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Another year older and wiser

I turned 44 today.  

I don't usually angst about birthdays but this one has me thinking about life more than usual.  That was probably the reason for the car post the other day. I think it was prompted by Jensen Ackles' recent birthday where I realized I'm 10 years older than he is.  When I was a senior in high school, he was a second-grader, which puts a lot into perspective.  No wonder I always think of him and Jared as "the boys" even though they are grown men.  My younger brothers are "the boys" and they're in their forties like me.  Anyhow, the quote below from the History Channel kind of sums up where I'm at in life.

On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll correct," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.

1968 was a pretty turbulent time. I was born at the height of US casualities in the Vietnam War about two months after the Tet offensive and one week after the My Lai massacre.  One week before I was born, Robert Kennedy announced his decision to run for president.  Three months later he would be shot and killed.  Two weeks after I was born, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  Abortion was illegal in Missouri, the state I was born in.  The Apollo Guidance Computer made its debut orbiting the Earth on Apollo 7. A year later, it steered Apollo 11 to a moon landing. Yale University announced it was going to admit women.  In addition to civil rights and Vietnam war protests in the US, there was political unrest in Poland and Mexico.  It was the year of the Prague Spring and the start of The Troubles.

The Detroit Tigers (my growing-up team) beat the St. Louis Cardinals (my then hometown team) in the World Series.  My hometown hockey team, the St. Louis Blues lost the Stanley Cup to Montreal in a sweep.

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding was the number one song that day. 

Record of the Year: "Up, Up and Away," 5th Dimension
Album of the Year: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (they were still a band)

Movie Premieres
2001: A Space Odyssey 
Planet of the Apes 

TV Premieres
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Hawaii Five-O 

Two days after I was born, the final Monkees episode aired.  You could watch Star TrekGunsmokeWalt Disney's Wonderful World of ColorCaptain KangarooDays of Our LivesGet SmartPeyton PlaceMission: Impossible, and Bewitched.

Other folks born that year include Rachel Ray, Hugh Jackman, Molly Ringwald, Daniel Craig, Mary Lou Retton, Barry Sanders, Eric Bana, Billy Boyd, Will Smith, and Luci Liu. 

Since 1968, I've watched the space program through moon landings, the Hubbell telescope, Skylab, space shuttle triumphs and disasters and the Mars rover missions.  I played in the record UP snowfall of 355.9 inches in the winter of '78-79, stood on the banks of the flooded Mississippi in '73 and '93 and listened to the howling of the early November gale that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald.  The Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union dissolved and Germany reunited, the Good Friday accords started to halt the violence in Ireland and the UK, the US has been in 2 Gulf Wars and covert wars in Central America, and Canada has been my polite neighbor to the north.  Nancy Reagan told me to "just say no", Wendy's told me where the beef was, Dr. Who had a long scarf, Nixon resigned, Al Gore invented the Internet, Bill Gates got rich and Seattle got grunge.  I've rooted for Fryman, Trammel, and Whitaker, Johnny Bench, Isaiah Thomas, Cale Yarborough, Steve Yzerman, Joe Mauer and my imaginary friend as a kid was named after Joe Namath.  I survived disco, having Yoko Ono hair in the permed big-hair 80s, prairie skirts, parachute pants (not on me), prom, and a wedding (not mine) with my Dad as a groomsmen in a wide-lapel brown suit and ruffled peach shirt.  The world has been graced with MTV, Han Solo, New Coke, and bungee jumping.

Six years of college, 22 years of marriage (now half my life), 9 years of parenting, 7 seasons of SPN, 44 years of beauty and music to balance grief and loss.  I'm very grateful to be here.  Onward to 88.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
The happiest of birthday to you, and of course blessings for a healthy new year with lots of reasons to be thankful when you look back same time next year! ♥*hugs*♥

Do you know T.S. Eliot? This is from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

-- I admire how you see yourself in the scheme of things, how you seem to feel connected to the world and watch it make its progress. Your mind seems to be wide awake! I feel much more detached and find it hard to think of myself as a part of anything. Maybe that is why my belief and fandom are so important to me- in there, there is a sense of belonging.

