2024. It’s Monday morning. So what?! Yesterday was 2023. So what?!
Nobody asked me whether I was ready for 2024. I didn’t have time to finish up everything in 2023. How did 2023 go by so fast considering how bad it was? It went by so fast I didn’t have time to completely assess it? Not even all the Christmas gifts we ordered from Amazon have arrived yet. Undone 2023 projects remain on the drawing board. I will be writing 2023 on the next two dozen checks I write. Thinking like that is the way I have started off the New Year.
If you overthink everything like I do, you can’t help but wonder why a year shouldn’t be longer. I can’t get everything done in 365 days. When did we start reckoning that 30 or so days would be a month and 365 a year? Maybe we should vote on it.
This reckoning of a year has fascinated me since I was old enough to think (though some may doubt that has ever happened). Historians of time and anthropologists and astrologists seem to agree on the history, with some variations.
Some time historians say that the reckoning of time by developing a calendar began around 5,000 B.C., though some think maybe as early as 9,000 B.C. The ancient Egyptians had a 365-day calendar as early as 3,000 B.C. Earlier than that, the ancient Mayans had both a 365-day calendar and a 360-day calendar. The Fourth Century Zoroastrians developed a 365-day calendar. The very first Roman calendar had 10 months rather than 12, but I don’t remember what the day count was.
Maybe I’m nuts, but I think a year should be longer. I mean, what can you do within the time-confines of one year? It takes at least four years to earn a Bachelor’s degree from college (with some exceptions). It normally takes two years to get an Associate of Arts degree. Earning an MD takes anywhere from eight to fourteen years, and becoming a dentist requires 7 or 8 years.
To become a police officer in Texas requires at least two years of study and training, just as it takes two years to qualify as an LVN. To become a certified electrician, you have to have 4,000 hours of experience which takes at least two years.
When I look at requirements like that, I can’t help but think maybe a year should be at least 730 days long. At least in that length of time I might have all my projects finished by the New Year! It’s good that in Eternity, we won’t have to worry about time!
I’m just not ready for 2024.
Ray Spitzenberger is a retired WCJC teacher, a retired LCMS pastor, and author of three books, It Must Be the Noodles, Open Prairies, and Tanka Schoen.