Just before I took a break for lunch today, it was 12:12:12 PM on 12-12-12. Somehow I missed it.
My son had reminded me to watch the clock this afternoon for the rare and historical date and time stutter. I thought about it around 11:45 AM and had every intention of stopping to admire the moment. I still missed it. I looked up at my clock on the telephone screen at 12:13 PM. Just in case that clock wasn’t not properly synchronized with the atomic clock, I checked the time stamp on my computer.
I had fair warning. There is no excuse for missing it. But now it’s gone. I’ll never again have the chance to experience the thrill of 12:12:12 PM on 12-12-12, unless I exceed my life expectancy odds by a considerable margin. I am not optimistic.
I was busy. I had work to do. I was focused on the task at hand. None of it was more important than noticing the clock tip over to 12:12:12 on 12-12-12, but on this day that busy work took precedent. I am filled with the regret of what could have been a meaningful second to appreciate, ponder and enjoy.
This isn’t my first regret and it won’t be my last. I missed my car’s odometer flip to 100,000 miles. I forgot to wake up for Haley’s Comet’s last visit. I had fair warning. I missed it anyway.
Many times we look up and realize that we just missed something, but somehow we convince ourselves that the moment will return. It may, but it will never be exactly the same. It may be the only time in your lifetime that all the numbers line up in your favor. You can’t let these opportunities slip by.
Most historic opportunities in our lives are not announced as far in advance as the coming of 12:12 PM on 12-12-12. Most opportunities happen when we least expect them, when we are not looking. So the lesson is to always be looking.
This holiday season, may we all look up from our distractions at the exact right moment to experience that once-in-a-lifetime historic opportunity, whatever yours might be. Hopefully, the next one will come before January 2, 2034 at 5:43:21 PM (1-2-34, 5:43:21).
Your opportunity could be soon, perhaps on 12-13-12 at 1:21:31 AM and PM, too. Stay vigilant!