Anticipation and Life-changing events : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I had a brief Y2K break recently, yet found myself thinking about how much time and thought I have expended on Y2K. One word kept popping up: Anticipation. None of us are strangers to waiting. Yet waiting is what we have been doing. Day after day, week after week, month after month. For some, year after year. As time gets shorter, our anticipation grows. If we know something is coming up, we cant help but wait for it and try to anticipate what it will be like. At least I cant.

I asked myself if I had ever waited for anything for this long a period, and then remembered when I became engaged. Oddly, I found that there are some striking similarities between my wait then and now. A year of waiting for the Big Day ensued. I was anticipating it constantly. I began preparing for a whole new way of life. I would wonder what will it be like and try to picture various things. Certainly, there are many differences between Y2K and what I am talking about here. Yet what is similar is how a life-changing event that we know about ahead of time is anticipated. Perhaps you have also anticipated a life-changing event, and see some similarities with waiting for and anticipating Y2K.

With Y2K, I sometimes feel like I have been sitting in a theatre waiting for the curtain to go up and the show to start. Waiting, in the dark, then waiting some more. And thinking that when it does start, whatever does actually happen will be different than what was expected. It always is. Regardless of if we have a BITR or TEOTWAWKI, it will be different than we think. We all know its coming and anticipate based on our expectations.

Now the Y2K wait is coming to an end. Finally, thankfully. I am tired of it. Whatever happens, I will be glad for that at least.

Rob, who is waiting as fast as he can.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@wait.wait), October 13, 1999



Yes I know exactly what you mean. If I woke up tomorrow and it was 01/01/2000, it wouldn't be soon enough for me. For me, I guess I am wondering just how bad the labor pains are going to be. We know they are coming. Can I handle it on my own, or do I need a little help to get me through.

Best of luck in the little time remaining before the rollover. Maybe the days will pass quickly. At least to me, seems like just yesterday was Jan 1, 1999.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 13, 1999.

Rob, I cannot agree with you more (though I would not have picked the analogy that you did, but then that is what makes it personal). It seems that the more prepared that I am, the less time that I need to spend in preparation, yet I still have Y2K on the brain just as much as ever if not more so. Two and a half months is not a long time to wait. It is not a very long time at all.

79 days.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), October 13, 1999.

Yes, similar to getting hitched, tying the knot, giving up certain freedom, worrying about in-laws ;^)

No, not yet, please not yet, we like life as it is now

Anticipated grief ... hospice caregivers watching The World On Hospice ... but the Dr has not told the collective patient of his terminal condition ... sometimes the patient has flashes, suspects, but his family is determinedly cheerful and "normal" so he slips into the peerd pressure ... not something he wants to think about anyway ...

meanwhile the cancer quietly mutates and grows, reaching octopus tentacles around organ after organ, pressure here and there, sucking all the nutrients out of the bloodstream, growing feeding vessels in great twisting tangles, devouring its host systemically from inside ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 13, 1999.

At some point I wrote an essay about how Y2k is like a birth with all the anticipation and what have you. Now I can't find a copy of the dang thing. Does anyone else have it? I sure would like to read it again now that we are in the 3rd trimester.

-- R (, October 13, 1999.

meanwhile the cancer quietly mutates and grows, reaching octopus tentacles around organ after organ, pressure here and there, sucking all the nutrients out of the bloodstream, growing feeding vessels in great twisting tangles, devouring its host systemically from inside ...

You must be great fun at parties.

-- (LOL@LOL.LOL), October 13, 1999.

We don't do parties. Only funerals ;^)

And that was written from direct observation. You get to watch it up-close and personal in hospice ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 13, 1999.

Found it! I wrote it in late May so its a tad out of date now.

Many nicely written essays have discussed the connection between Y2k awareness and the classic stages of grieving. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. At first I found this to be a helpful metaphor but as the days progress I am finding it to be pretty useless. This is because Y2k is more complex than death. It is much more like birth. In any given situation there is a certain amount of perceived predictability and a certain amount of mystery. The more mystery involved then the greater uncertainty in how to prepare. The most mysterious process of my life was childbirth. It was similar to Y2k in many ways.

