Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, December 26, 2022
So in case you may have missed it, today is the day after that day, Dec. 25, that everyone knows as The Day. And I hope you had a great day.
But every day is also a day after. And so I got to thinking about other after days.
The day after you get married.
The day after your first child is born.
The day after a venture capitalist funds your company.
The day after you buy your first house.
The day after you get your first job.
The day after you get fired from that job.
The day after you catch your first fish.
The day after you buy your first car.
The day after you get a speeding ticket and are lucky you didn’t get killed.
The day after you graduated.
The day after you spend your first night in jail.
The day after you had your first kiss.
The day after you danced until dawn.
You get it. Life is a series of days. And if you are alive, you get the day after.
And the wonder of each day — especially at this time of year with family and friends and hopes and dreams and possibilities — is that each of those days is also the day after some other day, and that day is also the day before. We are told to live each day as if it were our last. But what if each day were the day before our last. How would you live that one?
For the last column of the year there will be no recounting or remembering of a 12-month history. I will leave that to others. Why should I ask you to relive death, guns, the midterms, the madness, the war, the market, the housing or lack thereof, the homeless, the local political hacks who buy and sell favors, our year of living dangerously and often stupidly — enough said.
It has been another one of those years. And unfortunately, it seems that we do the same things over and over again — hoping for a different outcome? And you know the definition of that.
For me, my year will end as it started with enormous gratitude. As your days after become shorter, you are more energized about making the most of the day before. You can never go wrong quoting old Romans, in this case the poet Horace, 2,000 years ago, who was the first to write “carpe diem” — seize the day. I am gently suggesting that since none of us can truly see the future, then for this next year, I am going all in on the day before.
And now to an idea that I am going to implement in 2023.
I want to engage my readers in an effort to better listen to what is on your minds. To that end, please email me at [email protected]. In the subject line, please write My Thoughts, so I know it is not spam. In the email, also please include your name and cellphone number and up to 250 words on any topic.
Have at it. Nothing is off-limits. I will not respond to all of them. But I will pick a couple of offerings each week or so to call back and have a discussion either by phone or email. A pattern might emerge and it will make our dialogue each Monday more meaningful.
However, as any good eagle-eyed litigator will tell you, by doing so, you waive any and all rights (that the Supreme Court has not already taken away), and you allow me to potentially use the material in a column. You may of course request anonymity, which I will respect. I am excited to hear what you are thinking.
My father had a parting phrase he always said when leaving a phone conversation with me — carry on.
Rule No. 742:
Bye-bye American pie.