10 Things You Should Do Before The Mayan Apocalypse

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel meh...
Photo by Anthony Citrano (creative commons)

In case you missed it, there’s an Apocalypse out there, kids. And it’s coming up soon: December 21, 2012 is right around the corner.

Dammit, why does the Apocalypse always have to happen on a Friday? Stupid Gods, won’t even let me enjoy my stupid weekend… On Saturday I was gonna go into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

And when am I supposed to find the time to gather up my sackcloth and ashes for some proper mourning before this supposed end of the world? Thursday night? Don’t make me laugh — that’s when Glee is on!

To be fair, the Mayans gave nearly 4,000 years to get ready. Not sure why we procrastinated so long, but I guess it’s time to start cramming before the onslaught of fire and brimstone arrives.

Here are 10 things you should do before the Mayan Apocalypse:

1. Fall in Love

Fall in love
Photo by Toni Blay (creative commons)

That’s right, it’s time to take the plunge. Or if you’re already in love, then tell that person you love them. Either way, make sure that you express why you love that person, what they mean to you, and how they make you feel without skimping on the details. And it doesn’t have to be romantic love, it just has to be honest and direct.

Don’t hold back and don’t worry about looking foolish or cheesy, just be real — it’s the end of the frakkin’ world for chrissake! So take the chance to tell someone you love them before it’s too late.

2. Start That Great Novel

Start that great novel
Photo by CubaGallery (creative commons)

Yep, the time has come to write that book, compose that song, choreograph that dance, carve that sculpture, or make That Thing You Care About. You know, the one you’ve had rattling around in your head for the past few years. It doesn’t matter that you’ll only make it a little ways into your dream project. It only matters that you begin.

Creating something new and honest is its own reward. The simple act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, before the power goes out forever) will feel like a weight lifted off your shoulders. Better still, showing your work-in-progress to someone else could inspire them to start making their own dream a reality before armageddon.

3. Eat Like Royalty

Eat like royalty
Photo by visitnola (creative commons)

Don’t focus on volume, focus on quality and (especially) novelty. You’ve probably been ignoring the needs of your olfactory and gustatory senses for years in favor of food that’s cheap, hot, and is pre-disposed to being nuked.

So if it’s expensive, delicate, challenging to prepare, includes exotic ingredients, and you haven’t tried it before, then there’s no time like the present to immerse yourself in unique aromas and complex flavors. And if you end up not liking it, there’s always bacon. Or cheese. Or, you know, cupcakes.

Because no one will judge you for putting on a few pounds before Judgment Day. That’s between you and your God(s, or lack thereof).

4. Let Go of Your Fear

Let go of your fear
Photo by Andrew Mitchell (creative commons)

Be a daredevil and try something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too afraid to literally, actually do. Bungee-jumping? Snowboarding? Flipping a table over in rage and starting a bar brawl? The sky’s the limit, but the important thing here is that you experience something you’re passionate about. Frolicking naked in a field or even drunken karaoke works just fine.

5. Explore the World

Explore the world
Photo by Edgar Barany (creative commons)

Take a trip to a new city or, better yet, a new continent that you’ve never been to before. Pick up a few words of a new language and learn about the life and culture of some strange new place that’s only existed in some geography book you had to read in high school.

Whether your ultimate destination is the Montmartre neighborhood in Paris, the Himalayas of Nepal, the Kamchatka Peninsula of northeastern Russia (you remember that from Risk), or the surfing beaches of Australia and New Zealand, the journey itself and the people you meet along the way will change (what’s left of) your life forever.

6. Help Someone in Need

Help someone in need
Photo by David Woo (creative commons)

Even with the looming Apocalypse bearing down on our world, it’s still the holiday season, the best time of year to share with others and give back to your community. And there are lots of people who need your help.

So find a cause you believe in and don’t just donate your money, but also your time. Because in a world that’s about to meet its end, the gift of time is the most precious one you have left to give.

7. Say Thank You

Say thank you
Photo by Ilya Eric Lee (creative commons)

Give thanks to all the people who have helped you. Your parents and family, your friends and colleagues, your teachers and mentors, the people in your communities have helped make you who you are over the years.

