Halfway Dead

Cover of "Happy Birthday to Me"
Cover of Happy Birthday to Me

I am 38-years-old today, that’s right 38-years-old! 38 years!!

Happy Birthday to me, right?

This reminds me of Bill Cosby on the ‘Himself’ tour, talking about being in first class on a flight, and little ‘Jeffrey‘ running up and down the aisles announcing “I’m Four Years Old! I’m Four Years Old! I’m Four Years Old!” throughout the duration of the flight, driving everyone crazy for hours. It ensured they got no sleep, and it was the worst 2 thousand bucks they have ever spent traveling between New York and LA.

I reminded my husband of this when I repeated my age 12 times before breakfast; “It could be worse, at least you aren’t on a plane with little Jeffrey.” He didn’t seem to feel there was a whole lot of difference.

By far my favorite line from the show was this one;

“I said to a guy, Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful, and he said, because it intensifies your personality. I said, Yes, but what if you’re an asshole?”

I know a few of those cocaine snorting assholes, and so the statement rings even more true now than it did back in the 80’s, when I first saw the show. It never loses its humor to me, and that’s one of the many brilliant things about Bill.

Bill Cosby - Quinnipiac Law

Bill Cosby, comic God.

I’ve seen that “Himself” video (yes video, it was released in the dark ages, otherwise knows as the 80’s) dozens of times – and if you haven’t I highly recommend you rent it out – I guarantee your sides will hurt for days for having had the experience, and it’s much more enjoyable than a Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred workout (yes, I speak from experience on this one), with arguably the same result.

Moving on.

I’m 38-years-old today, and my husband tells me I don’t look a day over 37 and 11 months, (he really knows how to flatter a girl). 38 is kind of a big deal, because in just over 2 years, by the law of averages, I’d potentially be halfway dead.

In fact, though I like to pretend our move to Australia was for more noble causes, the actual reason I hopped up and moved, was I saw the latest life expectancy statistics in the US.

The average life expectancy for a woman in America is 81.3 years, but here’s the kicker, the average life expectancy for a woman in Australia is 84 years, the third highest in the world following Japan (not sure that it’s accounting for the recent disasters) and Hong Kong.

Do you see what I just did there? I added almost three years to my life, just by packing up and moving to the other side of the world!

Genius? I think so!

Right now, I am a full 4 years from halfway dead! So awesome! (Of course this precludes terrible accidents like being hit by a bus, or my stalker hiring a hit man to take me out.)

It’s weird isn’t it, when you begin to see your life in terms of how long you have left.

Granted, there probably aren’t a lot of 38-year-olds that think this way, but they should. I suspect people would be a whole lot more productive in life if they made decisions based on how it’s going to affect them in the afterlife – or in the few months or years before they get to the afterlife.

I for one, am determined to be a lot nicer to my son.

After all, it’s he that will make or break me, when it comes to crunch-time. When I’m begging him to let me live with him, and not send me to that dreadful home – promising not to soil my adult diaper ever again – I’m going to remind him of all the times I let him have a day off school just because, and the times I paid out his pocket money even though his table-clearing and dishwasher-packing skills, left a lot to be desired.

And I have a backup plan – you simply cannot be too prepared when it comes to your inevitable demise – I’m going to be rich.

In the unfortunate event that I do a terrible job raising my son, and he wants to dump me in a home quicker than I could say “geriatric neglect,” I will use the undervalued power of manipulation. I will wave the all-desirable will in front of his face with threats to leave it all to the pygmies in Africa.

I don’t actually know who, or what, the African pygmies are, but my grandmother has spent her lifetime sending them all her money, and they still don’t seem to have enough, so they seem as worthwhile of a cause as any.

As for the riches, I don’t actually have a concrete plan for how I will be building the massive wealth, but you know, you can’t get too caught up on the details – do you think Steve Jobs made his money overnight? – Of course not! So I’m not sweating the small stuff in my master plan, all in good time.

Well, I’m off to enjoy my 3rd January on a beautiful summers day here in Australia, Happy New Year to all my friends all over the world who followed in the footsteps of Australia and finally made it into 2012.

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51 thoughts on “Halfway Dead

  1. I just got notified of your post, and was almost through it, thinking that we shared a birthday, when I noted that because you’re in Australia, my day is one day earlier than yours. I turned 74 this morning, an age I never thought I’d achieve.

    In reading your post, I was reminded that a lot of what you’ve shown interest in, I have already done. I did attend a live Bill Cosby show one night, and he was as funny in person as you’d imagine.

