go anywhere.