December 1999
Carmen Colombo

So this is the last December of this millenium. Are you used to it yet? In a few days, we'll be writing 2000 in our letters, documents and agendas. Fear not, it's just a number.

In a few days, all the doomsday prophets will be quiet, and will start looking for yet another ominous date when the world will end. In a few days, Robert Lavelle, a man who has been counting down my months left to live by email for the past two years, will stop bothering me, when he realizes that on January 2nd, 2000, the world is still spinning in its usual way. In a few days, we'll watch the world go crazy as we welcome a new era that doesn't officially start for another year.

This may sound funny to you, but every time I think of this quantum leap we're about to take, I think of Mozart. I read several books about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when I was writing a paper about him several years ago, and of all the amazing things that he did, the one item that stuck in my mind was the following: Even though he had several years to go before the turn of the century, he filled in the dates in his journal with those of the next century, well before its time. To me, this indicates a sense of trust and hope in life. Amadeus, in his wildest dreams, could not have imagined that he would not live to celebrate his 36th birthday, never mind the next century, which was still years away when he died. He had hope.

How do you feel? Do you feel hopeful? Or do you believe all those who want to scare you? Do you understand that no one, not one of us, knows when the world will end? The world ends every day for those who die, and starts every day for those who are born. That much is true. All the rest is speculation. The year 2000 will come and go, and next year at this time, we'll celebrate again as we officially enter the new millenium.

For now, let's move on to what's up in December. For one thing, everyone is in holiday mode. However, there are a few things that we need to take care of before the end of the year. I'm no expert, but here are a few things that come to mind:

There are too many holidays to list them all without missing anyone, so I'll just simply say Happy Holidays. Be cheerful and hopeful, and life will take care of the rest. Get your best attire ready and "party like it's 1999"! After years of hearing that great song, it's really here! Enjoy!

Wishing only well,

Carmen Colombo