    I had a visit from my wonderful citizen son, who brought me a card that said, in part, “Dad, I’ve needed you all my life. The ‘what for’ may have changed, but the ‘how much’ is still the same. And today, I just want to say, ‘Thanks Dad.'”

    It just keeps getting better and better. You have much to look forward to.


    • Happy Birthday to you! When you think about it, our birthdays are the same day, because while you are celebrating yours over there I am celebrating mine over here! BC live would have been fabulous! What a great memory to have! Your son sounds incredible, I hope to be able to raise such a loving, wise son. Kudos to you, for what is obviously a job well done. Thank you for the glimpse into my future, I DO look forward to the years passing me by and the exciting things that will come of them!


    • Happy Birthday to you! When you think about it, our birthdays are the same day, because while you are celebrating yours over there I am celebrating mine over here! BC live would have been fabulous! What a great memory to have! Your son sounds incredible, I hope to be able to raise such a loving, wise son. Kudos to you, for what is obviously a job well done. Thank you for the glimpse into my future, I DO look forward to the years passing me by and the exciting things that will come of them!


  2. Happy Birthday!

    Oh, and since you mentioned Cosby’s sense of humor, here’s the kind of question he might have asked after reading this: “So…using the glass half-empty/half-full analogy, does the positive version (regarding life expectancy) mean that you’re half alive?” 😉


  3. Have a fantastic birthday!


  4. Happy birthday!! Mine is the 4th, and I’ve been doing the same thing all week, baffled (how did I get here? last time I checked I was still a whippersnapper). So funny – love Cosby. And love your posts! Here’s to another year…Enjoy your day!


    • Crazy how many other bloggers that I love are all born around this time – there MUST be a study or a blog post in there some where! Happy Birthday for the 4th! Time flies, but I like every minute of it (well, except for the time spent waiting in the Doctors office and standing in check out lines). Happy New Year to you!


  5. Elyse says:

    Oh Dear. Karyn, you always hit me where and when I least expect to be hit.

    You know the name of my blog? The real reason for it, which I may only tell here, is that when I reached this age, I was at the average age of the girls in my family. There WERE three of us. Two are gone. I am the youngest, the one who has always been sick. The one who wasn’t expected to make it. That’s the real reason for the name of my blog (which I think I will keep).

    But the good news for you and me, is that the advances in medicine (which I neurotically track as part of my job) are making that number go up every year. We may or may not meet that level, but hey you can never tell.

    Just live your life well. And clearly you do. And I thank you for sharing your philosophy and your humor with me.

    Me, I live by “The Bus Theory” — you know, I could get hit by a bus any day.

    Happy Happy Birthday. Many happy returns. And I am a Capricorn TOO!


    • Elyse, you MUST keep your blog name, and I love that you have defied all the odds, and the naysayers too! Thank you for the wonderful advise, I love the bus theory too – life is short, make the most of it – every single day! Thank you for the well-wishes, and why am I not surprised that you are Capricorn? All the good ones are… :0


      • Elyse says:

        And here I was thinking that you assumed I was a Capricorn by the fact that I keep writing about all the times I ran head-first into a wall!

        Hope your B-Day was great!


    • etomczyk says:

      Elsye: I’m writing you from Karyn’s blog. Just wanted to chime in and tell you that you are one of my favorites. I love your humor and your writing. Keep on keepin’ on and I understand what it means to “live by the bus theory” since I’ve literally almost gotten hit by one several times in my 63 years. Keep writing this year and I’ll keep reading. Cheers! ET


      • Elyse says:

        Thanks Eleanor — I appreciate your comment (wherever it may be!). I worried that I sounded bleak in my original comment, but I’m not really. I used to worry about terrible things happening to folks, but stopped when I realized that worry doesn’t prevent or change. It only makes me miserable. So I have adopted more of an Alfred E Newman approach to life. What me worry?!!

        Thanks for indulging us, Karyn. And now back to our originally scheduled program!


  6. delajus says:

    Happy Birthday, Karyn! This is a great post and I love it most of all because you reminded me of HIMSELF, which I do need to buy on CD or better yet, DVD. The last time for me, I listened to it on an LP. You know what that is, don’t you? A Long Playing record. That’s right — VINYL. Holy cow. You’re thirty-eight? I’m FIFTY-eight!! Let me know how many times you wander through the house muttering THAT number when the time comes!! Of course, I’ll be pushing up daisies by then, but I’ll know how much muttering you do because I’ve already made up my mind to haunt you! Thanks for another great post! You’re terrific!


