I turn 42 today. Here's the obligatory birthday blog post to prove it, but since I don't know how many of these birthdays I have left to obligate me, I'll try to make the most of this one.
According to the novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the ultimate answer
to "life, the universe, and everything."
There's a reason I never finished that book.
Now at 42, I'm pretty sure I'm not the answer to anything. For example:
- At 42, I'm certainly not the answer for the five-year-old foster boy living with us who hits me at bedtime and repeatedly screams in my face every night that he wants his dad. I wish his dad wanted him, but I can't do anything about it.
- I used to think being 42 would be old enough to influence others while not being thought of as completely old-fashioned. I gave that idea
up at 32 (seems I've always been an old-fashioned guy).
- It sure doesn't seem that me at 42 is enough financially in a nation whose government is increasingly intent on spending what I earn. Especially when they – Republicans and Democrats alike – spend it the way they spend it.
- Some might think 42 should make you old enough to know better and secure enough to tell everyone, but I don't and it doesn't. My dad says that didn't really happen for him until his fifties. Nuts.
- I won't even talk about 42 not being the ultimate answer physically. These days, I speak of myself as being in a shape (never mind what shape that is).
- I hope to wear 42 with as much class as Jackie Robinson did, but that may be asking too much. Believe it or not, there's only so much abuse I can take.
- I suppose I hope 42 might lend me some of its mystique as the atomic number of molybdenum or the last of the mysterious numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 in LOST. Alas, I feel about as intriguing as dirt.
Maybe I'll just stick with what Job learned in chapter 42 and call it a year:
Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
That feels more like the ultimate answer
to "life, the universe, and everything." Happy 42nd to me (and happy 11th to my third daughter, Katie, who is still the best birthday present I've ever received).