Oh, boy, here we go again! Another new year spotless and uncharted allowing us to look into the void hoping for good things to come for our family and friends.
Making good plans to fill that void is wise, but worrying about events or predictions we have no control over won't help.
Already there is talk about impending disaster.
The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, having charted the days for 5,125 years, supposedly has an end date of Dec. 21, 2012.
The debate is on, and, of course, it will engender great press building up to that date. Some think it means Earth's inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation with 2012 marking the beginning of a new era.
Doomsday sayers think it will be the end of the world or mark some great catastrophe.
In one of those scenarios there is fear of Earth's collision with a black hole.
According to the ever-faithful online guide Wikipedia.com, this isn't the first time thoughts such as these have surfaced.
It says, "Columbus believed that his discovery of 'most distant' lands (and, by extension, the Maya themselves) was prophesied and would bring about the Apocalypse. End-times fears were widespread during the early years of the Spanish Conquest as the result of popular astrological predictions in Europe of a second Great Flood for the year 1524."
It makes a pretty fascinating read, but in my opinion it isn't the time to build a bomb shelter just yet.
Remember 2000 and the fear of Y2K, the abbreviation for the expected software problem in 2000?
I was much younger then (seriously at 60 you still feel young, at 70 reality sets in) so perhaps my naivete can be excused.
Watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve 1999, I fully expected something awful would happen.
At the very least that the TV set would go dark. What a relief when 2000 came with the horns and whistles blowing and all was well with the world.
There were some computer concerns when the clocks rolled over, but either significant steps had been taken prior to year's end or the problem was overstated.
For most of us life rolled right along.
It was the next year, on Sept. 11, 2001, that disaster struck — something we couldn't foresee and certainly couldn't have predicted in our wildest dreams.
Just last year radio host Harold Camping "pulled our legs," stating May 21, 2011, would be the Rapture and Judgment Day.
He was even specific as to the time it would occur — 6 p.m. local time — proceeding from time zone to time zone.
That day passed without incident, so he gave another date of Oct. 21, which was also uneventful, leaving the 3 percent who he said were sure to be "Raptured" still standing on the Earth.
Then there is always Nostradamus, who can be counted on to have predicted almost any disaster, which unleashes emails attesting to his clairvoyance.
Well, not meaning to be cynical, perhaps some of the doomsday talk is good.
If nothing else, it could possibly scare us into getting some food storage.
So Happy New Year 2012! May it allow you to face your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and prepare for your future without fear.