© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Each Monday, Tommy Tomlinson delivers thoughtful commentary on an important topic in the news. Through these perspectives, he seeks to find common ground that leads to deeper understanding of complex issues and that helps people relate to what others are feeling, even if they don’t agree.

The Year Is Near Its End, But There's Still Time On The Clock

Tommy Tomlinson

I follow a strange Twitter account called – well, I should stop there. I follow a lot of strange Twitter accounts. But the one I want to talk about today is called Year Progress.

It’s really simple. Every few days, it posts a little bar graph showing how much of the year has gone by. For example, this commentary is airing on Dec. 2. As of today, we’ve completed 92% of the year.

It’s always jarring to see one of those tweets pop up in my timeline. Every day is so crammed with work, family obligations, keeping up with the news, trying to live healthy and be a good citizen and carve out a little time for "The Great British Baking Show."

Some days it feels like the year just started. And then you look up and that bar graph has crept ever closer to the end.

But one thing I do with some of that time is watch sports. And one thing I know from watching sports is that a game’s never over until the clock has run all the way out.

A couple weeks ago, the Hornets won on back-to-back nights with three-pointers on their last shot of the game. I’ve watched a hundred ninth-inning rallies, a dozen Hail Mary passes that were caught for touchdowns.

There’s still 8% left in this year – 29 days. That’s all kinds of time.

In 29 days you can learn the basic chords on a guitar or figure out how to make biscuits. You can call some friends you haven’t reached out to in a while or check on your old neighbor who’s now in a retirement home. You can start a new fitness program or finish off a house project that just needs a little attention to get done.

It’s so easy, in December, to just put your life in neutral for the rest of the year. The holidays are coming – might as well just coast to a stop. There’s always a new year ahead.

That’s the kind of thing I used to tell myself when I kept overeating and gaining weight. When you have some unclosed loop in your life, tomorrow is the golden day – you can start then and everything will be better. But the truth is, the only day to start something is today.

And we still have 29 days left in this year.

That year-in-progress bar is still creeping toward the end. But it’s slower than you think. You can outrun it. See what you can make of the rest of the year.

And by the way: Don’t spend so much time on Twitter. OK, that one is not as much for you as it is for me.

Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column normally runs every Monday on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not the opinion of WFAE. You can respond to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at ttomlinson@wfae.org.