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Friday, July 2, 2021

Marking The Sixth Decade

As this post - #1999 - lines up with the year that started my sixth decade, it's difficult for me to get that Prince song out of my head. What milestone or memorable event from your life took place in 1999? This limited run series has helped me learn a fair amount about readers who have shared parts of their stories with me. I hope more of you will join in as the last three iterations are published. 

After sixteen years living in our first house - the house where we were married in 1983 and our daughter was born six years later - in 1999, the three of us moved to Montgomery Township. We timed our move for over the summer, hoping the disruption for our daughter might be diminished if she began fifth grade at the start of a new school year. You'll have to ask her if our strategy was effective. 

The start of my sixth decade is additionally memorable for me because I recall that as the year started I began recognizing something was amiss in my work-life balance. My e-mail inbox was constantly full, my guitar playing was suffering, there were too many employee performance assessments to complete, I wasn't exercising regularly. Something had to give. The radical path I ultimately took a year later began taking shape in my head as 1999 unfolded. With over twenty years of hindsight I now see clearly why my wife thought I was losing it. Sorry sweetheart and, thanks for hanging in there.  

"Life too, is like that. You live it forward but understand it backward." - Abraham Verghese (from Cutting For Stone"  - 2009) 


  1. The most memorable thing I can recall from 1999 was that we purchased a second house in Bradley Beach. My grand children were little at the time and could come down here with my daughter for three weeks of Jersey shore living. Little did we know that this would change our lives. After spending several summers here on weekends, we decided this was where we wanted to retire. It took quite a few years before that became a reality but the seed had been planted. Now we are living full time in BB and enjoying every moment!

    1. Ines; Thanks for sharing more of your story with me. Imagine: If you had never found that place in BB - and joined the book cub at the library there many years later - we might never have met.

  2. Good morning, Pat. 1999 .. Well, I have to say that in many ways this was not my favorite year. Difficult times. My divorce from my first wife was finalized in February. And although it has since turned out fine - especially for our children - it was, of course, a difficult time for all involved. But the biggest heartbreak in 1999 was the loss of my dad. Diagnosed in December 1998 with Pancreatic Cancer, and given a prognosis of 4-6 months, we lost him on April 2, 1999, almost 4 months to the day from when he was first diagnosed. As I am sure anyone can imagine, seeing the decline of a parent, in such a dramatic and fast way ... well .... enough said.
    However, there were also a number of good things that happened. I started dating my wife later in 1999 and we just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. My career started on a steady upward course that year with what would be the first of a number of promotions to follow in the coming years. And that would lead, 19 years later, to being able to retire after almost 33 years.
    As I am sure it is with most years, both good and bad things occur. 1999 certainly had its share of both.
    Be well, Pat,

    1. Hey Bob; I admire your ability to extract the positive from the year 1999 given how much life threw at you that particular year. Says a great deal about your resilience. Thanks for sharing still more of your story with me.
      p.s. When we get to the post called "Marking My Eighth Decade" i.e. #2019 and events from that same year, I've got something up my sleeve that relates to you and I. Can you guess?

    2. Good morning, Pat … Yeah, I believe I have a pretty good idea.