58 years ago
The world was a twitch away from total nuclear destruction. White bread was a health food. Diabetes and obesity were relatively rare. The newspaper was the way most people heard about the news. We thought things were moving very fast, frighteningly fast. Women rarely worked outside the home, and the Rev. King was a relatively unknown preacher. No one owned a computer. The number of books published every year was quite small, as was the local bookstore. It was almost impossible to spend more than 45 minutes a day keeping up with current events. It was against the law for blacks and whites to marry in Virginia, and for gay couples to marry just about anywhere. Apartheid was mostly unremarked upon in the US. UPS never came to your house. A long-distance phone call was a big deal.
Air conditioning was rare, bottled water hadn't been invented yet, there were no billionaires, there were three or four channels of TV, movies were only shown in movie theaters, most dangerous diseases would certainly kill you. The air and water were clean, but we were working overtime to make them dirty. Congress wasn't a version of pro wrestling. Milk came in only one formulation (whole), you probably worked at the same company for a very long time and relatively few people went to college.
And 58 years from now, when, actuarially, most of us will still be around, what will things be like then? Slower? Apparently more stable? Based on skills we have today?
There is no normal. Simply the relentless cycle of change.
Today's as good a day as any to dedicate your birthday to helping someone in more dire straits than most of us can even imagine. Thanks to you, there are thousands (thousands!) of people who are alive today, alive and healthy, because you, the readers of this blog, showed up for them.
Also, before the day is out, why not start a project?
There is no normal, but we can always work to make things better.