The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything
I have been waiting to turn 42 since I was in middle school and read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Deep Thought, the computer in the book, works on the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything, and after many millions of years returns the answer: 42. The problem is that we don’t know the question.
It’s impossible to know the question AND the answer. We don’t get our cake AND get to eat it, too. We don’t get to have all mysteries solved and know how to steer our lives toward fulfillment. We just get this one chance, here on earth, to not muck up things too badly, enjoy our experience, and be okay with the fact that all will not be revealed while simultaneously still trying to reveal it.
And one time — one time only — we (hopefully) get a chance to actually be 42 for 365 days. I’m about to start that journey.
It’s the first time in a long time that I don’t mind aging a year. I’m not really great about my birthday and turning older, and I generally get melancholy before, during, and after. But I’m really looking forward to being 42*.
This past weekend, we celebrated my birthday early at the beach with ski ball and amusement park rides. I read 9 comic books while sitting on the sand, listening to the waves. We ate French fries and Nic-o-bolis. A birthday well-marked.
The day itself will be a chance to just step back and marvel at the fact that I am here at all. That 42 years ago, anything could have happened. But I did. Isn’t that so weird?
*Luckily, I am also looking forward to being 44 for the symmetry of that number, so it’s not as if it’s all downhill from here.