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Musing upon Milestones - Howard Tayler
Ramblings of a Happy Cartoonist
howardtayler
howardtayler
Musing upon Milestones
So... today I turn 40.

(I'll give the leap-day jokes a miss.)

Statistically, this is probably a little past the half-way point for me, at least in terms of life expectancy. Since my dad only lived to be 56, and his dad died sometime in his 60's (maybe early 70's) I can be accused of optimism if I call 40 "half-way."

In terms of physical ability I'm also past the half-way point. Oh, I may be able to push back the clock a little bit through healthy living for the next twenty years, but there's no going back to age 25 (not without blood-nannies, or something similarly techno-miraculous.)

All of this might be kind of depressing. It's also a very inaccurate way to look at things, since the only person for whom any of this is true is me. It's a very selfish perspective, and it's not worth dwelling on. Let's consider some others:

My oldest daughter has had 12 years of shared experience with me. Even if I only live to be 56, this birthday is still a couple of years shy of the half-way point from her point of view -- more if you account for the fact that she doesn't really remember the first three.

My youngest son has had 5 years with me. If I live to be eighty (look! Optimism!) then the times we've already shared as of this point represent only one-ninth of the times we can share going forward.

Sandra and I have enjoyed fifteen years together. If we get another forty, then obviously today isn't anywhere near the half-way mark.

I suppose the oldest of my siblings, who joins me in her forties next year, can claim that this is pretty close to half-way for the two of us, but she's the only person I've known for that long (okay... there are aunts, uncles, and cousins OLDER than me for whom the halfway point has long since fled... but let's not dwell on that right now.)

And now let's consider you, the reader. How long have you known me? Maybe five years? Perhaps eight?

I plan to keep cartooning up until the end. If I hold true to that (and the indications are that I will) then you and I haven't even hit the 20% mark. I may be "mid-life," right now, but I've got decades in which to continue building worlds in my head and then telling stories about them. This ride isn't half-way over. It's barely started.

That's my happy thought for my Birthday this year.

I feel: satisfied satisfied

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Comments
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grrlgoddess From: grrlgoddess Date: February 29th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Happy Birthday! For all the joy and laughter you bring to me and your readers, i wish that joy and laughter doubled back to you.

And come to Canada - some of us here want to meet you!! :)
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: February 29th, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll be in Toronto at the end of March for Ad Astra. I know, I know, Canada is a big place. Still... I'm getting my foot in the door.
goobermunch From: goobermunch Date: February 29th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
The measure of our lives is not in our moments on the earth, but in our moments with those we love.

--G
jcfiala From: jcfiala Date: February 29th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday sir!
shana From: shana Date: February 29th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday!
steltek From: steltek Date: February 29th, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Man, I'm only 23 but you're making me feel my mortality, Howard. :)

Anyway, happy birthday. And here's to 40 more good years, or maybe even an old-testament patriarch lifespan.
l0stmyrel1g10n From: l0stmyrel1g10n Date: February 29th, 2008 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
happy birthday! you rock. here's hoping you're nowhere near the halfway point.

<obligatory>you're not 40! you're only 10!</obligatory> sorry.
sandratayler From: sandratayler Date: February 29th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday love!

I'm so glad you took the time to write this down. It is a joyful way to see this birthday.
skippyclese From: skippyclese Date: February 29th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday!

As a thought exercise, look at some of the first editions of a lot of the great classic literature. Some of them didn't sell too well. If you find the number of copies sold for some of them, guestimate at the weight per copy, and compare to pallets of Schlock I but the numbers will look pretty good. Ton for ton, you've got a good start on a lasting legacy.
(Deleted comment)
admiralmemo From: admiralmemo Date: March 2nd, 2008 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)

I wonder if he's got an observer to help him like Sam Beckett did. ;-)
calogipi From: calogipi Date: February 29th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday. Once I hit 40 I realized how young it really is! :)
mike_brendan From: mike_brendan Date: February 29th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday! May the numbers add up in your favor!
smithee_awards From: smithee_awards Date: February 29th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy Birthday! We were going to send you a home made post card but Illustrator crashed :( Fortunately, we still have Norbert "The world's cutest crawling eye monster" as an LJ icon so please except birthday wishes from him in electronic form.

Out of curiosity (and because we were talking about leap day babies) you are only technically 9 years old as far as birthdays celebrated yes? Can you count that in your life expectancy math? Because that would wrock.

-JQ of the Smithee Crew
howardtayler From: howardtayler Date: February 29th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, if you're counting the number of times February 29th has passed since my birth, I'm celebrating my 10th. People overthink it. We DID have 29 days in February during the Year 2000. I know. I counted.
shannont From: shannont Date: February 29th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy birthday! Hit 36 myself, today.
lionsphil From: lionsphil Date: February 29th, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have a good one!
unixronin From: unixronin Date: February 29th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I plan to keep cartooning up until the end. If I hold true to that (and the indications are that I will) then you and I haven't even hit the 20% mark. I may be "mid-life," right now, but I've got decades in which to continue building worlds in my head and then telling stories about them. This ride isn't half-way over. It's barely started.
Wheee! :)
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