2020 – it’s had a bad rap.
We’ve suffered nine months of tragedy and stress, while working to curb and conquer the global pandemic.
COVID has killed 1.7 million people, crippled economies and created environments defined by fear and isolation.
However, and to underline the obvious, it’s not the year’s fault.
It just happened and it just happened to happen this year.
Fingering 2020, as so many people do, is a bit like saying 1939 was responsible for the Second World War.
Crisis demands a villain. Makes it easier to get one’s head around a problem.
But blaming the calendar?
This would be a minor point if it wasn’t that people are looking to the new year as a promised land.
You hear it often. “Can’t wait for this year to be over…Can’t wait for 2021…It will be so great when 2020 is done.”
Methinks folks are setting themselves up for disappointment.
Earth is going to face the same challenges on Jan. 1 as it did on the last day in December and we ought to mentally prepare.
Illness, grief and disaster have no respect for astrology.
Fun time-measuring facts:
Primitive societies didn’t count years. They regarded a life as lasting so many harvests, for example.
Lunar calendars came first. The Egyptians concluded that each month – the time between new moons – was 29 and a half days. That made their year 354 days long. The resulting attempt at a solar calendar, comprised of 12 months, lost 11 days with each tour around the glowing orb in the sky. It’s like they were consulting an unreliable watch.
The Romans got closer when they decided a solar year was actually 365 days and six hours long. Julius Caesar started a brand new calendar on Jan. 1, 45 BC. He also created the Leap Year, adding one day to the calendar every four years, in February, to reconcile the solar timeline with 12 lunar months.
This is basically the calendar westerners use today. However, now we know the solar year is not exactly 365 days and six hours long, but rather 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds in duration.
That adds up to one day, every 130 years, completely unaccounted for.
As for weeks, according to HistoryWorld, they are made up – a completely human construct likely based on the commercial need for time off, underpinned afterwards with biblical texts.
The calendar cannot be trusted.
If you truly want 2021 to be a better year, stick to the government protocols about gatherings, masks and social distancing.
Zoom with your friends but celebrate the holidays in a tight bubble.
As a wise woman said, “We are all in this together.”
It’s just going to take time.