Be forthright and transparent, helping them understand why you’re so grateful for the actions they took, the wisdom they shared, all the times they lent a hand (or held yours when you needed it). After all, without their help, you wouldn’t be the great guy/gal who’s reading this blog post right now.

8. Experience Art

Experience art
Photo by Fernando de Sousa (creative commons)

Whether it’s incredible graffiti, a symphonic orchestra or ballet performance, a mind-bending indie flick about homebrewed time travel, or even a unique piece of local, hand-made jewelry, the point is to soak up an experience that inspires you with its beauty or that challenges you to question your assumptions.

9. Commune with Nature

Commune with Nature
Photo by Dmitry.S. (creative commons)

Climb a tree in a local forest, hike deep into Antelope Canyon, get far away enough from the city’s light pollution to identify the Orion and Canis Major constellations, or even just putter around in a garden (your own, if you have one, but someone else’s will do in a pinch — and they’ll likely thank you for doing the weeding).

You’ll find that being outdoors reduces the stress and anxieties of society while offering time for reflection, introspection, and finding perspective on the people, things, and ideas that matter most.

10. Celebrate!

Photo by Trey Ratcliff (creative commons)

What Clarence said to George Bailey was absolutely right: you’ve really had a wonderful life. Even while parts of it were bad or didn’t turn out the way you wanted, there were also so many good times that demand celebration.

So get some folks together and cheer for all those good times you had with family, with friends, with strangers in public, with cats and dogs, with funny accidents, with singing along to the radio, with getting the words to a song wrong, with finding that one perfect outfit, with finding those lips that felt so right on yours, with road trips and bike rides and skating rinks, with laughing so hard that milk glurped out your nose, with the first night out on your own, with passing the exam you knew you’d fail, with the first time you drove a car over 70, with school being out for summer, with the things you’ve made from scratch, with the first paycheck you ever earned, with the concert where you sang so loud you lost your voice, with Her and Him and Us and Them, with the last handshake or hug from Someone who’s no longer here.

A Coda for the End of Time

Photo by JakeandLindsay Sherbert (creative commons)

If you’re not already doing these things, then it’s as if the Apocalypse has already happened.

If you feel like you’re too busy or too distracted or too overwhelmed to find time for the things that matter, then you’ve already experienced armageddon… you just don’t know it yet. And as the Apocalypse approaches, it would be a shame to spend the last few days of your life doing the exact same things that have already taken it away from you — and the ones you love.

It’s time to start living again. And in the event that the Mayan Apocalypse doesn’t happen, in the event that the world doesn’t go to Hell, in the event that your life doesn’t end… it can finally begin.

About Jonathon Colman

Jonathon Colman is a UX content strategist at Facebook, keynote speaker, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter @jcolman. Feel free to contact him directly.

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6 Responses to 10 Things You Should Do Before The Mayan Apocalypse

  1. Henley Wing says:

    Hmm.. falling in love sounds like a great idea! Hmm.. but what if I’m just in lust with someone? Should I just tell them I’m in lust? 🙂

  2. Marja says:

    Barb & I watched the bungee jumping together this morning & relived it. She also loooovvvveeed your wedding vows & reminded me how lucky I am. I told her that I’m reminded every day. 🙂

  3. Andre Van Kets says:

    Hi Jon – I love your take on the… queue over dramatic misic – DUM DUM DUM…. apocalypse. Which I’ve heard actually means ‘new beginners’ or ‘coming of a new era’. I’ll gladly welcome that 🙂

    Your 10 tips are spot on. I’m pretty pleased to say I’ve got plans to cover them all in the next week, although technically the first one I’ve already got covered 🙂

    And in other news – I’m going to be in Seattle this coming Monday – Wednesday (in the states for a wedding). Would love to meet up with you. I hope you’re around with some time to spare!

    Cheers – Andre

  4. Gyi says:

    Bring on Baktun 14!

  5. Ryan A. says:

    I told people that they should give me their life savings. I figured they wouldn’t be needing it after the world ended anyways 😉

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