This year-end article will make your jaw drop! Just kidding. I never read anything on social media that declares the content is so amazing that I could possibly lose control of the lower part of my mouth. Those tactics are click bait and I won't be duped. I am, however, a sucker for headlines that would say "How I Lost 20 Pounds Overnight by Rubbing Coconut Oil on My Elbow," or "10 Ways to Drive Your Lover Wild While Drinking Wine and Reading a Book." Those stories would get my attention.
Why are so many people astounded that the year is ending? I've skimmed through several year-end blogs, videos and social media posts and have come to the conclusion that the public is stunned to acknowledge that the earth orbits around the sun every 365 days and yes, January 1 is coming again. For many, many years I have witnessed the clock strike midnight on December 31, and I'm eager to have another year just to prove I'm still alive.
(Here are some facts to show how much I like Google research.) Our current calendar system was devised by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, so officially we've experienced 2,014 months of January. But, there are billions of new years that aren't even celebrated. Scientists claim that the world is 4.5 billion years old, so that makes for a lot of missed hangovers and unfulfilled resolutions.
As a free public service, I've condensed all the current year-end advice into a simple, user-friendly list.
1. Invest in New-Age Realities. I encourage my friends over age 50 to learn how to use updated computer techniques, even if they need to ask a child for instructions. I'm positively giddy after I write a blog, take a photo, crop it and insert it into the copy, research related facts and include a link, and then upload everything to a website. "Ha!" I exclaim as I push the send button. "I did it! Where's a snack?"
2. Evaluate Year-End Achievements. There must be something you did over the past year that warrants a trophy or at least a smiley-face sticker. Maybe you started an exercise program, wrote a blog, cared for an ailing family member, planted a garden, volunteered at a library, read some good books or traveled to a new destination. If you didn't do anything special, you pretty much failed yourself and society. Start a plan for the New Year, make one or two attainable goals and try not to end the year as a loser, again.
3. You are Still Under-Done. Those of us in the final third of life stubbornly cling to the notion that we've got things to do, that we still matter and that we're not finished. The younger generation may ignore us or be plotting our hasty demise, but we're tougher than they are. We've been around the block, so we know where to avoid the danger zones. If those youngsters were smart, they'd ask us for advice and directions.
I believe 2015 will be the best year ever, and it appears that I'll make it. I get one more chance to laugh at silly stories, share some marvelous meals, plan a few retreats, hug my darling grandkids, donate time and resources to worthy projects, scatter some words onto a screen to write a blog and a book and chase Studley around the house. Those facts make my jaw drop and are worthy of popping the cork on some nice champagne.