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1950

1984

2000

2001

2005

2017

2020

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   These numbers have bewildered and puzzled me over the years.

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 For more you need to go through the DOOR.

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   This is a personal post, peculiar to me. And perhaps since I’m writing this on New Year’s Day (I occasionally plan ahead), it reflects some reflections of mine that will not matter–exactly–in the same way to any readers.

   Those numbers:

   1950 – This was the calendar date that just didn’t make sense because my whole life up to that point involved just “40′s.” The number didn’t look right. At midnight I lay in my Aunt Polly’s guest room bed on Dec. 31 at 11:58 PM (my parents and aunt and uncle had gone to a party), staring at the ceiling. I wondered how a “5″ replacing a “4″ would alter my world.

   1984 – Published in 1949 (though said to be written in 1948–leading to transposing calendar digits, another messing with calendar numbers), George Orwell wrote the classic Nineteen Eighty-four (though often sold as “1984“), a dystopic novel that takes place on Airstrip One (formerly Great Britain), a province in the superstate Oceania that was in a perpetual war, omnipresent surveillance, and public manipulation. Words that came from, or were popularized by, this work are “Big Brother,” “doublethink, and thoughtcrime. This book was pushed onto me in 1958 when I was in college. No problem, of course, “1984″ was too far off. It would never arrive…

   2000 – Back then in the 1900′s, this round number was just to ridiculous to consider.

   2001 – In 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s famous film gave us another date. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yeah, the times…they would be “a-changin’”

   2005 – The first day at my new university job, I was asked which retirement system I would choose, and how I wanted to allocate my retirement money since I would “probably retire in 2005.” Retire? really…! I hadn’t even started working! Besides, “2005″ was impossibly far away.

   2017 – Hey! I’ve been hanging around for a while! I’m certain that “1900′s” folk (even if they’re “1999ers”) will soon be considered old-timers. The real world of the 2000′s will look at the 1900′s as something from their fantasy past. And oh…as I look back, what have I learned during the past year? I think I’ve picked up a few more friends. How? I think because I listen more. People don’t have to, or pretend to, listen to me talk so much. I can jam many of my extra words into posts–like here–and folks don’t have to head for the exit when they see me coming. “What are you thinking about today, John?” “Oh, different stuff. Just check my website.”

   2020 – This has to be a joke. My vision in 3 years will leave me even farther behind that famous number.