Mayan CalendarThe New Year is a time for change, heck, life itself is change… when are you not changing something? You change your grocery list because berries, corn and avocados aren’t available or at their best. You change your hair colour to something a little darker to correspond to the change in seasons. You change your summer tires to winter tires. You register for a fitness class or meditation group to transform yourself. And I’m sure most wives and husbands alike can agree that when you’re not changing or improving yourself you’re trying to change someone else because leaving the toilet seat up is non excusable and honey you need to be more spontaneous. Change is inevitable… and some changes were predicted years ago, take the changes predicted by the Maya for example.   

I’m not a conspiracy theorist nor am I an expert in Mayan culture or history, however, I couldn’t help but get a little nervous and caught up in the chatter on the 2012, December 21st phenomena as talk of the end of the world made major headlines. In the few weeks preceding my winter holidays I pretty much heard it all- from a Chinese man building an arc to save him from the end of the world flood, to a Columbian’s 20 inch thick walled, copper coated bunker. Clearly, different people had various ways to prepare for the apocalypse, including cashing in on the few moments left as some GM dealers advertised  “End of the world Clearance Event” signage along with a doomsday clock.  

If you’re reading this you probably survived and are as curious as I am to what this was all about anyhow…

According to the experts, December 2012 marked the conclusion of a time period in the Maya calendar called the b’ak’tun.

This day has been interpreted by many to mean various dramatic changes or transitions would take place on earth and to its inhabitants, including a)  positive physical or spiritual transformation marking the beginning of a new era, b) End of the world or some sort of catastrophe, c)  interaction between Earth and the black hole or d) a collision with a planet called Nibiru.

If this was a multiple choice test, I’d choose answer a), not because I have any clue on its accuracy but because the other possibilities scare the bagheebas out of me.

Many Mayanists may tell me not to worry and that I can stop housing a 2 year supply of Solefrutta marmelades and Fabrizia Funghi antipasto jars. While there has been an apparent “world ages” account in Maya literature, some insist that the record has been distorted. The Maya blocked chunks of time as cycles, and so while December 21st may have meant the end of a cycle, it was a time meant for celebration as a new cycle began. According to E. Wyllys Andrews V, director of the Tulane University Middle American Research Institute, we keep looking for endings while the Maya were looking for a guarantee that nothing would change. If this analysis is correct, all this 1900 century fear about the world ending rooted from a Maya fear of change… 

While the end of the world or anything similar is a scary thought, if we go on continuously thinking about our end we’ll never have time to live…I say, go out there and embrace change! Or like Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project says “sing in the morning, clean your closets, fight right, read Aristotle and generally have more fun!”

This blog was written by Elis Halenko.

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