BY DAVID S. LEWIS
Congratulations, for having arrived at this point in time and space. December 21, 2012 has passed and of course all is well (unless you live in Syria). Yet what many do not realize, even Mayans, is that this time marks the beginning of a 26,000 year cycle, punctuated by the recent (Dec. 21) winter solstice sunrise that aligned on that icy morn with the sun and galactic core (we told you about this years ago) as it does every 26,000 years, one trip around the zodiacal merry-go-round, full circle.
The Mayans did not actually say this, yet their calendar ended on Dec. 21, and as we also said, it wouldn’t be the end of the world (unless we missed something really big), just the end of an old calendar, and with it what’s called a Great Year (26 millennia).
What though, of the next 26,000 years, and 2013 being as it were “New Year’s,” shouldn’t there be a big party of some kind? Fortunately, no such custom prevails. For if it did, imagine the grandiose lampshade Uncle Fred would wear to celebrate the occasion.
Getting down to it, some pointers for living successfully over the next 26 millennia may be in order. So let’s get started.
First, stop eating when you’re full because then you are by definition not hungry anymore. Where does it say you have to stuff everything imaginable into your facial orifice and down into your stomach (if you must, chew well). And this says something deeper, does is not? This need to stuff yourself. What is it you’re actually trying to accomplish anyway (see tip number 10)?
Second, and this may sound like we’re picking on you, but maintain muscle tone. It’s embarrassing belonging to the same species at times, or the same country, while traveling with you abroad when you let yourself go the way you do. Get regular exercise, do a little yoga, feel good about having a body for a change. Your life will improve, and along with it your attitude.
Third, you’re good mood is contagious, others can feel it, especially in a household, and conversely you’re ugly emotions sling a dark cloud over the house and everyone in it. You make life miserable for them. So don’t do that to people anymore, they deserve better (or as I heard a beleaguered spouse say on a Reality TV show recently, When Lisa’s not happy, nobody’s happy). If there’s an emotional problem, face it and deal with it in a healthy way. Life’s too short.
Fourth, keep commitments, do what you say you’ll do. These days, this is a radical idea. You made a promise, so stick to it, others are counting on you. Otherwise, don’t say you’ll do something in the first place, and don’t say you will just to tell others what they want to hear.
Fifth, no ketchup on hot dogs. In Dirty Harry, Detective Callahan specifically condemns this practice. He likens it to other heinous crimes. Would you, after all, put ketchup on cured meats of any variety—Baloney, a Slim Jim? And if you must put ketchup on hot dogs, do so in the privacy of your own home, not in public, and for godsakes make sure the kids aren’t watching.
Sixth, if you genuinely appreciate someone, tell them, it will do them a world of good and they will remember it the rest of their life, especially kids. Similarly, if you’re single and genuinely fond of someone, and they are single too (and in your league), speak up. Even if they do not return your affection, you will be better off, rather than regretting your silence until your dying day.
Seventh, when you call someone on the phone, introduce yourself, caller ID or not. Don’t start talking as if the person you’re calling knows who you are, unless it’s someone you are close to. Also, don’t call and hang up because you dialed the wrong number, or for some other reason; it’s rude and cowardly. Say something.
Eighth, if you smoke, be advised, the world is not your ashtray.
Ninth, when conversing, don’t bore others. Don’t be one of those people who goes on and on expecting others to keep listening (presently, you can at least turn this page). Make eye contact, make sure they are interested, and have something interesting to say, or put a cork in it. We don’t need to hear the many mundane details of your uneventful day. For that you’ve got Facebook.
Looking for something a bit more substantial, given the time span? The next one is hardly original (ask the Bard) but ought to hold you.
Tenth, and this above all, to thine own self be true (and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man), for to know and be true to one’s self supersedes all other advice and recommendations that may be foist upon us. You are the expert in the field of your own being and can access all its potential for understanding (subatomically undifferen-tiated from the galactic core and sun’s primordial atoms). Spend your life (or 26,000 years) doing what others expect of you, living according to someone else’s priorities, conforming simply to fit in without probing your most genuine feelings and aspirations, and you will be faced in the end with regret and emptiness resulting from non fulfillment—in which case, revisit tip number one.
We’ve come full circle.
Note: On hot dogs, try brown mustard and a little pickle relish.