Is it normal for US-Americans to know about the fall of the German Wall? I hope I don't offend your nation, I just have this common prejudice that most Americans care for America and will only go so far as to acknowledge that there ARE other countries, but what's happening there, stays there... knowledge-wise... You are more interested than you fellow people, I believe, but I would be glad to learn that I am wrong!

And I also feel heartwarmed by your icon because Waldorf&Statler are my idols! And it is so weird to have kids stare at them (I have a T-shirt with them printed on the front), not knowing who they are at all.

What do you think has shaped you the most in your life? With that long period of marriage (congratulations on that, too!!!), I would think your hubby and probably your child?

Anyway- have a wonderful day (though I always get confused with the time zones...), celebrate yourself and enjoy life! I am happy to have you here on LJ! :-)

Edited at 2012-03-24 07:02 am (UTC)
Mar. 24th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
Do I dare disturb the universe is a question I ask myself often.  There are days when sending up a rocket and yelling "look here, dang it" is tempting.  Then there are the days when I'm pretty grateful the universe is stable enough for me to create a big disturbance and not muck it up.

As to Americans being aware of what's going on in the world, I think that really depends on the person and it probably varies widely.  Growing up, my parents paid attention to world news and that got passed on to us kids.  l was really lucky and got to spend a couple of weeks traveling through Germany with a concert band in 1998.  The EU was recent and the euro was still just talk.  I spent 2 weeks asking my host families Hows? Whys? Whats? Now, my husband travels internationally for work and he's an economics fanboy the way I'm a geek about SPN.  World news is always a topic of discussion with us.

As a kid, the Cold War with the USSR was the big scary ever-present mushroom cloud in the background.  When the Berlin wall came down, it seemed like the end of the Cold War for the US.  (I realize it means something very different to everybody that lived with it directly.)  At home, it changed everything from how the government budgeted to what industries were hiring employees just as I was leaving home and looking for a job.  

Now, I don't tend to listen to news as much as I used to.  US politics drives me crazy.  I still stay informed but I find that I get my news from different sources now.  I'm still incredibly curious about the world and try to learn what I can about the lives of people who live elsewhere.  I love LJ partly for that reason.  I love photos and comments people post of the day to day stuff in their lives.

Right now my husband and my kid are pretty much my life.  I've had a lot of people in my life that have had a big part in who I am but when it comes down to it, everything depends on what you do with what you have been given.  Years of talk therapy don't hurt either. ;-)
Mar. 24th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Happy second day of 44! May it bring you many days to take joy in! :)
Mar. 24th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks, it's off to a sunny start. :-). So good, so far.
Mar. 25th, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday (belated)!
Mar. 25th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :-)
Mar. 26th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
Happy (belated) birthday!

I'm an older fangirl too - and also think of our boys as "The Boys" as I'm older than them.

So much has changed hasn't it, and so quickly, time just seems to fly by - faster and faster the older we become I think.

The biggest event, in a way, for me, has been the creation of the internet and the changes in technology. I remember having a telephone in the hall and the number was Etwall 2893 - easier to remember than the great long numbers now adays. When the phone rang me and my brother would race to answer it first as it was a big event, exciting to hear that bell aringing! I remember watching the first video tape, on a friend's Betamax machine - he had had to join a local video club that had cost a couple hundred pounds and several of us watched The Exorcist at his house. It was so thrilling!

I could ramble for ages but just wanted to say I enjoyed your post and the memories within - here's to being in our 40s!

Mar. 26th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC)
I know -- the technology changes have been amazing. We were the first kids to have computers in school. In college, we used desktop publishing software that was changing that realm. Then when I went to library school, the internet came in and changed how library work was done. Now I watch my third-grader do presentations in powerpoint or kick my butt in Mario Kart as I drive my kart into the abyss again (and again...). I can't imagine what kind of changes will have taken place by the time she gets to her 40s. Remember when a video phone was considered science fiction? Now I skype with my husband when he travels for work all the time. It's crazy but it sure has been fun to be a part of. Here's to 40 more years for both of us...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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