Sometimes I can’t resist stating the obvious, so consult your calendar. We’re almost halfway through the year.
The first of July arrives on Monday, meaning we are 182 days into 2019. And Monday, there are 183 days until 2020 arrives. Halfway there.
Many experts, in various fields, consider “halfway” to be significant. Consider these quotations:
• “Believe you can do it and you’re halfway there.” — President Theodore Roosevelt.
• “Hope meets you halfway on a bridge called faith.” — Speaker and best-selling author Bryant H. McGill.
• “The summit is just the halfway point.” — Mountaineer Ed Viesturs.
• “A goal properly set is halfway reached.” — Motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar.
• “Every mistake is a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.” — Novelist Pearl S. Buck.
Each offers food for thought.
Then there’s the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who is credited with saying, “Well begun is half done.”
Time, however, is not elastic. No matter how well or how poorly we started 2019 back in January, we are indeed approaching its halfway point now.
Being halfway to something should bring a sense of accomplishment, while at the same time heralding there’s still a distance to go. It’s an important juncture.
I recall traveling with friends to a destination that’s a full day’s drive away from home. They make this trip often. Along the way, they pointed out a structure they said was the halfway point of the trip. Halfway! So far, so good.
I found a website that calculates the halfway point between any two cities in the United States. Such a site is helpful to motorists planning cross-country trips, or others simply trying to schedule bathroom breaks. I tested it, typing in Brownwood along with the North Carolina city where my sister lives. It gave me a “census-designated place” in northern Mississippi.
Normally, a motorist going from Point A to Point B wouldn’t be wandering around on back roads through the rural area where this tiny crossroads is situated. More likely, you’d be on the Interstate highway driving through Memphis some 60 miles north. I’m sure you could make better time on the Interstate. Perhaps this website figures its halfway points “as the crow flies.”
Never fear, however, a host of ads for nearby motels and restaurants popped up in rapid sequence. Generating those ads, complete with links to reservation forms and maps, is apparently the primary purpose of this website. I can’t wait for all the emails from isolated Mississippi tourist traps to start pouring in.
As I reflected on all of this, my thoughts went back to the quotation from Pearl S. Buck, shown above. A halfway point is a good time to consider whether the path you’re taking is the best path, and if not, to make corrections. Another option might be to scratch the endeavor completely and start over from the beginning. It’s futile to put twice as much effort into something that’s not going to take you where you want to be.
Fortunately, we’re at the halfway point of 2019. There’s still time to make the most of this year.
In conclusion, understand that I’ve done my research on this. I wrote the first two paragraphs of this column several weeks ago, and I’ve struggled to finish it for days. Perhaps you can tell? Maybe it means that once in a while, “well begun” is not necessarily “half done.”
Gene Deason is editor emeritus of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Fridays. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.