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Just in case the world ends next week...

From 'Arlo   Janis' 12/10/12

From 'Arlo & Janis,' 12/10/12

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Updated: January 15, 2013 6:10AM

If the world ends with the Mayan calendar next week, this will be my last column and we all have precisely one week to accomplish everything on our collective bucket lists.

While few believe a cataclysmic event is imminent, I remember over 20 years ago when I first heard about the Mayan calendar, thinking that it was completely plausible — given the way we’ve abused the planet — that nature may will slough humanity off as a parasite by the end of 2012. Yet in spite of overpopulation, global warming, the oily mess a couple years ago on the Gulf Coast, and other catastrophes in the making, it seems unlikely the end will come next week.

Even so, I was curious about how people planned to spend this next week and how those plans might change if the world were ending. So I started asking. John Gaglione of Aurora wrote: “I have to work, go to my niece’s birthday party, and attend a political event. But if the world ends I won’t be doing any of that.”

Aurora pastor, Dan Haas, told me: “If I really knew the earth was to be hit by an asteroid and destroyed, I would want to be with the people that I love and have relationships with when the end arrived. I would gather my children, grandchildren and extended church family in the largest hall available. We would share a meal together and then spend time worshipping God, thanking Him for the life each of us has had and eagerly anticipating spending eternity with Him.”

This seems to be the sentiment of most — if life as we know it really were coming to an end, they wouldn’t be scrambling to do particular things, but simply enjoy the company of the people who mean the most to them.

I’m planning a quiet dinner with family to mark the Winter Solstice. On that longest night of the year, I will enjoy the colored lights brightening the season and be thrilled to have all of my children home.

Even if the sun rises as usual on the 22nd, I am painfully aware that each passing year brings changes to our lives. In ways both great and small, our lives are never quite the same from one year to the next, sometimes one week to the next. People pass from this life, children grow up, situations change. Pieces of our lives that we thought would last forever can suddenly alter or vanish. We should never take for granted the people we love, the fulfilling parts of our vocations, or the moments of joy we are given. Never pass up an opportunity to let those you care about know exactly how you feel.

Annie Craig voiced the interpretation of Dec. 21 that many have come to hope for by asking whether the Mayans were predicting “the end of the world as we know it or an Epiphany and the dawn of enlightenment?” It has been suggested that this date might be some sort of turning point for humanity that changes our world for the better. Annie added: “Regardless there will be a party at the Craig house. We’re gonna party like it’s well ... you know.”

Marissa Amoni suggested an appropriate event people may wish to attend on the 21st: The “apocalypse party” and opening reception for an art show at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water Street in Batavia, entitled Apocalypse: An Exploration of the End of Days. It runs from 7-10 p.m. If the world indeed does not end, the exhibit will run through Dec. 30. Details can be found at

However you spend this next week, I hope a sense of gratitude for the blessings in your life — whatever those may be right now — will guide you to make the most of your days.

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