MURPHY'S LAW Life passing by in the blink of an eye

By Patrick Murphy

To paraphrase Dwight Schrute, It is my birthday.

I turn 59 today.

It’s the age that if I dropped dead people would say I was so young, but alive, people will joke I’m getting old.

When people call me old or tell me I’m getting old, I tell them that is always the goal. 

It’s the goal of everyone, right, to live a long, happy, productive life, and I’m hoping I have a lot left in the tank.

It also makes me think a lot about how I got here, and where I go from here.

Actually, whenever I take time off my mind wanders to what it would be like to do what I want, when I want and not have to answer to deadlines.

It sounds glorious.

Thoughts of retirement have crept into my mind and have grown into conversations at home.

Yes, my wife and I have talked retiring, no it’s not going to happen anytime soon — unless we win the lottery then all bets are off.

I think about time and age a lot because it never ceases to amaze me, how time goes by so quickly, and life is so beautiful, fragile and brief.

I had one of those “How Did I Get Here so Quickly” moments when my daughter, Claire, turned 30, and I thought about how did this little girl grow up so fast.

Life moves at a speed that eludes me, and when I think about all the people who have come and gone in my life, the ones are have been with me through most of it, the ones who will be with me for many more years and how far we have come, it is almost more than I can fathom.

How does life go by in the blink of an eye? 

I am so bad about time and what year something happened. I lose track of how many years ago we lived in a certain town while I worked at that town’s paper. 

Maybe that’s my newspaper training. I am always concentrating on this week’s issue while thinking about the one after that and the one after that. That is probably how the years sneak past me.

So here I sit at 59, and I’m more than OK with that. Maybe it was because I was the last of seven or because my birthday was in the summer, but it’s always been celebrated, and my family always makes a big deal of everyone’s birthday.

That’s one of the reasons 59 doesn’t seem old or depressing to me. 

It seems like a reason to celebrate because everyone’s life should be a celebration because everyone’s life is important.

Maybe because of my own family growing up was a little disjointed — not the Ward and June Cleaver family — I really appreciate my little family and how close we are. Because we are close it makes me want to be around them as long as possible, doing all the things we love to do.

So here I am, another year has passed, entering my last year in the 50s. Now where’s my cake and ice cream.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.