The Big 4-0

It’s not all that bad…yet. Today is the day that I join the ranks of people who grew up in the ’80s by reaching my 40’s. Some of you have already blown by the big milestone, and others will be hitting it shortly.

I remember when 40 seemed so old and far away. It’s funny how fast time flies as you get older and older, and busier and busier.

I was lucky enough to grow up in the greatest decade. I do remember quite a bit of the 70’s. Then in 1980, I turned a whole “decade old”. Around that time, the world seemed to change. Our country had been in turmoil. Gas prices were high, we were still reeling from Watergate, and from the division of the country during the Vietnam War. Countries weren’t respecting us as Russia invaded Afghanistan during the Cold War, without any fear of any repercussions, and Iran had taken U.S. hostages.

But, as we reached the ’80s, Ronald Reagan became president, and our country seemed to get some pride back. The hostages were freed, and by the end of the decade, we had won the Cold War as the Berlin Wall was taken down.
The good times had begun again, with fun movies, great family television shows, and there were bright neon colors. People were spending money again.

Technology was picking up. We were able to actually own our own PC’s such as IBM’s or Commodore 64’s. We didn’t have to go to the arcade to play video games, as we were able to play on our Ataris or Intellivions. We did not have to go to the movie theater to watch a movie without commercials. We could watch movies in our own homes with the VCR and Cable TV. And Compact Discs were starting to become popular. No longer did you have to hit fast forward on your tape player to get your favorite song – only to stop to early, then try to fast forward again, then go to far, and then have to rewind. You could just hit a button, and you could hear your song much faster and with much less aggravation.

Although we do come from the greatest decade, there are a lot of things to appreciate these days.
– I have a beautiful wife, who is also my best friend.

– I have always loved music. And now I can hold all my songs in one place. There are around 7,000 songs on my iPod and counting. Instead of making a 90 minute mix tape, I can make a play list of as many songs as I want in a matter of minutes or seconds.

– I am not into video games, but I know you can play video games with people all over the world.

– Television screens are getting to be even better than what movie screens used to be.

– I have always loved writing. I used to write stories in a spiral notebook. Then I would have to pass the notebook to somebody if I wanted them to read them. Now, I can write, and the share my writing with anybody all over the world with just the click of a button.

But it is still great to return to the ’80s. We could take some lessons from our past. It would be nice if our country could get our pride back, like we had back then. It would be nice if this decade could find an identity. The ’70s had disco and bell bottoms. The ’80s had the great times, bright colors and big hair. The ’90s had grunge. The teens from the ’80s even had an identity in the ’90s known as Generation X.
If I’m missing something, let me know. But I don’t know what identity kids and teens of the ’00s had.

I am happy to Return to the ’80s whenever I want, I hope you are too.

In closing, here are ’80s stars that share my birthday:

St. Elsewhere’s Mark Harmon (59)
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures Keanu Reeves aka “Ted” Theodore Logan (air guitar) (46)
Salma Hayek (44) Alright, she wasn’t in anything in the ’80s! But I just wanted to say that we share the same birthday!

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