I knew approximately when it was going to happen.

There were many "experts" with competing opinions that all felt compelled to tell me what to do.

I had no idea what my baby was going to look like or how it was going to behave.

I knew that my life would be forever changed after its arrival.

I knew I could die in the process or at the very least need medical intervention.

I knew I would very likely experience some pain.

I knew that my life and that of my child could be in the hands of strangers.

I knew that once the child was here there were many things I would have to give up for a long time. Probably years.

Finally, I knew that regardless of what all those experts and well- meaning friends said it was still me who had to decide how to prepare for the birth and where I wanted to be when it happened.

This is what we are facing in Y2k. Not a death. A birth. Birth in all its scariest most primal ramifications. This is not a happy Hallmark stork and bunting birth. This is an old-fashioned rag-chewing, gut- screaming, no pain killers birth.

Here in America, the mother has had problems all through the pregnancy. She is out of shape and has been living on a diet of junk food, nicotine, alcohol and Tee Vee. The baby is breech and has the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck three times. The mother has appeared to go into premature labor several times. She may yet. She has ambivalent feelings about breast feeding and is more concerned with her own appearance and bank balance than she is about the baby's health. If the little tyke makes it and the mother survives you have to wonder what the baby will eat since the mother doesn't know how to grow a garden or prepare healthy food.

The father? Off diddling interns and bombing babies.

Next prenatal check-up is June 30th. We hope for good news, but hey - its only a physical. Its not like the Dr. can guarantee the birth will go well just because the prenatal seems OK.

So here I sit like a nervous aunt. If the mother comes to me for help do I feed her? Do I let her starve? She has made some heinous life decisions and she and her string of Presidential hubbies have squandered my hard-earned tax dollars in a bewildering variety of wasteful and (IMHO)often immoral ways. She could turn on me in a heartbeat.

I could leave the country. I could hide. I could lie about how much food I have. I could run whenever I see her or shoot her if she comes for my beans. No matter what I do she will always be there. Her child may be sweet and resourceful or it may be demon spawn. With parents like that its hard to be very optimistic.

Just like every other basic human survival skill - farming, self defense, shelter construction - birth has become something done by experts in protective clothes. Most people have never experienced a real birth so they have no way of recognizing the Y2k process for what it is. They recognize it as a major life passage, but our culture is so obsessed with death that that is the only metaphor it can come up with.

Time to roll up the sleeves, chop some wood and boil some water. There's a baby coming.

(, May 24, 1999

-- R (, October 13, 1999.

I've tried to focus on other things to make the time go by faster. It's so consuming!I want to be Rip Van Winkle. Wake me when it's all over.

-- Itol D. Youso (, October 13, 1999.


How nice of you to treat us to an essay once again :o) Knowing of course that your good work with the FRL takes up so much of your time.

The Y2K watch is wearing thin in my mind also but the curiosity has not dimmed. Thankfully I am seeing lots of awareness locally at this time. Gives me warm fuzzies **VBG**, hoping that locally folks will be aware of the issues.

I just hope that the folks on this forum have created their contigency plans and are comfortable with their situation. This forum has been a real experiance and the value I hold in regards to its members is high. Kind of wonder what the evolution of it and the internet will be if it remains up. If it does remain up we will have to have a roll call to see what is up with the members eh?

Pretty soon the Xmass hype will be on us, what a contridiction that will be.

-- Brian (, October 13, 1999.

I think it's much more like waiting for a divorce. But I must admit I looked forward more to my divorce than I do to Y2K! I had thoughts sometimes that maybe the ex and I could get back together, that the divorce wouldn't happen. Then reality would rear its practical head and I'd try to imagine what it would feel like to be legally single again. Pretty scary, because I hadn't been single for a long time and this time I would be a single mother. There's a bit of fear of the unknown, but even more a desire to get it over with and get on with life, whatever form it takes--same, different, better or worse. Yup, it's like getting a divorce.

