As you may or may not be aware, I spent this past weekend celebrating the 21st anniversary of the 21st anniversary of my 21st birthday. Where does the time go? I can barely remember the 1980s at all (I must have had a bad beer).
Way back in the mists of time we used to call the 1970s — when I had just turned 21 for the first time — on one level, at the back of my mind, I knew (well, hoped to live so long) that I would one day be 63, but on another level I really couldn’t wrap my noggin around the concept.
Now that I’m here (tell your friends, I’m playing here all week), I have to say that I feel a little weird (even weirder than normal, and that’s saying something). Part of me is screaming (inside my head) “OMG I’m 63!” At the same time, the rational part of me knows that no one else could give a rat’s patootie.
I was having a chat with my dear old mom on FaceTime on the fateful day. I was feeling the weight of the years, but she said that she still thinks of me as a little boy (I fear we will have to increase the dosage of her Dried Frog Pills).
To be honest, I really don’t feel any different, apart from feeling like an old fool (but where are we going to find one at this time of the day?). Of course, some things are a tad more tiresome than they used to be. For example, you probably won’t see me doing the splits in the foreseeable future (at least, not intentionally and/or in a hurry). Having said this, some time ago my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) gifted me with a rather interesting book — Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits — so we shouldn’t rule anything out.
One thing I do notice is that the pace of life seems to be speeding up day-by-day. Gina and I enjoy historical dramas like Downton Abbey, Belgravia, and Lark Rise to Candleford. While watching these, one certainly gets the impression that things were less hectic and more stately “back in the day” (apart from all the drama, of course).
It’s pretty obvious that computers and networks and suchlike have a lot to do with all this. For example, my chum Charles Pfeil recently sent me a link to the InternetLiveStats.com website where you can watch a depiction of the amount of “stuff” that is happening on the internet each and every second, like the number of Tweets posted on Twitter, the number of photos uploaded on Instagram, the number of calls on Skype, the number of searches in Google, the number of videos viewed on YouTube, and… I’m sure you get the gist.
As you scroll down the page, they also show you a handy-dandy ongoing count of the activity that’s taken place since you arrived at the site. For example, I see that > 1,800,000,000 emails have been posted around the world whilst I was typing the past couple of paragraphs (or ~10 if we count only emails boasting correct capitalization, spelling, and grammar).
On the bright side, I still have 37 years to complete my Countdown Timer, whose task it will be to display the number of years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds remaining to the commencement of my 100th birthday celebrations. Of course, knowing how long it takes me to actually complete one of my hobby projects, another way of looking at this is that I have only 37 years remaining to complete this cunning contraption before it becomes superfluous to requirements.
But enough of these meandering musings. Thinking about it, I now have less than a year to prepare myself for being 64, which — ironically — will also be my 100th birthday if we decide to use the base-8 (radix-8) number system (and why wouldn’t we?).
Of course, I now have the tune When I’m Sixty-Four by the Beatles rattling around my brain. How about you? Is your 63rd birthday still a long way in the future, or are you hovering around this age, or is it now a distant memory in the rearview mirror of your life? How does growing older make you feel — happy, sad, angry, reflective, other? I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic.