Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Mid-Century Mark

It’s official…I am a half century old as of today.  Honestly, I’ve been kind of dreading this birthday ever since I hit the second half of my 40’s and realized that 50 was so close.  However, in the last few months, that feeling seems to have faded and now I’m kind of excited about what the next half century (okay, let’s be honest, I probably won’t make it that long LOL) might bring.

After all, it’s kind of amazing what I’ve already lived through.  Historically, I’ve been around for the Vietnam War, Watergate, the Cold War, the civil unrest of the late 60’s, the oil embargo of the early 70’s, the end of communism, the intensification of the Middle East issues, 9/11, the Afghan and Iraq wars, and that’s just off the top of my head.

Musically, I’ve been around for the Beatles and the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond, John Denver, disco, punk rock, new wave, MTV, VH1, the rise of rap and hip hop, and whatever they’re calling the music of the 90’s and 00’s…oh, and Taylor Swift.

I think the biggest and most amazing changes have been in the technology arena:  computers, ATMs, cable TV (I remember only having ONE channel when I lived in Hawaii as a child – the only kids’ show on it was “Felix the Cat”), the internet, email, Facebook, cell phones, movies in 3d and with CGI effects, downloadable music, downloadable books, smart phones, smart cars, smart homes, etc.  Oh, and navigation systems…remember when you had to get directions in advance of going anywhere new? 

The medical advances are unbelievable…lasers and cameras for surgery, my kid able to get a chicken pox vaccination so he didn’t have to go through the disease, transplants, cancer treatments based on DNA, etc.

If all that (plus a lot more that I’m sure I just don’t remember) could happen in 50 short years (at least, it sure seems short to me), what will come next? 

Oh, and if I could go back and give any advice to my younger self it would be:

1.       R-E-L-A-X…things are not as dire as you think

2.       DO NOT, for the love of all things holy, get that haircut your senior year in high school

3.       Don’t go to UCLA and study French.  Go to UC Santa Barbara and study marine biology.  You’ll be less cultured, but you’ll be happier.  Plus, you’ll avoid that whole disastrous college boyfriend situation so it’s like a 2 for 1.

4.       Take the trip to Paris anyway

5.       Do the things that make you happy – whether anybody else understands them or not


Cynthia said...

Happy Birthday KJ!!
I'm just a few years older than you, and remember everything you mentioned...but here's a few more. Remember Black and White TV? Rotary phones (or the Princess phone)? Do kids still use coloring books or paper dolls?

Hope you make it to the next 2nd half century.

thecolorofdreams said...

Happy Birthday! Nice post about how many things have changed so fast! I am older than you, but I like your advice to your younger self. I, too, would have had more fun and taken things less seriously if I could go back.