I remember the moment on New Year’s morning in 2003 when I realized it had been 3 years since “Y2K.”
If you were born during the last two decades, you may not know what “Y2K” means – or why everyone was so apprehensive about midnight on December 31,1999. I don’t know very much about computer programming, but I understand that some computers weren’t set up to handle the new millennium. As a result, there was much speculation as to what would happen when the calendars in our computers had to change from 1999 to 2000. Some of the predictions were pretty dire – and others were just plain funny! That was over 18 years ago.
The reason I called this post “Time Comes in Three’s” is that when I think back to “Y2K” now, I realize that 18 is six 3’s . . . or as I sometimes think of it, “six rocks turning over.” However, since no one but my daughter, mother, brother, and husband will know what that means, I need to explain.
My mother (who will be 99 on her next birthday) has had a flat rock on her kitchen counter for as long as I can remember. On one side someone once painted “Please turn me over.” On the other side it says, “Thanks. That feels soooo good.”
When we moved to Brookings, Oregon in 1997, I started picking up rocks that had been worn flat and smooth by the surf at Sportshaven Beach. In 2003, when I realized that “Y2K” had come and gone and I hadn’t even noticed, I thought about my mom’s rock – and the ones I had been collecting at the beach. Where did those rocks come from – and how long had it taken for them to look like that? I remember wondering if anything had really changed in the three years since 2000, or was it just like a rock turning over? Maybe it had something to do with feeling good about the passage of time? Had it really been 3 years since Y2K? Had anything changed? Was I feeling good about it – or not?
I found a brick-red rock in my collection and wrote 2000 on one side of it and 2003 on the other. As easy as that. Then, wondering what the next 3 years would hold, I wrote 2003 on one side of a jade-green one, and 2006 on the other. That seemed like a long ways away – but was it really?
I now have seven rocks sitting on the windowsill in my office. Six rocks make it now 2018. The seventh on has 2018 written on one side – and 2021 on the other.
I began thinking about that rock because yesterday I found out that December 5, 2021 could very well be an important “punctuation mark” in my life – and that of my daughter’s. If I blink, those three years will be in the past.
I recently heard someone ask a question that has stuck in my mind: “What if the past is simply the time that would have gone by anyway?”
2018 will very soon be in the past – and I, for one, will be happy about that. Some memories, of course, are worth holding onto forever, and others, thankfully, will simply fade away and be forgotten.
2021 seems like a long way away, but when it arrives it will just feel like another rock has turned over. Thinking like that always brings me back to the present moment – and the choices I have right now. Every choice, every decision, will result in how I feel when that next rock turns over.
So now is the time to savor the present moment and choose the best thoughts I want to keep from the past. The future will take care of itself ….