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.
It looks like you’ve already got the “losing my hair” part out of the way.
I think as long as Gina keeps sending you a Valentine, Birthday greetings, and a bottle of wine, you’ll be fine.
(As long as you’re still handy mending a fuse when the lights have gone, that is!)
“Hair today, gone tomorrow” as the old saying goes LOL — I remember when I was in my early 20s with ling hair all the way down my back — I never dreamed I would one day be sporting a Reverse Mohican 🙂
I’m a year and a half or so ahead of you…
I read the reviews on the book you mentioned. The unfavorable reviews made for interesting reading. Then I saw one that mentioned the author defining splits as “you can put your elbows on the floor”
I couldn’t do the splits when I was 16. I still can’t do the splits but I can put my elbows on the floor with my legs spread out so I guess i don’t need this book.
“The unfavorable reviews made for interesting reading.” People get a little tetchy when they are spreadeagled on the floor wishing for an emergency buzzer so they could say, “Help, I’ve done the splits and I can’t get up” LOL
“One thing I do notice is that the pace of life seems to be speeding up day-by-day.”
For many years I proudly thought this happens because our metabolism slows down as we get older. Although that may well be a contributing factor, I recently read that because our brain cells are dying as we get older, it takes a longer time for us to perceive our environment and think our thoughts.
On the other hand, why did it seem to take forever for me to write this last paragraph? All I can say now is Happy Birthday. Wait, what was it, May 42nd? Maybe doing nothing (as in a pandemic lock-down) makes time slow down.
Hi Charles, I heard another possible explanation for what time seems to go faster as you grow older — do you remember when you were say 6 years old and Christmas was two weeks away, how time seemed to stretch out and take so long. Now you blink and Christmas has already passed. The theory I heard was that two weeks is a relatively large amount of time compared to the total amount of time you’ve lived when you are 6, but it’s a relatively short amount of time compared to the total amount of time you’ve lived when you are 60 — the idea is that your brain somehow puts what’s currently going on in the context and perspective of everything its already seen and experienced — I fear I’m not explaining this very well (sad face).
I like to tell my kids that they are getting older faster than me. When my son was 2, I was 15x older. When he was 8, I was only 4.75x older. When he was 20, I was 2.5x older. Now, he is 40 and I am only 1.75x older. I got that going for me.
I know I shouldn’t do this, but when I see young folks being loud and obnoxious, I think to myself “Yuck it up now, because time is racing toward you to take its toll” (or words to that effect LOL)
Hi Max, I hope you are enjoying your final 6-bit year. Next birthday you gain a bit. With luck, you may even gain the exquisitely elusive 8th bit. Also keep in mind that you are 0x3F years old, so still in your 0x30’s. Regarding nonhirsutedness, I find myself having to remind folks that throughout the course of human evolution we have gone from being completely covered with hair to having less and less of it. The fivehead I proudly sport is a clear indication, to all those who are blinded by light reflecting off of it, that I am, in fact, more highly evolved than the unfortunate foreheaded apes. Some are more highly evolved than I am, but I’m evolving rapidly! Those who shave their heads to artificially appear more highly evolved are mere posers. Those who wear toupees or have hair implants are…not right…
OMG — No one told me this was my final 6-bit year — so I’ll be 7 bits next year — but I haven;t got a thing to wear!
“Regarding nonhirsutedness…” I prefer to think of myself as being “follicly challenged” 🙂
Sometime in the early 2000s, I was giving the keynote at a PCB conference. I was at the podium looking at my slides on a notepad computer — these slides were projected on the big screen behind me. What I didn’t realize was that if I was on the same slide for more than 10 seconds, the organizer switched the main screen to a video feed zoomed in on me. At one stage I turned to use my laser pointer to indicate something on the big screen, only to see it filled with the back of someone’s head. “Who is that bald-headed man,” I asked, immediately followed by, “Oh, that’s me, isn’t it?” All I can say is it got a laugh LOL
I resemble that remark!
What? Your face looks like the back of my head?
A friend & I used to express our ages in log base 2. When we turned 64 there were the comments such as “Aah! The six year old”!
Good one — I might use that myself when I’m 64 next year 🙂