I don’t know how many times I’ve had people tell me that 2019 went by in the blink of an eye. Looking back on the year as a whole and trying to grasp what events were important; the ones that might have changed our lives is not an easy thing to do. One would need 2020 hindsight to put 2019 into perspective.
It is customary every January, for prognosticators and self-appointed experts to make their predictions on what will happen in the coming year, from politics to sports to the weather. Some make a lot of sense but others require a stretch of the imagination.
Consider these predictions from years past:
Back in 1900, an engineer predicted that the letters C, X and Q would no longer be part of the alphabet.
A respected surgeon in England said in 1911 that by the year 2020 the human foot would evolve into one big toe. Also in 1911, Thomas Edison predicted in an interview that our houses and all its furnishings would be made of steel.
Another smart guy, Nicola Tesla, said in 1937 that by now everyone will have stopped drinking coffee.
A British product designer said in 1939, that in 2020 we would have banished buttons, pockets, collars and ties, and that men’s hats will be an antenna.
Popular Science magazine predicted in 1951 in the next 50 years that personal helicopters would replace the family automobile.
In 1956 the Postmaster General believed that mail will be delivered by guided missiles.
In 1966 Arthur C. Clarke postulated that we’ll all be living in flying houses.
And just six years ago, in 2014, a technology expert said that nanotechnology would make telepathy and teleportation possible by the year 2020.
Meanwhile, back down here on planet Earth, I say Que será, será…
Anyway, this week we’re supposed to get down to business and make our New Year’s resolutions and declare to the world our personal commitments, or at least how we hope to do better. Such as: this year my resolution is: “Try to remember why I walked into a room.”
But frankly, I find the word resolution a little too absolute, as in not enough wiggle room, and thought about replacing resolutions with the word intentions, although I’ve heard the road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions.
OK, forget intentions. How about proposals, New Year’s proposals? As in, I propose to eat fewer Snickers bars in 2020. I made a list for myself, but if you like, you can steal any of these.
In 2020 I propose to:
• Memorize the salute to the flag of New Mexico. I know, I know, it’s only one sentence.
• Change the oil in my car as specified in the owner’s manual. Now, where is that owner’s manual?
• Continue not texting while driving. Well, if I ever start texting while driving in the first place, that is.
• Pare down and clean out that attic room. Do I really need to hang on to all those rock band t-shirts?
• Eat healthier and lose weight and maybe fit into those old t-shirts. Wait, see the previous proposal. Speaking of that, I just need to remember that the next time I go to Lotaburger to bring along a protractor and compass to measure off exactly 400 calories worth of my double green chile burger with bacon.
And finally, I propose to make sure that I’ll have a good year by eating black-eyed peas this week, at least that’s what I was always told. But if black-eyed peas aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll have good fortune if you eat 12 grapes. That’s one grape for each month.
One New Year’s custom I particularly like is writing down all the unhappy or bad events of the past year and throwing the list into a fire, and supposedly all that negativity will just go up the chimney and won’t carry over into 2020.
As for the New Year’s midnight thing, I can’t consider it without hearing in my head Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians playing Auld Lang Syne. An oldie for sure, but people love to sing it at midnight, but only the first verse and most just mouth the words anyway, kind of like the national anthem of partying. Hey, why not? Everybody wears goofy little party hats and fiddle with various noisemakers, it’s just like a birthday party.
Then at midnight, here comes that little newborn baby in a diaper and kicks out the old man with the cane and long white beard. That seems a bit discourteous to me, so I have one more proposal.
I propose that next December 31, we celebrate “Old Year’s Day,” and give that old guy a modicum of dignity.
Then send him up in smoke…