We've got less than a year to go. According to the Mayan Long Count calendar, the curtain comes down on everything when the 13th Baktun ends on Dec. 21, 2012.

We as a family have already switched over exclusively to the Mayan calendar. It is not that hard to rectify with the public school calendar. You just have to remember that the Mayans didn't celebrate Columbus Day. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same. Though I still get confused on the days when two feathered serpent gods appear, if I am supposed to pick up Caroline from hockey.

Sure, there have been millions of predictions about the end of the world. Last May, some nut bought billboards to announce May 21 was the end of everything. The billboard off I-95 at Exit 14 looked ridiculous May 22nd. However, I will go ahead and accept this Mayan date. They made a movie about it, so it must be true.

Therefore, I am going to make some changes in my life. Not the usual lose weight, get organized, and treat my wife better. We are all going to be dead in a year even if we are thin, well organized, and put the toilet seat down. Instead, I am going to change things to make this year better.

I will never sing in a "round". This is where one person sings `Row, Row Row Your Boat....". Then the next group starts. I know this rarely comes up in my life, but it recently did when we attended an event at the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. Everyone else in my family is in choirs and can handle it. However, I have to plug my ears and sing really loud. While everyone else was singing, I had my epiphany. I realized how much I hate it. It was very freeing. I then just stood up and walked over to where they were putting out the desserts. I was first in line. Afterward I felt both extremely liberated, and full of sugary goodness.

I work in Stamford, and every night on the way home, I am bottlenecked near Exit 14. The state should do something. But that will take longer than a year. So in order to speed things up, let's just close the on ramp at 14. Those people can get on at 13 or 15. Closing the on ramp may involve hearings, and that may not occur fast enough to get it done in less than a year. They could give me and my friend Tom Rutz two jackhammers, a backhoe, a cement truck, and three hours and I will guarantee no one will be getting on that ramp for at least a year.

I want to rent a dumpster. I want to throw things away. Right now, we are semifinalists for the reality show Hoarders. I want a huge dumpster, and I want the challenge to fill it. I want to keep throwing in crap until it's full. I want to be able to fly the remote control helicopter I got for Christmas, in my living room, without crashing into unnecessary junk.

I ask myself, "If this is my last year, what would I do it differently?" There are a few friends I would like to know what happened to, and with the access of the internet, it shouldn't be too hard or too creepy to find out. I secretly Googled some old girlfriends, but I have no desire to contact them. Instead, I would like to get in touch with a few people I played football with many years ago, and a few friends in California. Just to see how their lives are going. I want to ask them if it turned out to be what we imagined all those years ago. I don't remember why we drifted apart. Probably just geography. As to the old girlfriends, I do remember exactly why we parted, or if I forgot, and contacted them, I am sure they could remind me. But I do want to get back in contact with a few old friends.

So maybe it's not a bad idea to treat the end of the 13th Baktun as a day of reckoning. Maybe just thinking about it for a while helps to clarify things just a little. Similar to New Year's resolutions on Jan. 1 in the Western calendar. I don't think I will put up a billboard.

Thomas Lawlor lives in Southport with his wife and two daughters. His "A Father's Journal" appears every other Wednesday. He can be reached at: tlawlor@mcommunications.com