-- Old Git (, October 13, 1999.

This is interesting. It looks to me like there is some commonality regardless of what kind of life-changing event we anticipate; the emotional intensity, the eventual expected sense of relief and completion for example. Perhaps it is this more than any other one thing that we wait for with Y2K, though we may not usually think of it this way.

BFN, Rob

-- (sonofdust@bfn.rob), October 13, 1999.

Rob Great sensitive post. I am in torture daily and wish to just get to the other side so I/we can get on with it.

I have two in-laws who can't rub two nickels together and are failing physically. If mom's arthritic knee goes they will both be bed-ridden. The other in-law-sibs' are like Pop, brilliant genius types who ALWAYS spend more than they make.I am unemployed but with enough spread out among various investments to be able to prepare for the folks.

I come here to learn, ask questions, and sometimes to just draw comfort.

-- Dana (, October 13, 1999.


RUN, RUN I SAY, DO NOT WALK, to the FRL threads, find #10 in the Recent Answers screen, and MAYBE #9 with the log of links to the rest.


a recruiter for the FRLians.

-- FRL Recruiter (FRL@FRL.UNcom/mon), October 14, 1999.

My friend, Faith Weaver and I often chat online and on the phone about anticipatory grief...our last 18 months, about the double-edged sword of looking forward to something that could grow something better, and the loss of things we've known. It is a daily theme for us. I'm sure my age lends itself to such meanderings as well. I'm 47. Kids are grown and out of the house,...which leaves me even MORE time to think about such things...retrospectives on life...and the like. That we are smack in the middle of major paradigm shifts only adds to the equation. Future thinking has never been foreign to me. Read such things since adolescence,...along with all the speculative stuff.

You know, though, really is okay, this mind space. Only give me the willies occasionally(can't spell that word and it's late and the dictionary means I have to get up from this chair). Mostly it's an incredible journey.

Breathe, Lovelies. We forget to do that sometimes.

-- Donna (, October 14, 1999.

Beautiful counter-point from Riversoma...birth, not death.

-- Spidey (in@jam.hmm), October 14, 1999.

Except that death is a magnificent birth into a much much better sphere!

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, October 14, 1999.

I have eagerly anticipated the good, the bad & the ugly Y2k-style for the past 18 months or so. As I've mentioned several times before, I believe humanity is basically a plague on this earth. That's a bit harsh but you get my drift.

This week's events caused me to, just briefly, re-evaluate the above stated eagerness. Took the edge off it, so to speak.

My wife was on her typical one hour commute into the D.C.-Metro area Monday morning when a cuddly 1/2-ton black bear meandered out from a stand of trees. He proceeded directly into the path of my wife's automobile (traveling at 70 MPH).

The wife swerved, the car spun, the guard rail stuck its metal skeleton out into the path of the car & whack...

The wife is bumped, bruised, battered, but no broken bones. Thank you - JG!!!

The Geo Metro is no more. Our automobile insurance did not cover the damage to the car. Our precarious financial situation is pushed closer to the edge.

Life-changing event - yes & no. Circumstances & conditions change, players change, but Reality always remains the same.

My wife & I received several blessings this week. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say when one door is closed another is opened. One needs merely to watch for it! Y2K will likewise bring opportunity - one needs merely to be prepared to walk through the door.

I share this story with you not to garner sympathy/empathy, but to point out that "stuff" just doesn't hold much importance in my life. My devotion to spiritual practice paid dividends this week. That's the moral to this story, as I see it.

So you ask, "What does this have to do with Rob's thread?" My answer is that I'm unsure how this post fits. Perhaps someone can tie it up neatly. Or not. So be it.

P.S. The bear was not injured. He watched from the edge of the forest as the cops & ambulance crew cared for my wife.


-- Bingo1 (not@available.for.awhile), October 14, 1999.

