If you look at where we are in the Gregorian calendar, we’re closing out year 2018. Nearly 20 years into the 21st Century—but not quite there yet. If time stopped now, we’d fall just short—366 days short.
In relation to the annual trip around the sun, that’s a bit over 100-per-cent short. But in relation to time, it’s a blip, a hiccup, a wisp.
Since we live in such a place where you must view things as half-full or half-empty and then be judged on why you feel that way and why you don’t feel the other way, I guess we could look at 366-days-short of two decades as almost there and be fine with that.
Of course, we could look at 366-days-short of two decades as almost there and feel a surge of disappointment.
What to make of this?
I feel it is our personal duty to find a middle ground in all things. Moderation, like the Good Book suggests. We must know our limits, test those limits, but use some good old-fashioned common sense along the way. We’re in search of middle ground.
Now, because we’ve had up to a certain point of mathematics shoved in our brains in order become “productive members of society,” I’m willing to bet that when I say middle ground you’re thinking dead-in-the-middle of point A and point B. That would be the mean, the average. Equal distance between A and B, showing no bias or preference towards one or the other. The very nature of a rule follower. The complete opposite of a rule breaker. Both equally apart in nature and in number.
Why do we think this? Because we’ve been programmed to do so. Because we are boring. Because we are lemmings. Because this does little to make waves. Because it allows us to go unnoticed, and thus, unchecked.
It makes December 31, 2018 pretty much January 1, 2019. But as simple mathematics shows, “point nine-nine” is not “one point zero.” In a general sense, pretty much is the status quo.
We’ve done this all throughout the history of time, and not to beleaguer the annals of history, but look at how Mentalfloss categorizes the generations from 1928 to now:
- The Silent (or Greatest) Generation—1928-1945
- Generation X—1965-1980
- Millenials: 1981-1996
- Post-Millenials: 1997-present
Most likely, half of you are offended by this. Not only because I’m assuming that half of you don’t agree with this, but because where we are in life, half of everyone is going to get offended anyway, so there’s that.
I was born in 1984, so that puts me in the Millenial position. I always thought I was a Generation-Y or Post Generation-X. I mean, I graduated high school without internet (mainly because my dad refused to pay for it, so we bounced around from free trial to free trial to beat the system). The first iPhone didn’t hit shelves until the month after I graduated college. How in the world do I fall in the generation noted for self centered ideals and a lack of attention span while being fully entitled to everything I want.
(I’ve officially blurred the lines of which generation I’m talking about. To be honest, anyone born from 1945 to now has been entitled, self centered, and poor at respecting elders.)
These lines have been blurred because it’s easier to generalize a time period the farther you are from it. I mean, think about the last ’70s party you attended and someone was dressed like a Greaser (hello, *1955).
So Close. So Far Away
We’re almost to that 2020 mark. Almost at the point where we can make Roaring 20s jokes and deconstruct Gatsby in a 21st Century world. We’re over 100 years beyond The Great War and slowly approaching a century after Hitler. But are we really so far removed from history and social bench marks to be naive enough to believe we shouldn’t keep striving?
I’m afraid to answer that question. I know what the answer should be, but I’m not so trusting in what the answer actually is.
True Middle Ground
Instead of finding ourselves in the dead center of hot and not, what if we sought that piece of land where we belong. I’m not doing a good job with pronouns here.
Why don’t you find a place between Points A and B where you fit in best, where you create the best whatever it is you create there is? This mentality negates all status quo, allowing for those who want to push boundaries to do so while also allowing those who want to rest easily to do so. Instead of having a world with only three categories (Crazy A, Middle people, Crazy B), we fill out the spectrum. It would free us up, if you think about it.
You’d be free to do what you want. You’d be free to digest what you want to digest. You’d be free from the expectations of others that simply don’t matter (but because you live that Instagram Life, you’re suckered into believing you have to be about that life…slavery, I tell you).
By 2020, I bet you could find where you belong, or at least where you can smile at the face in the mirror.
Dad, Are We There Yet?
One more year. We’re almost there. The glass is almost full. But it’s not full yet. This decade’s obit hasn’t been written yet! If the end of 2017 proves anything, it’s that in one year, we’ll be having this same conversation. We can improve. We can do better. We can plan. We can execute. But will we?
I have a lot I want to do this year. I want to look into certain topics that are centralized in Mississippi but reflect globally. Topics like forgiveness, determination, self-image, truth. Things like that.
So like I’ve told my kids, enjoy today. There will never be another New Year’s Eve, 2018 in the history of the world. Each day is unique.
Do not define yourself by your accomplishments or failures of the past.
Do not define yourself by the potentials of the future.
I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year’s. Sit back and enjoy the ride. We’re not there yet.