OPINION: Time races by, but the Legislature always returns

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – It seems like only yesterday that everyone was talking about Y2K and predicting the end of the world as we know it when the calendar rolled over to the year 2000.
The world did not end, but it did seem that somehow the whole past decade was placed in a time travel machine and we were at warp speed as we zapped ahead to the year 2010.
It was as if I blinked and the whole decade was gone. Where did it go?
Prince’s “Party like it’s 1999,” which once seemed futuristic, now is, well, outdated. We probably should not even talk about George Orwell’s “1984.” That literary horse left the barn long ago.
Now there is talk about December 2012 being the end of the world as we know it. That assumption is somehow based on ancient Mayan calendars.
It is not clear whether the same people who were predicting the end of the world as we know it in 1999 are the same ones talking about the apocalypse in 2012. But perhaps there should be a little accountability by those who got us so worked up about Y2K.
A movie has even made about the pending doom in 2012.
I didn’t see the movie, and I am not too worried about 2012. I am more concerned with the present and how it keeps slipping away at such mind-altering speed.
As I sit here at my desk at the state Capitol, it is Monday afternoon. In what seems like a blink of the eye, it will be Wednesday and then the weekend will be here again. It’s a cycle that comes around full-bore, nonstop.
I don’t mind growing old. Some things about it I like.
But I do long for the day when it seems that it took the weekend at least three weeks to get here. Now it seems that the weekend takes only a couple of days to arrive and lasts for a couple of hours.
As a child, I remember staring at the clock at school waiting for the school day to end. When the fair came to town and it was discount night, which is when we always went, that already nearly endless day seemed at least 10 times longer.
Don’t even get started about how long it took for Christmas to arrive. Even as a young parent, Christmas seemed to take so long to get here. My lovely wife and I planned with great detail how we would stay home for Christmas Eve, and Santa Claus always seemed to come while we were at the Christmas Eve service. On Christmas morning we would travel to visit family.
We still follow that tradition, though Santa Claus no longer comes. But now that Christmas scenario seems here and gone in a flash as we struggle to keep our children – now young adults – on board with that time-honored tradition that we started with great care so long ago, though it seems like only yesterday.
The 2010 legislative session started Tuesday.
When people who work in this ornate building – whether they are legislator, lobbyist, staff member, or even journalist – are asked if they are ready for the session to begin, they have a standard reply, “No, but what can you do about it?” It is almost as if the legislative session is part of the cycle of life.
For many of us it is.
The legislative session is time consuming and all encompassing for those involved in it. It literally dominates almost every aspect of life for those in the midst of it.
Early on, as a new, relatively young Capitol reporter I looked with anticipation toward the start of the session. Later on, there was some dread. But now I tolerate it without much anticipation or dread.
I know that no matter how difficult a session it is, no matter how contentious it is, this too will come and go.
Such is life.
Even the legislative session is much easier to predict than the end of time.
Contact Journal Capitol Bureau chief Bobby Harrison by e-mail at bobbyharrison@djournal.com or call him at (601) 353-3119.