February of 1993…
or… Happy New Year 2014


I have this theory.

Well… theory may really be a bit too strong of a title for it.

It sure seemed like a theory all those years ago… more than twenty years ago… more than two decades ago… back when sleep seemed like both an option (when staying up around the clock was still fun and thrilling and at times necessary to fit everything into a day) and a blessing (holding so strongly and tightly to the belief that no one should be awake before 10am).

These days, perhaps guideline would be better description… a bit extreme still… perhaps funny little thought would be more appropriate.

Anyway. Here goes…

The day only changes when you go to sleep.

Let me pause for a second while you consider that…

The day only changes when you go to sleep.

Initially it seemed like a terrific observation. It was a fantastic concept. It was -- let’s face it… to the brilliant mind, awake at 4am and settling in from work with a Nintendo controller in my hands and a Labrador asleep on the couch -- a brilliant theory. Inarguable in its sensibility and meaning.

It came from the chaos of college (where things like last minute efforts on papers or studying for exams often lasted well beyond reasonable hours into sunrise moments).

It evolved while doing things with friends, and coming home from the first real full-time job, and so many other things that create a common foundation for each and every one of us, even when the circumstances and stories aren’t all that common.

If you were awake on Thursday… and by the calendar definition we’ve past midnight to move along into Friday… and you’re still awake? Then it’s still Thursday.

It just doesn’t feel like Friday until you’ve closed the book on Thursday… ended the activities… gone to sleep and woken up.

The February of 1993 date for the concept comes from a transition in my life. At the time I was working two jobs and attending school. Considering one of the jobs was more than 45-minutes from my house and the classes had lab sessions involved, it was quite an experience. Ever work a double-shift? I was working triples and quads… tying three or four work shifts together with commuter time, classes, studying, and so on… and often I’d go roughly three days existing only on a nap or two when I could find thirty minutes to an hour open.

We’ve all heard the crazy and clichéd questions or thoughts people use in the attempt to make conversation…

“They keeping you busy?”

“Nice day.”

And, of course, the popular…

“Can you believe…”

And by that, I mean you can fill in the blank…

“Can you believe Christmas is almost here?”

“Can you believe the girls are almost teenagers now?”

“Can you believe the year is over already?”

In response to these things, the conversation usually moves into ideas about how time flies. Especially when you get older, and lose so many of the landmarks of measurement along the way… such as a school calendar that featured vacations, moving on to a new grade, and ultimately toward graduations.

In February of 1993, my running joke of a response to those crazy questions became: “I still don’t know what happened to February of 1993.” And it’s a response that got a little funnier, a little stranger, and perhaps even became a bit more of a novelty as the years have passed.

Those that know me well, and recall 1993, remember how batty things were back then.

Those that don’t remember my 1993 often just nod in some vague sense of agreement and laugh.

The idea eventually reaches a small commonality of understanding.

The years fly by.

As 2014 begins, I find myself wondering what happened to August, September, October… basically the last five months of 2013.

A whirlwind of events and challenges were presented, and in responding so many plans were moved and adjusted or simply put to the side.

That theory… of Friday not turning to Saturday until at least a nap had become involved… seemed to work wonders and offer so many options. Heck, there was even an extreme corollary to the theory. It was based on the idea that if you managed to stay awake throughout an entire day, effectively we were no longer talking about turning the page on a calendar so much as being a full day behind the world once sleep did arrive.

It used to take three or four storms before I became tired of shoveling snow. When that moment happened… usually early February… I would be truly fed up. To the point that if only an inch of snow had covered the ground, and I knew no one was coming to my door, I just left it for the sun to address.

Perhaps three or four years ago, it no longer took multiple storms and the frustration was evident by early January.

And this year? Well -- I could let you in on the story of the snow blower… excuse me, snow thrower -- but the reality is simple. I was fed up with snow before it even snowed.

Is this why people move to Florida?

I don’t know. (Not yet.)

What I can tell you is this December it sure seemed like the snow and ice from last winter had never fully cycled through a spring, summer and fall before they reappeared.

What I can tell you is that 2014 has arrived and I’m not sure I was ready, on the starting line, and prepared to hit it in stride as it began.

What I can tell you is that while I still have no clue what happened to February of 1993, I’m finding that my memories and grasp of thoughts no longer seem associated with long term concepts. I don’t like snow now… there is a good chance March of 2014 will arrive before I can manage to accomplish anything in February of 2014.

Of course, it’s also possible I simply need a vacation… or at least a nap.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com