Thanks to all of you for the thoughtful posts, and some good point and counterpoint regarding specific examples of life-changing events (birth, death, divorce).

Bingo1: The way I see it, many life-changing events have the potential to also lead to spiritual changes as well. So perhaps that is where the tie in is. If you would like to tell me more about these other blessings off-forum I would be happy to listen (I seriously doubt you will bore me!). Just let me know. Do you have a valid e?

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@life.changes), October 14, 1999.

My e is real.

-- R (, October 14, 1999.

OK R, I can take a hint :)

All: More thoughts and experiences on life-changing events, anticipation, etc., are welcome.

-- Rob Michaels (, October 14, 1999.

Rob: I do love to share spiritual stuff, however my home 'puter has once again been struck down by the blue screen of death. I have little motivation to repair the damage at the present time.

You can contact me at the addy listed below. It'll be a few days before I can check my e-mail.

-- Bingo1 (, October 15, 1999.

I think of Y2k as a trial separation from our computers, after we married in haste. Take a break, read my poem.

-- Please Dont (blow@my.cover), October 15, 1999.

Bingo1: Sounds good. I'll be in touch in a few.

Please Dont: LOL. Really cool. You actually sound like a poet! In thanks, may I offer you Pleasant company in return.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@no.poet), October 15, 1999.

I was able to relate to much of what's above...except maybe the bear...grin. So glad to hear your wife is alright Bingo1 was it? I think it was sweet of the bear to stick around to make sure she was alright. I can imagine him saying, "Crap...I knew I should have waiting until that car passed...though I had enough time." grin

When thinking about the year and a half I've spent lurking and then posting recently in these forums, I think about an experience I've had on long road trips. I'm sure you've all had it happen where you're on an interstate and there's a particular vehicle that seems to switch positions with you. The both of you jockey the lanes, trying to get to point B just a few minutes earlier than anticipated. Hours into the trip they've finally reached their off-ramp and you just sort of sigh. Then again, perhaps I'm just strange and it doesn't take much for me to feel attached...rofl. I think I'll feel much of the same when we get to the other side of jan.1 and some that I've seen post on here as regulars will go on with their lives. Sigh


-- beej (, October 15, 1999.

beej: We will all go on with our lives regardless, and there will always be uncertainty. Assuming the forum is here, there will still be those who stay here, and those that come but then leave - either to return eventually or not. If the forum is not here that would arguably be a life-changing event for some :)

The only constant is change.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@constant.change), October 15, 1999.

Rob -

I like your analogy of the curtain. My husband and I have often talked of Y2K as a brick wall. You can't see through it or around it, you just know there is something on the other side. You just don't know what. I remember seeing the Wall in Berlin from one of those platforms. I wonder if it will be East Berlin in all it's dismal self that I remember from '69 or will it be West Berlin and all her pride and glory that is on the other side of the Y2K brick wall? We often say "next year we will do this or that" but there is always the caveat added - if Y2k is not too bad...that darned ol' Wall again...

-- Valkyrie (anon@please.xnet), October 15, 1999.

Hi Valkyrie. It has been a while since we have talked. The wall is real, and so is your caveat. There is no seeing over it or through it, but there are consequences to ignoring it. There are always consequences, both from our actions and our inactions. That is why I have consistently posted that it makes sense to prepare for uncertainty as best we can, including Y2K, which represents only one wall in our lives. Over one wall and on to the next. As the philospher told the king: "This too shall pass". Sometimes that can be a comforting thought. And knowing that it will pass is a big part of our anticipation.

Be well.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@the.wall), October 16, 1999.

Since I missed this thread until just recently (thanks for the addy, Rob), I didn't get to add my .02 'til now.

I feel like someone attending a hurricane party. Nervous, even down-right scared. Since people who attend hurricane parties rank right up there in my estimation with those on the Darwin's Award list, it's not a comfortable feeling. However I haven't figured out anywhere to go that's far enough inland to avoid *this* storm. Sigh.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, December 19, 1999.

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