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What if History got it correct?

January 29, 2012

I spent three hours last Sunday afternoon glued to The History Channel which carried non-stop accounts of the demise of the world. Did you see it?
It was fascinating, troubling and probably totally off base. But the series discussed the prophecies of Nostradamus, Leonardo da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton who centuries ago charted the end of the world as we know it.
Through some complicated and vague formulas, the year 2012 keeps popping up as a pivotal year for our planet. Apparently, on Dec. 21, the planets will line up in a way like never before.
The line-up could mess with intricate balance of the universe and cause the earth to turn on its axis.  The polar reversal could produce a cataclysmic episode which will sling some of us off into space, leaving only a handful of folks to repopulate what is left of the planet. 
Someone has actually begun a seed bank near the North Pole so the survivors can replant and feed themselves. Madagascar was mentioned as the safest place to be.
Looking for inner peace, I went to Sunday evening services at my church. Guess what the pastor’s topic was. You got it – the end times and why we need to get right with our maker. 
When I got home I turned on the television, and guess what movie was playing? You got it — “2012,” an alarming, albeit cheesy, depiction of the destruction of the planet. By then I was chewing nails. To distract myself I went to the store and bought a big bag of Snickers. What’s the point of eating healthy if I’m not going to be around to enjoy getting back into my skinny jeans?
I called my son to commiserate, and he scoffed.  He’s a world class scoffer.
“Mother, the History Channel is notorious for this kind of yellow journalism,” he said. “Didn’t you notice that all the so-called authorities have Ph.Ds in the study of cowlicks at the University of Possum Trot, Alabama?” Hmm. He had me there.
Let’s face it, doom sells. Nevertheless, I have decided to put a positive spin on all this prognostication and live whatever time is left as a kinder, gentler person. I will stop being offended by politicians, the aging process and my neighbor who always leaves his trash cans on the street. 
I will do all the things I’ve wanted to do but put off until some nebulous date in the future. That includes wearing my pajamas all day at least once a week.  And I’m going to start using the good towels.
In the end, it’s about family and friends we care about and setting old grudges aside — that, as well as spending less time worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow. Hopefully, we all have enough time to come to peace with God, ourselves and the people we love. And I think that’s a resolution worth making regardless of the future.
Oh, and I’ve booked a trip to Madagascar in December.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at

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