The Concept Of Life - By the Numbers

316 months ago, I was born into a world where life was carefree. Where people were just going to the moon proving that: * Everything is possible. 31 years ago, I was in first grade. Getting new pencils and notebooks and pencil holders and tiny sharpeners and those rubber erasers were just like Christmas. It certainly was true that: * Little things make the difference. 26 years ago, I learned that school was not all that it has previously been cracked up to be. It was hard and boring and learning things I personally didn't care about. I learned that: * You don't always know why things happen at that moment. 18 years ago, I graduated high school. It was a windy June evening when my days of childhood wrapped themselves up. That night, I was to be seen as an adult. Not long after that, I got my first ticket, credit card and was supposed to know what I was doing. * Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. 17 years ago, I had my first part-time job working in the bowling alley. I only dropped in to bowl. Afterward, I asked if they were hiring. The owner said yes, I started 4 days later. You know: * Sometimes, you just gotta ask. 15 years ago, I got my first real job working at the newspaper. It is something that I had become interested in during my senior year of high school, and I was good at it. I eventually left for something bigger and better. But no matter what job I've had, I always kept finding ways to make writing a key in it. * Start with something you enjoy. Everything will be based around it. 14 years ago, I learned that the newspaper business, really is a business. Our managing editor was laid off without notice in the first of several rounds of cutbacks * Doing a great job just doesn't cut it any more. 10 years ago, I moved out on my own for the first time. Macaroni and cheese, along with bills to pay, writing to do, Nintendo to play. I felt alive and life was dear, but I moved back home, the very next year. * Life looks a lot easier than it is. 9 years ago, my father passed away. It was a shock the way it happened. No signs, no symptoms, no warning. He made friends, made people feel comfortable, made them feel important, and made them laugh. I can't tell a joke for the life of me. And even if I could, I couldn't tell many of them here. * You don't have to be on Oprah to make a difference in someone's life. 7 years ago, I lost contact with a friend of mine since high school. Through no one person's fault, we just never got around to calling or writing each other since. * Friendship is a 2-way street. 3 years ago, I took a chance. In some respects, it closed doors to being able to go back to what I once was. But it has also opened up other opportunities and contacts with people I probably would never have known. * You can't grow until you take a few chances. 2 months ago, I bought a bicycle. I started off from the house and road onto the trails in back. Looking around, there were no children around riding or walking or anything. It was as if they had been locked away. * Times have changed, especially for the kids. 1 day ago, I was being followed by a white van on the highway. Thoughts rushed through my mind of recent events near Washington DC. Could this be the same person? Is it possible that he/she would be all the way in Missouri by now? Turned out to only be an ice cream truck. (Complete with ringing bell). * Things certainly are not like they used to be any more. Today, we have the chance to change the future. We have the opportunity to teach and lead and grow and understand. We can learn from our past without being prisoner to it. We may not be able to go back with what we know now, but we can, and must go forward. The key to life is always learning, always growing and ever forward. Be sure to stop and smell the flowers along the way. It's what makes the journey special. Tomorrow will most likely arrive. And we will be ready for it. For everything we have learned has brought us to this point. We will take the necessary precautions, adjust accordingly, but never stop living our lives. You can count on that.