Today is my 20,000th day on Earth.
It's quite a milestone.
I'm going out for a celebratory meal.
People don't normally celebrate round numbers of days, only multiples of years, although you could argue days are even more significant. And why stop there? How about marking special numbers of months, hours, minutes or even seconds? Any excuse for a party.
To save you the hassle of excess mathematics this webpage will calculate all those special dates for you. For example I was one and a half billion seconds old on Wednesday 19th September 2012, and I'm going to be half a million hours old on Wednesday 23rd March 2022.
As a helpful overview I've compiled this summary list to show which special anniversaries crop up at which age. I've emboldened the dozen I think are the most significant. Maybe you've got one of your own coming up soon.
19:ten million minutes, one thousand weeks 22: two hundred thousand hours 27:ten thousand days 31:one billion seconds 34: three hundred thousand hours 38: twenty million minutes, two thousand weeks 41: fifteen thousand days 45: four hundred thousand hours 47: one and a half billion seconds 54:twenty thousand days 57: thirty million minutes, half a million hours, three thousand weeks 63:two billion seconds 68: six hundred thousand hours, twenty five thousand days 76: forty million minutes, four thousand weeks 79: two and a half billion seconds, seven hundred thousand hours 82:thirty thousand days 83:one thousand months 91: eight hundred thousand hours 95:three billion seconds, fifty million minutes, five thousand weeks
My 10,000th day was a Saturday, and was (obviously) half my life ago. It's also the only day in my life I woke up in Northampton and went to bed in Luton. And because I keep a diary, I remember it in ridiculously fine detail.
Saturday 25th July 1992 kicked off very much as the morning after the night before. That had involved beers and barbecued venison sausages at the Olde Coach House Inn in Ashby St Ledgers, a small village close to Watford Gap, before crashing out in bed on the outskirts of Northampton. I was woken around 10am with a cup of tea, a bowl of cornflakes and a glass of orange juice, but probably not a kiss because of morning breath. Congratulations, you've caught me halfway through my very first relationship, which clocked in at all of five weeks.
All the clues were there that it wasn't going to last, not just the repeated sneaking off to the bathroom for a cigarette, but also the underlying preference for a good cuddle over and above anything more intimate. That morning I spent a long time alone on the sofa while bathroom ablutions were completed, after which any prospective plans for the day were wiped out by the comment "ah right, now I've got to get on". I was duly driven back home to Bedford, with DLT playing on the car radio, my offer of a cuppa turned down in favour of a "more urgent" trip to Sainsbury's.
Once indoors the first thing I did was ring my brother. He'd sent me a postcard in the week confirming that his girlfriend had moved in, and was wondering how our parents would take the news. It turns out they'd taken it well. I didn't mention where I'd spent the night, which was for the best because my relationship had 20 days left and his is still going strong 10,000 days later. Then I went out and bought a newspaper and a bag of chips, liberally doused in vinegar, and ate those while catching up on Brookside and Eldorado which I'd recorded earlier. What a time to be alive.
Then in the evening I took the train to Luton for an amateur pop quiz. My friend Steve was hosting at his house, on Russell Street, and while we waited for the other contestants to arrive we watched the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics. I ended up in the team with Mike and Hazel, on the sofa nearest to the bowl of crisps, and soon we were three thousand points behind. I was better on the audio rounds than the video questions, because I'd taken the narcissistic decision to leave my glasses at home so couldn't see any fine on-screen detail. I was even worse at Pictionary.
The quiz went on and on, deep into day 10,001, but not even a 1980s round could sneak our team into the lead. Ah well. We moved on to playing Mousetrap, and waiting for a wine box that'd been stored in the freezer to defrost. Finally around half past three I went to bed in the lodger's room, which was fine because he was on shift reading the news on a local commercial radio station. Reading back now, I cannot believe how atypically packed my Day 10,000 was. Better still, I'm chuffed to note that I recognised it was my 10,000th day at the time, having spotted its significance pre-internet using just a calendar and pocket calculator.
Day 10,001 proved additionally significant because it was the day that persuaded me to give contact lenses a go. I'd enjoyed going spec-less for the weekend, and Steve reassured me that he'd been using them for years, so I decided I really ought to take the plunge. On Day 10,002 I went to Vision Express and got fitted for contact lenses, and on Day 10,003 I learned how to take them out, and after that I never looked back. Then Day 10,004 was my first ever trip to a nudist beach and Day 10,005 was the first time I got bad sunburn, but those are tales for another time.
Day 20,000 won't be so wild, but my celebratory meal is booked in somewhere very special indeed. I then face a very long wait until Day 30,000, which if I'm lucky should be just after my eighty-second birthday. My Dad reaches Day 30,000 this time next year. Maybe you could check out when your next milestone birthday is, and stick an alarm in your online calendar so when it finally comes round you won't forget.