Happy birthday to me! I like birthdays, but the whole nature of celebrating them has changed. This year, I received one birthday card in the mail (from a sister) and three phone calls from well-wishers. BUT I received probably 40 or so Facebook messages. The pervasiveness of social media!
There were also several email solicitations that were disguised as birthday greetings. I don’t think they really care it is my birthday. I think it has more to do with my age bracket and the disposable income tied to it.
Keeping with more tradition, I spent some time with family and friends too. At least that much has not changed. But overall, the nature of birthdays seems to be electronic. As if the new message says, “Happy e-birthday to you!” It’s sort of a mouthful and we are definitely going to need to write a new song.
Something unusual about my birth date is that, when looked at numerically, it reads the same forward as backward – 06-22-60. Funny, huh? A numerical palindrome. I am really not into numerology in the least. But this pattern of evenness repeats itself when I look at other numbers in my life:
• The day I was born: It was on a Wednesday, generally considered to be the middle day of the week.
• The order of my birth among my siblings: I was born the middle of five children. Not only that, I was the only boy in the clan. So, the pattern is G-G-B-G-G. That reads the same forward and backwards.
• My sisters each have a name that begins with an “s.” So that pattern is S-S-J-S-S. There is that palindrome factor again.
For many years, I thought I was a Kennedy-era baby. That was kind of cool, being born during a young administration with space exploration on its mind, a space race that was also in its infancy. Then one year I noticed that President Kennedy was elected in November 1960 and took office in January 1961. So that means I was an Eisenhower-era kid after all. Well that cool factor just went right out the window!
So, as I cling to my youth during my last year in my 50s, keeping my eyes open for other evenness patterns, I appreciate more and more this gift of life and wish you the same – either way.
Johnny McNally is Grimes County’s Best Dressed Businessman advocating for Grimes County.