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At the time I wrote this Thursday, there were only 13 days, 12 hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds left in the world.

We're almost out of time. Promptly at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 21, the Mayan calendar will come to end right along with you, me and everyone else.

There's a countdown clock on my computer. For a year I've been watching time get shorter. Every morning when I went to work, another day was gone. We now have less than two weeks before BLIP!

When I set the clock on Jan. 1, there were 356 days left before the Mayan end of days. It seemed like a long time to wait to be dead. I decided not to waste it. The days I had left would count for something.

I made plans to exercise more, build a shed, buy a telescope, finish writing a book and take my grandkids to Disneyland. I wanted them to see the beach, too. I had a billiard ball mortar to build. I wrote it all down.

Before I had even finished making the list, it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I told myself that the loss of 16 days wasn't a big deal. There were still 340 to go.

Then came Valentine's Day, and there were only 310 days left. Enough goofing off. I had to get busy. Time to recommit to my goals. I listed them in order of priority.

St. Patrick's Day was on me before I knew it. I should have been home doing stuff. Instead, I was at the parade. Exactly 279 days to go.

The thing about having goals is that they can get on your nerves if you let them. So I dropped a couple of the items on my list.

That made things more realistic.

By Mother's Day, I was down to 222 days. I had written exactly half a chapter of my book and I still needed to buy a set of weights. This procrastination had to stop.

I got a set of weights for Father's Day, but I blew my wrist out the next day (186) and didn't unpack them until July. By then, the year was practically half over.

All wasn't lost. I just needed to work twice as fast on my list. I could do that. And maybe dump another item for the sake of time. I scratched out the billiard mortar.

Labor Day was a real shock. I should have been working on my yard.

Instead, I was up at Tavaputs Ranch blowing stuff up with Sonny. 109 days to go. I vowed to work on my book as soon as I got home.

Halloween came and left with 60-plus days of precious time. I have no idea what I did with it or where it went.

Thanksgiving and 29 days left. I tore up my list, watched TV and ate pumpkin pie. What was the use?

I have no idea whether the world will end Dec. 21. It doesn't matter, because like you and everybody else, I'm headed toward my own end of days at some point. In fact, I have fewer years ahead of me than I do behind.

The past year has been the story of my life, always thinking I have more time than I do to accomplish something. I'd give up, but I'm not dead yet.

If the world doesn't end Dec. 21, I might have a few good years left in me. I could still get something done in 2013. In just 13 days, we'll have a whole new year.

OK, I got to make another list.

Robert Kirby can be reached at or

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