The Real Lesson of 12/12/12

Today is 12/12/12.

You’re probably aware if you’re anywhere near social media.

You may find it a curious footnote.

You may find it cause for confetti and fire-ponies.

You may find it signals for you some kind of… ill-translated Apocalypse.

You may find it demands a cynical dismissive shaking-of-the-fist.

Here’s what I’m taking away from 12/12/12 —

This is the last time that we’ll experience a date like that. The same number repeated thrice.

That, in and of itself, matters not at all. Not one squiggly whit. Nary a blip on the cosmic radar.

What it reminds me, though, is that all of time operates like this. You and I will never experience 12/12/12 again. And we’ll also never experience 12/11/12 again. Or the 10th of November, 2012. Or the 23rd of April, 1999. In fact, this very hour — this very minute — will come and then go and never return. Each increment of time is a spaceship launched into the dark that will never return home. Every moment is a snowflake, a fingerprint, a unique atomic temporal signature whose repeat is guaranteed to be impossible.

What will you do with 12/12/12?

What will you do with this hour?

This minute?

This second?

How will you own each moment of time? How will your fingerprint meet its fingerprint?

How will you remember each day when its ember brightens and turns to ash?

Do something with your time. Because it ain’t coming back.

18 responses to “The Real Lesson of 12/12/12”

  1. the measurement of time, like many things, is a human construct. how we appreciate each moment of it is up to us, as individuals. i choose to live in the “now,” but societal pressures sure makes that a hard thing to do!

    excellent post, Mr. Dubbs. excellent post.

  2. I had the somewhat sobering realization the other day that, if I’m lucky enough to live to twice my current age of 41, I have slightly more than 2100 weeks remaining to live.

    My father died at 43. If I follow him exactly, I have fewer than 104 weeks to live.

    Well, fuck me.

    Think I’ll go say hi to the kids.

  3. I try to make every day count in some positive way. It sounds Pollyannaish and lacking angst, but I had four siblings die before they reached thirteen, and saw my parents struggle to continue with life. I grew up with a boatload of angst.

    AKA Darlene Underdahl (

  4. We celebrated 12/12/12 at work today by wishing our colleague a happy 21st birthday.

    Though I kept spoiling things by insisting on inserting the “20” into the year (12/12/2012) – but since I’ve been reading & writing historical fiction recently I need to know which century I should be thinking in!

  5. I could list endless quotes – instead I choose to direct you to the movie that I was intending to quote from:
    Stranger than fiction

    Absolutely no mention of Mayan dates, just the idea of the absolution that is death.

    As for life, “Go make it the one you’ve always wanted.” :Jules Hilbert

  6. I don’t get this ‘this is the last time we’ll experience this’ – the next time is January 1st, 2101 – a mere 88 years and half a month away. Well within reach of many currently living human beings, and with medical advances in the coming 80 years, quite possibly well within reach of even those approaching middle age…

    • @CallMePagliacci —

      No, not technically — 12/12/2012 is a one and done affair.

      Sure, 12/12/12 will be again.

      …but we won’t be around for it. I mean, MAYBE children born very recently might, but you and I? Nope.

      — c.

  7. Sir – a couple of days ago (while slightly under the influence of alcohol) I left several comments re my inability to buy a pdf or two. I then got the ‘Buy Now’ link through one of the posts on this (excellent) site. Unfortunately – and it’s probably my fault: I used one email address for comments, but my PayPal account is registered under another – I am yet to receive anything. Would it be possible to send me a copy of Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey? Thanks!

  8. I will find the secret to immortality— the secret how to replace and cell, be it heart, brain, etc. I will be immortal and live through 12/12/12 many times.

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