So, you’re sitting around one day with your friends, maybe. Then some old clunker goes driving by. Maybe it’s an old Cadillac. One of those tan ones, with the rusted panels. The trunk lock is missing, along with a headlight. It bangs down the street past you, backfiring and spitting out brown exhaust.
You and your friends watch it, amused by the sight of such an old, dilapidated piece of crap rumbling along and you wonder how it manages to keep running because, let’s be honest, it’s almost 40 years old now. Forty years old. Wait, a minute, you think, I’m 40 years old!
And your mind casts back to the things that are breaking down in your house. The toaster is dead, at five years. The curtains are ten years old and your wife is sure it’s time to replace them. You have a 20 year old computer that your kids routinely laugh at. All these things are crap now, garbage. And the oldest thing is half your age! And it’s considered ancient! A car is generally considered a “classic” at 25 years. Oh, me oh my! Time for you to putter around the house shooting out exhaust.
Today, November 2nd, is my birthday. I was born in the year 1968, 40 years ago. Four decades ago, I was brought forth unto the world. Ten years shy of half a century.
The world has gone through a lot of changes in forty years. Computers have gone from the size of a warehouse building, completing calculations in days or weeks, down to being in tiny MP3 players and decompressing Britney Spears songs on the fly. Televisions have become to dump the tube and gone LCD or plasma. Cars have gone from being complex mechanical objects to hyper-complex mechanical objects with computer controlled bits. Airplane travel has turned from a semi-enjoyable experience to the worst method of travel next to the bus.
But, that’s all right, people tell me. 40 is the new 30! According to who? And how does that make much of a difference?
Although, to be frank, I don’t feel forty. I make goofy sounds to my bird. I talk to my cats and believe they understand me. I like most of the music my kids listen to. And, in a little while, I’ll be booting the kids off my computer so I can play Fallout 3 (which I got as a gift from my mom; thanks mom!). I don’t have aches and pains when I get up in the morning. I could run down the street if I were chased by a dog. Meh. I don’t see much of a difference yet. Inside, I’m still the young guy who wants to do a lot of stupid stuff. The only difference is that I’ve been on this planet going around the sun 40 times.
So, maybe it’s not so bad.