“All is quiet on New Year’s Day/A world in white gets underway/And I want to be with you/Be with you night and day/Nothing changes on New Year’s Day”
"New Year’s Day" – U2
Take a beep breath. OK, now hold it… hold it… a little bit longer, just a little bit longer – can’t hold it anymore? Just a little bit longer.
OK, exhale. Heart racing a little? Eyes glazing over just a touch? I heard or read somewhere that it takes just three seconds for your brain and eyes to start to become oxygen deprived.
Anyway, those few seconds you held your breath, waiting to exhale, that’s what this last decade has felt like to me – waiting to exhale.
Let me start by saying I for one am glad this decade is about to be in the history books. I consider myself a novice history buff and I’ve a strong feeling this decade is going to go down as one of the worst of the modern times. I mean really, Hollywood couldn’t have written this script.
First we had the election of George W. Bush (for those on the left, queue “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” from Star Wars); the horrific events of September 11, 2001; a near decade of war; one of the worst economic downturns since the depression; markets on the edge of collapse; banks across the nation going down in infernos of interest rates and bad mortgages; tsunamis wiping out thousands; devastating earthquakes; hurricanes decimating once-proud, thriving metropolises; the election of Barack Obama (for those on the right, queue “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” from Star Wars). And just to make sure we go with an exclamation point, a terrorist tries to take down a plane headed for Detroit (yeah, because Detroit doesn’t have it bad enough) on Christmas Day, and the tree of revolution seems to be taking seed in Iran – this one isn’t a bad thing but does add to the overall sense of tumult of the decade.
And I’m certain I’ve forgotten something – oh yeah, Battlefield Earth and Pluto Nash. See, I told you Hollywood couldn’t write this script, even with the Mayans’ help.
Remember back in 1999 when we flipped the clock into a new century? We were all so darned worried about what we were going to call this decade and someone somewhere decided upon the “aughts” but I think history will rename this decade as the "Decade of Aggression" or the "Tumultuous Ten" or something equally disturbing. Bottom line: Goodbye aughts, or zeros, or “00” or whatever you want to call yourself; just pack your bags and get out. You overstayed your welcome, drank the liquor cabinet dry, cleaned out the refrigerator and left a freaking mess for the rest of us to clean up. Thank you very much; I hope someone kept the receipt.
So, exhale. Nothing really changes on New Year's Day – most resolutions are broken by the second week of the month. I want to try and quit smoking, maybe drop a few pounds from the waistline – might happen, might not. But maybe, just maybe, as fast and as furious as this decade came in, wreaking havoc for so many, maybe a new day really can dawn. I don’t know – but whatever the case, I’ll be over in the corner lighting a candle for eternal optimism. What are you going to do?