A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Melissa Martin: Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock — looking back so we can look forward to do more, be more

So long 2018 — Hello 2019.

Another year (2018) has departed — 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days have ticked away. The residue of events, happenings, and goings-on of 2018 dwell in newspapers, history books, human memories—and in the bowels of computer hard drives, cell phones, and other techno devices. More time has passed — 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,536,000 seconds have ticked away.

Sunrises and sunsets. The earth, sun, and moon work together. Gravity fastens our feet to the ground. Ocean waves roll on. Mother Nature speaks. Father Time turns the hourglass over.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The former year has come to an end.

The media looks back on each previous year to tell the top stories on planet earth: political scandals, natural disasters, war accounts, murder and mayhem, tragic accidents, medical miracles. Stories of humanity helping or hurting humanity. Stories of love and stories of hate. Stories of freedom and stories of oppression. Stories of life and stories of death. International stories. National stories. And local stories.
 
The world looks back at award-winning films. Along with celebrity marriages and divorces. Celebrity births and deaths. Celebrity gossip.

Melissa Martin

People look back at trophies, plaques, medals, honors, prizes, and awards. Mementos of excelling and winning. Hard work and teamwork. We look back at academics, sports, arts, music. We store up memories as stories are written into our brains.

We look back so we can look forward. “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday,” surmised Pearl Buck.

2018 is no more. We read newspapers in our communities; watch the evening news, and scan headlines via the internet. We talk and text recollections. We reminisce with laughter or tears.

Sometimes we look back with regrets and long for reconciliations. 2019 can be a second chance to seek forgiveness. 2019 can be an opportunity to end relationships and begin relationships. 2019 can be a turning point.

Pour another cup of coffee. Find a quiet place. Reflect upon 2018. What would you change? What would you not change? Make friends with a change in the new year.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. The new year is here.

In 2019, every person will become a year older between January and December. More births, graduations, marriages, retirements, and deaths will occur. Life is a living creature. 

“Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both,” proclaimed C. Wright Mills.

Are you welcoming or dreading 2019? Or both? We’ll make resolutions, goals, and plans. We’ll make easy decisions and difficult decisions in 2019. Some things will stay the same. Some things will change. Change is scary and necessary.

What are some of my New Year’s resolutions for 2019? Read more books. Wear yoga pants more. And learn how to use a chainsaw.

Happy 2019 to all!

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist and educator. She lives in Ohio.

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