As of today, thirty-five billion, one hundred and thirty-six million miles to be somewhat exact. Well, that’s the number I’ve traveled on this rock in its orbit around our star at about 18.5 miles/second, accounting for the fact that the orbit is slightly elliptical. Of course, I’m discounting the 7.0128E+11 miles I’ve traveled with our solar system through the cosmic background at 370 miles/second because that would make me feel really old and probably a bit dizzy. There are many ways to look at 60, but the experience of getting there has recently taught me to look neither back nor forward, so we’ll stay right here in this moment. Relatively close to it, anyway.

This week, a familiar face peered at me above the frosted “privacy glass” of my office. I’ve known the guy for most of my time at Kronos, but I wouldn’t say we’re close, but friendly. He said, “Since you’re a person I trust, I…” What a wonderful thing to hear from another human being.

Speaking of human beings, there’s a new one in our family. Luca arrived on October 5th, and perhaps even more than his mother Megan, father Mike, or sisters Maddie and Aza, Uncle Kyle is the family member most excited and outpouring of love. It recently occurred to me that Kyle may never hold a child of his own, so little Luca will be the recipient of a whole lotta love…

Simultaneously, I’m reading (Beth chuckles at how slowly…) How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan, and listening to Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright. I highly recommend both. As much as I enjoy contemplating the Cosmos and fanaticize about getting out there, the journey inside is equally infinite, yet highly accessible. I’ve written about meditation here before, but like clearing space junk orbiting our planet or plastic from our oceans, emptying the trash out of your mind is good daily maintenance. You should try it.

Anyway, other topics I’d lined up for this post include, “Podcasts,” “Exercise – yoga – arthritis,” and “Luke Voit,” but I’ll save those for my next missive in six months… Instead, since birthdays sometimes involve the exercise of a personal inventory…

  1. Mind: Still functioning, but the hard drive retrieval time is intermittently slow and sometimes doesn’t return data at all.
  2. Body: More mass than it once had, and not the good kind. Exercise is still conducted consistently, but frequency could be improved. Right hip is not hip to movement.
  3. Work: Still love it. Thinking the next chapter may be related to the books I’m reading.
  4. Family: Strong. Kyle, Megan, and Jessica are all doing wonderfully. It’s not been every year I could claim that, so I appreciate it now. A birthday card from Megan says, “You’re my best friend.” I must have done something right there. Maddie’s card was addressed to “Glampa,” and nobody calls me that. She’s a smart smartass. Genetics…
  5. Love: There’s a line in the film, “Interstellar,” “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.” Even though Forrest Gump claimed, “I know what love is,” I think that like time and space, it’s a mystery and almost unknowable with 100% certainty. Still, I’m a life-long learner, and I’m willing. What I do know for certain is that it sure feels like there’s a lot of it in me and around me. I wonder if the writer of “Love Makes The World Go Around” had a side gig as a physicist? Oh, man. I just looked it up. While songwriter Ollie Jones was not a physicist, he penned the song that Perry Como popularized in… 1958. That’s far out, man.
  6. Happiness: Please reference 1-5 above.

Oh, and thanks, Mom for having me.  It’s been an awesome ride.