2012, what a year it is!

I love new year! There’s freshness and renewal wafting through the air. Before us lie opportunities for second chances, particularly if you are anything like the procrastinator I am. And 2012 is shaping up to be quite a year;  a year to do things a little better than last, a year to be a little less cocky and self-assured, and a little more generous and open-hearted.  We have opportunities to squander or to make the most of -and I wish you much more of the latter than the former! 2012 will admittedly look different for each of us depending upon our life circumstances and, even more importantly, our expectations. What’s in store for all of us in 2012? Here are some general highlights. Fill in the spaces with your own:

1. 2012 is a leap year on our Gregorian  calendar. You can catch up on a lot of stuff on February 29th. It lands on a Wednesday.

2. The United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, as in people working together for socio-economic development worldwide. It is also the ‘International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.’ A salute to them all.

3. The great Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, creator of The Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations, among many others, turns 200 this year, on February 7 to be exact. Why not celebrate his bicentennial by reading one of his grand, engrossing tales borrowed from the Library? Dickens “believed that enriching people’s life with knowledge and enjoyment of the arts was key to building a fair society and creating opportunities.”

4. 2012 is the Chinese ‘Year of the Dragon’! People born under this sign apparently are doers, wise, powerful and special. They also have a soft underbelly: “They may get angry at someone who annoys them but they also show great compassion to people in need.” Okay, that’s good to know.

5. 2012 brings us the centennial of that great nautical and human tragedy, the Titanic sinking of April 15, 1912. Read about it on the Titanic Historical Society’s website here.

6. This summer, be prepared for the thrills and spills of the Olympic Games being held in London, England. London also hosted the Games in 1908 and 1948. The fun begins July 27. Go Canada go!

7. Learn about, but do not be alarmed about, the end of the last Mayan calendar cycle on December 21, 2012.

8. Safely observe the last Transit of Venus of your lifetime, and this century, on June 6.  Wikipedia says: “A transit of Venus across the sun takes place when the planet of Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against the solar disk.”

9. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, and its incredible rover Curiosity, is scheduled to land near the equator of Mars on August 6. Organizers are calling the landing “six minutes of terror.” They hope to find evidence of conditions that were conducive to life in the planet’s distant past.

10. This marks the celebration of 200 years of peace between us and our noisy yet often friendly neighbours to the South. Believe it or not, The War of 1812 has  a bicentennial scheduled. Who knew?

11. Movies to watch for next year? Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ debuts on December 14. Other notables coming out include ‘Les Miserables’ (December 7), ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (July 20), Pixar’s ‘Brave’ (June 22), Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ (June 8), and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ (December).

Of course there will be many more highlights, personal and societal, that we’ll experience in 2012. May it be a happy and meaningful year for you! What are you looking forward to in 2012?


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