At this point it seems safe to say the Earth continues to orbit the Sun, and that life on the planet also continues. Either the Mayans were wrong, or all those people thousands of years later, working off little (or no) knowledge of the situation, were not correctly interpreting the situation.
Ya think? 🙂
In any event, it sounds like a good excuse to throw a party! Let’s make it a good one!! We’ll decorate extensively (I’m thinking a red and white color scheme), and maybe there should be some gift-giving.
And, here’s an idea: let’s go chop down a tree, drag it inside, put it on life support and decorate it with festive lights and small icons! (Perhaps pine trees, like pumpkins, are delighted to participate in our ancient party rituals!)
Oh, wait, a whole bunch of us just did that! We need a new theme; maybe something with champagne and noise-makers (perhaps some firecrackers, too). The ribbons worked well at Christmas, so let’s use those again—make them super-festive, like you could throw them around.
Also, the mistletoe? Huge hit! Let’s do a kissing thing again. (In fact, I rather quite liked that kissing thing. It should be a part of more holidays.) What if we synchronized it? Like, everyone could kiss each other at the same moment or something. (Too showy? Too unsanitary??)
I don’t know if you know this, but a smallish (120 feet wide) asteroid zipped past us on December 11th. It passed inside the orbit of the Moon, so it was fairly close—only 140,000 miles; the moon is 230,000. (On the other hand, compared to the distance through the woods to Grandmother’s house, it was extremely, extremely far.) Thing is, they spotted it just two days before it passed. The rock was roughly the same size as the one at Tunguska.
Had that rock been several times bigger and—astronomically speaking—just a tiny bit closer, well, then the Mayans would have gotten it right! They were awfully close on the date!
My friend, Robin, told me a joke about the Mayan calendar maker who wanted to finish his work, but his friend convinced him to go out drinking. After all, “What could happen? You can finish later.” Problem is, their civilization fell, and he never got back to the calendar.
(How close? Well, the distance from the Earth to the sun is over 370 times the distance to the Moon, and the sun is our local star. It’s a bit like having airplanes flying directly over your house.)
The good news (if by “good” we mean “kind of terrifying”) is that Mother Nature and orbital dynamics get another pinball shot at us in February. The day after Valentine’s Day (forcing you to decide whether to splurge, not bother or really pull out the stops). This rock (2012 DA 14) is only a little bit bigger (150 feet), but it’s gonna be much closer: only 21,000 miles!
A Burma Shave with an Asteroid!
All kidding aside, it will definitely miss. Definitely. All their calculations say so, and similar calculations got us to the moon, Mars, Saturn and beyond! (So no need to mention Apollo 13, Apollo 1, two Space Shuttles, several Mars craft, the Hubble (at first)…)
It’ll swing by again in 2020 to clip off any whiskers it misses this time, and they’re really confident it will miss that time, too.
[With regard to various and sundry predictions of coming apocalypses (apocalypsii? one so rarely deals with more than one), there is an old saying: “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, perhaps you’ve misunderstood the situation.” The mirror of that applies equally: If you are losing your head when all about you are calmly looking at you wondering why you’re acting this way, it’s possible you may have misread some aspect of the situation. Best to take a moment, sit down, breath, take any medication you might have on you, and then check in with reality for any missed (or mixed) messages.]
Goofy wyrd play aside, I have a serious thought for this Second Day of Chillaxmas. A simple trick to try if you find the pace of life a bit “brisk” at times. (I have the Minnesotan’s perspective on “brisk.” Temperatures well below freezing down to about -10 we call “brisk.” Below -10 is “bracing.” Above freezing is shorts and tee-shirt weather.)
Here’s the trick: make one meal a day just a meal. No talking, no phone, no reading, no TV, no music, no computer. Just you, your food and the process of enjoying eating. You’ve heard of Eat, Pray, Love; this is Eat, Sit, Chew.
If you are someone who is highly connected, constantly using the ‘web or otherwise externally focused, and you’re someone who’s feeling beat up or overwhelmed by life, you might find this helps unwind and detune.
There’s no rule other than the restrictions listed above (and don’t play cute thinking of exceptions; the idea is that it’s you and your food, and that’s it). You’re not required to not think (go ahead and think about the bills or the carpet if you want). You are required to give yourself time to think (about whatever) and only think for about 20-30 minutes.
Some soft background music would be okay. A babbling brook would be better, if you can swing it. A quiet stand of lonely pines in a forest is really wonderful, but a lonely table in a corporate cafeteria will do in a pinch.
Once a day every day might be out-of-bounds, but shoot for what you can. If this sort of thing is new to you it might be challenging at first. If you are an extrovert, this will always be a challenge, it will always require more effort for you than for us introverts. But you may still benefit from the chance to briefly disconnect as regularly as you can manage.
I’d like to leave you with a final thought: What is it about elephants? That’s not a random question; I’m serious. We’ll discuss this later.