Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘twenty years

Fateful Ignorance

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Twenty years ago today we didn’t conceive how everything would change on the following day. Nineteen hijackers knew what they were going to do the next day. The first had arrived in the United States almost two years earlier and the others gradually showed up throughout the following months.

They lived among us. Some underwent flight training in Florida. We didn’t have a clue.

Brings to mind my similar naiveté on January 5th this year. I didn’t conceive that the fanatics who believed the lies they were being fed about a stolen election would attack police and storm our nation’s capital in an attempted insurrection. They all knew what was going to happen the next day. Pipe bombs were planted, equipment gathered, transportation arranged.

For the last twenty years, we have been hearing threats of other possible attacks from foreign terrorists. In the months since the January 6th uprising, we have heard warnings about more attacks on our democracy that continue to loom.

After a while, we tend to grow numb to the alerts. I’d like to hope the FBI and CIA are on top of all the pertinent details so I don’t need to live on permanent alert, but history reveals that didn’t work for 9/11 or 1/6.

If I let myself think too much about it, my mind questions whether some group with ill intentions is busy today making their preparations unnoticed while we go about our daily business in cluelessness.

One way to offset that horror is to focus on what happened 50-years ago yesterday. John Lennon’s “Imagine” was released on September 9, 1971. Yesterday, the lyrics to the song were projected onto iconic buildings and landmarks around the world.

NPR included a segment about the song in their Morning Edition. I urge you to listen: NPR: John Lennon released ‘Imagine.’

It provides priceless context and analysis.


Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

No religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace…





Written by johnwhays

September 10, 2021 at 6:00 am

Twenty Years

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Six months into 2019, I will reach another decade milestone of birthdays. It will mark the entrance to my fourth life span, as measured by my twenty-year segments of life. My perspective goes like this: From birth to age twenty, it seems like a mind-boggling amount life experiences.

We know almost nothing when born, basically starting with little in the way of consciousness, then progressing to a fully functioning adult –give or take a few/some/many skills; individual results obviously vary. Using those first twenty years of life as a benchmark, the changes in the next twenty years aren’t so dramatic.

But here’s the key: It is still the same span of time in number of years.

If it felt like a lifetime of experiences to get to twenty-years-old, then use that same reference to view life from twenty to forty. Don’t devalue that second span of twenty years just because of how much you already knew when it started.

Same thing again when reaching sixty. You have lived from zero to twenty, three times by sixty years old.

Young people may naturally perceive small differences between people in their sixties or eighties. But considering it from the twenty-year reference, that difference is another lifetime.

Last fall, my health insurance provider mailed me a notice that it was time for my annual physical. You know, that annual physical that I get around to every four years or so. As the calendar rolled over to the new year, the one where I will turn sixty, I felt motivated to make the appointment.

Now that I’ve survived that nuisance cold I picked up over the holidays, I’m in great condition for a well-health check. Problem is, I don’t want to bring up any symptoms of aging for fear the doctor will want to sell me a battalion of pharmacological solutions.

Among nuisance details like age spots on my skin, and declining testosterone induced nose/ear/eyebrow hair growth, I’m recognizing new and increasing signs that my oft-sprained ankle from years of sporting activity is sending very arthritic aching signals lately.

The ankle pangs provide a compliment to the arthritic thumb pain that my hand doctor discouraged me surgically treating when I sought advice on it after the family trait showed up in my left hand about a decade ago.

Being uninterested in long-term prescription treatments, I would like to delay a standard routine of osteoarthritis pain medicines as long as possible.

I’ll focus my next twenty-year life span toward optimal hydration, controlled sugar intake, healthy meals (portion control!), regular planking and stretching, clean air, positive mental focus, regular dental checkups/eye exams, interacting with our animals, and sending love to everyone, in attempt to manage the ravages of time.

Who knows? Maybe in another twenty years, they will have perfected the art of genetically re-engineering epigenetic changes or senescent cell management, and aging will be a thing of the past.

Twenty years seems like a lifetime of experience, though, doesn’t it?