So, the Mayans were wrong. We’re still here. No escaping all those unpaid bills, looming deadlines, promises you made that you wish you hadn’t, closets to excavate, thank-you notes to write (does anyone still do this?), books you were going to read by the end of 2012, dirty laundry, December re-runs, Washington gridlock.
For those survivalists who paid $20-million for an armageddon-proof ark, I hope they rethink their investment strategy. Doomsday is big business, and they’ll probably find another apocalypse to pin their hopes on. But think of all the good that could have been done with that money to make life on Earth more livable.
Ridiculous as the 12-21-12 deadline for life-as-we-know-it seemed, however, I have to admit that a little part of me wondered . . . what if? I didn’t do anything differently. I didn’t stop making appointments for January or not bother to plan menus for the week or call my daughters to say how much I love them in case we never saw each other again.
But I did imagine, if only for a few minutes, how I would fare if there were some kind of earth-shattering disaster. One of the ways I drive myself crazy in morbid moments.
As always, when my mind travels down this rabbit hole, I concluded that I would not fare well. Chances are I’d get an infection in my fingers that would do me in without antibiotics. Or I’d fall behind and collapse in any escape or mass exodus that required strenuous physical exertion. No way to stock up on enough bandages and medications to last me five years in an underground, waterproof bunker. Which I guess is okay, because we couldn’t afford one to begin with.
Really, who would want to survive an apocalypse, anyway? The only people left would be the crazy ones with enough money and guns to hole up in a multi-million-dollar ark or a renovated missile silo out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I don’t want to go there.
No, I’d rather be right here, with all the messiness of daily life. The Mayan Apocalypse was just another distraction, a way to avoid the mess. But that’s what we’re stuck with.
Healthy or not, wealthy or not, we’re all vulnerable as soon as we leave the womb. Facing each day, sticking with it despite all the struggles and risks and disappointments and losses takes courage and fortitude and faith. You can sequester yourself in an ark of your own making. But the only way really to survive—and thrive—is to dive in and swim.
Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at livingwithscleroderma.com.