Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What a Difference a Day Makes, at 21,000

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What a Difference a Day Makes, at 21,000

Article excerpt

I'm 21,000 days old today. Yes, sir, the big 21 grand -- I finally made it.

So, not to be presumptuous, but the drinks are on whom?

That's not the way we're supposed to approach such a momentous event, I guess. Some guy named Peter Russell has a website he calls Spirit of Now that will calculate your days for you, and he says:

"The day is the natural cycle of our lives. The cycle of light and dark, wakefulness and sleep, has more significance than the cycle of the seasons. Indeed, in equatorial latitudes ..."

OK, that's enough, Peter. No offense, but you sound like a guy who has sung "Kumbaya" with his eyes closed as a way to unwind, and most of us aren't built that way.

Yet I do agree that this way of tabulating our time gives us a fresh perspective, and I was on to this well before there was any such thing as a website or life coach.

It was two-thirds of my life ago, exactly, when I first hit on this scam -- I mean, this joyous way of experiencing our wondrous journey on Spaceship Earth. Heh, heh.

The legal drinking age in New York required you to be 6,574 or 6,575 days old back then, depending on leap years. I'd spent an afternoon in that spring of 1975 fooling around with a calculator -- still pretty close to cutting-edge technology then -- when I found I'd be exactly 7,000 days old that Friday.

I don't remember who drove me home from Beau Brummel's that eventful night, but I can tell you my pitch to my friends went something like:

"We celebrate birthdays, not birth years, don't we? Do I have to wait another thousand days before somebody buys me a beer?"

I'm sure there could be higher uses for this calculation of your days (now available at and better minds may think of one. But I can tell you there is something freeing about taking stock of your life this way because, when you say you're some multiple of a thousand days old, the only ones likely to quickly surmise your true age are math professors and "Jeopardy" contestants. …

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