I thought I turned 40 years old yesterday. Turns out I had the day wrong. They say the mind is the first thing to go.
The truth is that birthdays, for me, have always been arbitrary milestones. I’m sure I must feel different than I did at 30. But we live moment to moment, not decade to decade, and so it’s hard to notice the changes. When I woke up this morning, I was neither any wiser nor any wiser than yesterday. It’s a day in my life, and not much more.
That being said, the forty-year mark does provide an opportunity to reflect on the world I was born into and the one I live in now. So, on this arbitrary milestone, here are some arbitrary fun facts about the last forty years:
- Since January 17, 1974, the earth has turned on its axis 14,610 times. There have been 495 full moons and 87 solar eclipses.
- The earth’s population has grown from 4.1 billion to over 7 billion.
- When I was born, my parents had a rotary phone on a party line. Now they have cell phones on which they can watch television.
- 162 people have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Duke Snider.
- The United States has seen 8 presidents, seven of which were elected and one who ascended from the VP position. Three were Democrats, Five Republicans.
- Bell bottoms, olive green, and tie-dye have gone in and out of fashion multiple times.
- Thirty-eight sovereign nations have been established. The breakup of the Soviet Union accounts for 7 of those.
- I have lived at 17 different addresses in 12 different zip codes. I have worked at a newspaper, a post office, a daycare, a restaurant, two campus ministries, and too many churches to count.
- Personal goals accomplished include making all-region band, graduating seminary, establishing a family, pastoring a Wesley Foundation, and writing a good book.
- Personal goals yet to be accomplished: dunking a basketball (10 ft goal), biking coast to coast, making lots of money, and actually publishing said book.
I’m sure there are other equally arbitrary and also entertaining things I’ve left off the list, but this list is enough to illustrate how much the world has moved and changed. But, in the words of my friend Betty, it’s been such a good life so far and I’m so blessed to have lived it. Here’s to the future and all the hope therein. Onward and upward.