CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- New Year's Day is my favorite holiday -- 365 brand-new days, 12 delicious months, 52 amazing weeks. It's the ultimate new beginning. The chance to take lessons learned from last year and put them into effect. OK, I'm strapping myself in.
In addition to being a new year, 2012 has the special distinction of having prophecies surround it. You've probably heard that the Mayan calendar ends in December -- Dec. 21 to be exact. Whatever that portends is unknown. The planets also will be aligned during that time in a configuration they've not had for 26,000 years. Whether this is of significance is also unknown.
There are many theories and predictions, though -- everything from a cataclysmic event to the end of the world. One prophecy foretells that "the light and dark forces will fight until then, and then the light forces will win out." And History Channel just ran "Armageddon Week." Yikes!
Prophecies are kind of like statistics -- elements involved in them can be interpreted to show "proof" of a certain theory. It might be a hidden message in the Egyptian pyramids or an interpretation of an ancient hieroglyphic. Maybe it's a passage from the Bible, the Torah or the Quran. A teaching from Gandhi or Buddha -- or a quatrain from Nostradamus.
Curiosity-seekers abound among us. And our nation was born out of faith-based pioneers. Sometimes these forces align, and sometimes they conflict. We've sure seen a lot of turmoil, strife, natural disasters and political unrest in the past several years. Is this all leading up to something, or have these occurrences always taken place -- and we're just noticing them more in the 24-hour news cycles?
Whatever does or does not happen on a global level in 2012 remains to be seen. All the more reason, in my mind, to live life fully as we go along. (Note to self: Remember, that's how you named this column -- to remind you that this is not a dress rehearsal).
So, how will you be living your life these next 364 days? And I don't mean how many resolutions you have or how many goals you want to achieve. That's the way I would have looked at things in the past. Now I'm focusing more on the journey than the destination.