Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020 Vision

Years ago, when I was in my teens and early twenties, I used to muse on the upcoming new millennium, thinking that, if all went well, I would be able to see in the year 2000. I would, however, be an old man by then—45!—and the date was so, so far away that it didn’t warrant thinking about.

It did give me hope, however, and the knowledge that, by year 2000, we would have hoverboards, and we would have well and truly conquered outer space, as well as inner space:

I couldn't wait to get my hands on one of these, 
even though I would be too old to use it.

I never watched this program, I just knew that, by 1999, we'd be all over outer space.

As I recall, this show, which I did watch religiously, was set well 
into the future--1973!!
Then, some years later, when 45 looked a little less old and I was working in IT, the new millennium loomed large, waiting in the frighteningly near future, ready to end the world as we knew it by unleashing the Millennium Bug. It never happened, of course, and I and my techie friends entered the brand spanking new twenty-first century with a sigh of relief, an optimistic glance into the future and no small amount of champagne.

As well as some disappointment. I mean, where is my hoverboard?

But, hoverboard or no, here we are entering the third decade of that new century.

How the genuine fuck did that happen?

It’s strange to think that the switch from 19__ to 20__ on my checks (remember those?), which I had watched coming closer with a mixture of wonder, dread and optimism, turned out to the most tumultuous time of my life. Over a span of only 14 months, I escaped from She Who Must Not Be Named, met and married a woman from the UK and ended up settling there. It was a magic time that seemed—both at the time and in looking back—like a dream.

But all of that was nearly twenty years ago and now life is just life. We both worked and saved and did some traveling and then retired and now I look back on 45 with wistful longing and cling to the notion that—according to the World Health Organization—middle age doesn’t start until your 66th birthday.

I started the 2000s working in IT in the US, I started the 2010s working in IT in the UK, and now I start the 2020s not working at all but, happily, busier than I ever remember being, with new challenges and opportunities arising, it seems, every day. Even so, we won’t ring in the new decade with any more fanfare than we usually give the New Year. It will be snacks and some fizz while we watch the telly and keep looking at the clock, willing midnight to arrive so we can finally go to bed.

And so, as 2020 arrives (which is has by the time I post this) let us look forward to the New Roaring 20s with some optimism, and a resolution to help not make it the quite the hot mess that 2019 was.


Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a great New Decade.