by Charlie Phillips
I was looking for a file on the computer the other day and came across a journal I started back in 1999. Yes, I was one of those who got caught up in the Y2K frenzy. It was a great ploy by someone as it was a great boost to the economy; all those survival supplies and new software programs that were flying off the shelf!
In reading that journal now I realize how negative I was in my outlook of the world in those days. Was it Y2K or was it my general outlook on life. On reflection I believe I was just tired of the rat race and chasing the almighty dollar, although I don’t think I realized it at that time.
Leading up to the year 2000 I sold or gave away things that I figured I wouldn’t need after the disastrous calamity about to befall us. I moved out of a 3,200 square foot house into a 33 foot RV. Then I moved from the metropolis to rural Idaho. I had no job, no income and no prospect for either. As everybody knows, well there may be someone in a cave somewhere, there were no big disruptions and things went along as before except maybe for the stock market, which was headed down…maybe because we had bought everything before the non-event. Of course there were all of those dotcom companies. I heard someone suggest back then we should just start a company called comdotcom – people would have bought the stock just because of the name.
Upon reflection, I have to laugh at myself because I don’t think I ever really believed it. If I did believe it, why did I put my journal on the computer and not print it out? Really, wasn’t the world as we knew it suppose to come to an end? If this were true then my computer would not have been functional, would it? Now when I hear a forecast of doom and gloom, I look at it with a jaundiced eye and maybe even believe that it is a possibility – but I don’t let it rule my life. Last year I started marking the dates of catastrophes that were supposed to happen. It was a year-at-a-glance calendar. I would then mark, after that date had passed “NE” for “Non-Event.” (I had a lot of NEs up there!)
So here we are seven years after the fact and what is happening. I am still living in rural Idaho, I don’t have a steady job, income has been limited – but my outlook on life has turned completely around. When I look back – I haven’t missed very many meals, I have a roof over my head, and life is fantastic. Why the great change in my outlook? I don’t think I can point to any one thing. However, I stopped worrying about what the politicians are up to, that’s a lost cause in my opinion; they are bought and paid for and I can’t and don’t want to compete with big business. Maybe some will say I’m just looking at the world with rose-colored glasses. I don’t think that is the case at all. I’m still aware of the problems out there; I just choose to concentrate on the ones I can do something about. The main thing I can do is to change myself. I also have put my faith a little higher up the ladder than any politician. Call it God, The Universe, or a Higher Power – whatever works for you. If I can keep my outlook positive and joyful, it may rub off on someone else and as the synergy grows, that will change the way things are.
I can only speak for myself, but I think that is a heck of a lot more enjoyable than waiting around for the world to come to and end. That only feeds the fear and negativity in your life. I believe it’s time to focus on the positive. You can’t change the world until you change yourself. As the saying goes, you can’t love another until you can love yourself. If you have a negative outlook on life you’re going to have a hard time loving yourself, let alone anyone else.
And as far as Y2K, I believe I used it as an excuse to change my way of life. At the time I could not think of any other way to do it. Yes, Y2K changed my life – and I wake up everyday and thank God I got caught up in it!