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21,915 Days

21,915 by Terry Cochran

What's in a number? Is it 60 years or 720 months or 21,915 days? Time flows non-stop, but we try to control it by putting it in neat little boxes. The choice of the box size, however, can change your perspective. Even with all the current hype, 60 doesn't sound like such a big number. But 21,915? Now there's a number we can sink our teeth into!

Thinking in terms of "a few years" does not capture the same flavor as "thousands of days." For example, the 3 years of the Kennedy presidency sounds small next to the 8 years of a Reagan or a G. W. Bush, but "1,000 days of Camelot" still brings back a bit of the magic. And even thinking of 30 years of war in Vietnam pales next to a label such as the "10,000 day war."

So what do such numbers mean for you? For most Americans, those 21,915 days start off with almost 2,000 of them as an infant, toddler, or pre-schooler. Those are followed for the vast majority of folks by more than 4,600 days when they are best known as students.

A lot of us don't stop there, of course. I was a college student (at least part-time) for more than 3,000 additional days, along with serving as an Army officer for over 1,000 more -- but after those 4,000 days, that was enough for me! Other Boomers, like my wife, could go to school forever. She also completed more than 2,000 days as a college student, but is now considering another 1,000 of them, to earn her Ph.D.

And speaking of my wife, it seems hard to believe that we've been married for over 11,000 days or that we've been grandparents for more than 2,500 of them. Where did the time go?

Of course, some of those old choices have changed along the way. For example, a quick calculation tells me that I wore a tie on more than 7,500 workdays -- but it's been almost 2,000 days since I felt I had to routinely choke myself like that.

That latter change, of course, had something to do with the fact that I started the Boomernet website almost 4,000 days ago and then gradually moved more and more of my activities to a home-based operation. With 5 of my own sites now, plus those I manage for others, that keeps me busy. And like my favorite dress code song says, it's "no shoes, no shirt, no problem."

But what of the future? I plan to work another 7,300 days (to age 80) and then hang out for 7,300 more beyond that, poking my nose into other people's business. I still believe as I did 10 years ago, when I wrote that "50 is just the midfield marker." Living a healthy and happy 100 years remains a worthy goal.

So here's an early warning for my kids and grandkids (and eventually great-grandkids): Don't trust anyone over 80. When I finally get some extra time on my hands, I could be dangerous!

I can certainly acknowledge now that I have more days behind me than ahead, but that doesn't mean that I won't stay busy. I plan to work each day and learn new skills, do my daily Sudoku puzzle, enjoy a sunrise or a sunset, and both give and receive love.

As I celebrate day number 21,915, I'm having fun with memories of days past and plans for those in the future -- but I'm sure remembering to enjoy this one, too . . .

Thinking in terms of "a few years" does not capture the same flavor as "thousands of days." For example, the 3 years of the Kennedy presidency sounds small next to the 8 years of a Reagan or a G. W. Bush, but "1,000 days of Camelot" still brings back a bit of the magic. And even thinking of 30 years of war in Vietnam pales next to a label such as the "10,000 day war."

So what do such numbers mean for you? For most Americans, those 21,915 days start off with almost 2,000 of them as an infant, toddler, or pre-schooler. Those are followed for the vast majority of folks by more than 4,600 days when they are best known as students.

A lot of us don't stop there, of course. I was a college student (at least part-time) for more than 3,000 additional days, along with serving as an Army officer for over 1,000 more -- but after those 4,000 days, that was enough for me! Other Boomers, like my wife, could go to school forever. She also completed more than 2,000 days as a college student, but is now considering another 1,000 of them, to earn her Ph.D.

And speaking of my wife, it seems hard to believe that we've been married for over 11,000 days or that we've been grandparents for more than 2,500 of them. Where did the time go?

Of course, some of those old choices have changed along the way. For example, a quick calculation tells me that I wore a tie on more than 7,500 workdays -- but it's been almost 2,000 days since I felt I had to routinely choke myself like that.

That latter change, of course, had something to do with the fact that I started the Boomernet website almost 4,000 days ago and then gradually moved more and more of my activities to a home-based operation. With 5 of my own sites now, plus those I manage for others, that keeps me busy. And like my favorite dress code song says, it's "no shoes, no shirt, no problem."

But what of the future? I plan to work another 7,300 days (to age 80) and then hang out for 7,300 more beyond that, poking my nose into other people's business. I still believe as I did 10 years ago, when I wrote that "50 is just the midfield marker." Living a healthy and happy 100 years remains a worthy goal.

So here's an early warning for my kids and grandkids (and eventually great-grandkids): Don't trust anyone over 80. When I finally get some extra time on my hands, I could be dangerous!

I can certainly acknowledge now that I have more days behind me than ahead, but that doesn't mean that I won't stay busy. I plan to work each day and learn new skills, do my daily Sudoku puzzle, enjoy a sunrise or a sunset, and both give and receive love.

As I celebrate day number 21,915, I'm having fun with memories of days past and plans for those in the future -- but I'm sure remembering to enjoy this one, too . . .

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