by Missy Jaramillo
The Mayan calendar is winding through its final days -- with many proclaiming it's a prediction of the end times in December 2012.
The world today seems a place of stark contradictions, with millions caught up in the festive hustle and bustle of the holiday season others within the harsh realities of war and unrest in their region.
With super-speed, the end of the year certainly's rushing forward. While we might not be facing the actual end of the world, this is a one-time opportunity to stop for a moment and consider this question:
If you felt that the end was at hand, what would you do?
There may be those who will hang on to materialism and rush out to charge the moon -- trips, jewelry, expensive cars, homes, and furs. But in the real end is that what you measure as most important to you and your family?
For those that yearn for a more personal approach, we've compiled our own "end of the world" countdown to share with you. We'd like to know what you think of our list!
Our "end of the world" countdown list
20 days left: Remember loved ones from the past -- looking through picture albums and sharing stories of past generations with one another and our children.
19 days left: Visit a favorite place, whether a museum of fine art, a spot in the mountains, the family farm, or overlooking a beach and recall special moments together.
18 days left: Sing, whether it's to childhood favorites, old rock-n-roll or really bad pop or country. Belt one out with family and friends!
17 days left: Make a mess in the kitchen. Let the kids help prepare the meal, something we're often too rushed to allow.
16 days left: Make a list of New Year Resolutions. There's nothing wrong with being an optimist!
15 days left: Watch a movie that will make you cry, laugh, and promote happy endings.
14 days left: Give a friend or family member a call and let them know how they've made a positive difference in your life.
13 days left: Play -- whether it's a game of hide and seek or peek-a-boo, building a tent in the living room or swinging "a little higher" with each push.
12 days left: Take a long, hot, indulgent, candlelit bath. The kids can have their own 'bubble bath' time.
11 days left: Indulge in a decadent dessert. It's even better if shared!
10 days left: Reach out to share with those that "have not," whether that means giving warm blankets or coats, food baskets or inviting shut-ins to enjoy a meal and company.
9 days left: Talk...and listen...really listen to one another.
8 days left: Get up early to watch a sunrise and stay up late to catch a falling star.
7 days left: Take a walk, holding hands.
6 days left: Long for more moments to snuggle up and read "one more story mommy."
5 days left: Celebrate all our "un-birthdays" -- more aptly a celebration of life!
4 days left: Savor a delicious drink, whether that's a hot cup of tea, coffee, cocoa with those little marshmallows, a glass of wine or champagne and toast to one another.
3 days left: Enjoy a wildly passionate "end of the world" lovemaking session with your partner that we wish would never end.
2 days left: Find peace according to your personal faith and belief systems.
1 day left: Say "I love you" often and hold one another close.
Still alive December 22? Revisit your list again. We should always hold fast to those things that matter most in the "end," taking time for one another and all we cherish.
Now it's your turn. How would you get ready for the end of the world?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.