    • LOVE that you love “Himself” too! I DO know what an LP is, in fact I have a few Beatles LP’s framed in my office, see…now they are considered antiques and collectables, how things change in our lifetime! I look forward to 58 if I can follow in your footsteps! I love getting older, every year I look at the world with different eyes I think, caring less of others opinions and things that are not of value – looks, posessions etc, its very freeing! I hope it continues on this way! I really DO hope you haunt me, it will make for excellent reading on my blog!


  7. Dor says:

    Happy Birthday Karyn! If you’re halfway dead, I’m on the verge! Your post is absolutely hilarious. I think I will share it with my son so he knows about “the will” – just in case. I have not seen “Himself” but will do so now… always liked Bill Cosby. Mostly though, you are on my treasured list of writers who can make me laugh out loud.


    • Oh Dor you cracked me up! That’s the thing isn’t it, when you write from your perspective not considering anyone else, you can find yourself in quite a pickle. The thing about dead is that once it is, there’s nothing else, and before you get there you’re fully alive. There’s no half alive, so I figure you and I are just as well off as each other at this point – whether 38 or 68, we’re all alive and kicking! Oh, please try the Bill Cosby video, its priceless, I also like that with him there is nothing too offensive, its comedy for almost all ages, and that’s a rare thing for a comic to achieve. Happy New year!


    • Dor says:

      I was amazed to receive the Versatile Blogger Award and because I so admire your work, I am passing it forward to you. If you have already received it, that’s o.k., you deserve more than one. Check out the details on my blog called Promoting Pride in Blogging!


  8. jbscanada says:

    Nice Post!

    I think long life comes from having good genes — and having a good attitude for as many decades as that is possible — over a person’s lifetime.

    You should surpass the Australian average.

    Happy Birthday!


    • Thanks for the lovely comment, there is too much misery in the world without adding to it with your attitude I say. Hopefully as you say, that will serve me well – it’s the only theory I’ve got! Happy New Year and thanks for visiting!


  9. Carrie says:

    Could I say “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” enough? Probably not.

    But regardless, I mean it over and over and over again!!

    And let me tell you something…life begins at 40! I am 42 and I promise you from the bottom of my heart, it kicks in high gear at 40!

    You make 38 look rocking hot…I can only imagine what you’re gonna do with 40!

    (BTW…Bill Cosby is the man. What I’d do to sit with him for just 1 hour and simply let him talk!)

    Lots of love on this great day, sweetness!! Love, love, love!


    • Well you could at least TRY. What, you couldn’t throw in a couple of Dozen of the Happy Birthdays, just to make a girl feel good? 😉 I am looking forward to the aging process, I see as the years go by how much easier life is, I coudln’t give a rats-ass what anyone else thinks of me, I refuse to fake my way into old age through surgery and chemicals pumped into my face, so I can’t wait to see how I turn out au’ natural, and have a whole hell of a lot of fun along the way! Look forward to joining you in your fourties, we should have a good few years where we are there together!


      • Kevin says:

        @jonathan j we sounded just like that in the 8:30 class! stndaing up out of a :10 squat is brutal. thanks, meaghan yay birthday burpees! 100# jerk 5# PR and the first sub-10 minute mile i’ve ever run. not too shabby for an old lady.happy new year, all


  10. Megan says:

    Happy birthday and happy new year! So since I moved back to the US does that mean I shaved 3 years from my life?? While the travel nightmare could contribute I’m hoping to defy the statistics!


    • Megan, Im with you, the process of moving to another country could kill a woman with a weak heart – its so stressful! Based on that, I probably ended up just about even anyhow! I saw your post on NZ, it is a beautiful country, my husband has not been there so he’s looking forward to me taking him, probably so much more now he will see your photos! Good luck in your process!


  11. Ever notice how you never see Jillian Michaels and Carrot Top in the same place?


    • Your comments crack me up! Happy New Year Edward, I have a truckload of your posts on my RSS that I have yet to work my way through, I will get there though!


    • Djomoy says:

      Jana – I was thinking of you all yrsaeedty when I realized the date. Two years went quickly but I am sure the sadness is still very raw. My love and thoughts to Catherine and all of your family.January 31, 2007 5:55 PM


  12. Happy birthday, Karyn, and many, many more. You’re more than half-alive too, remember.

    Happy New Year!


  13. Happy Birthday Karyn! Bill Cosby, a great comedian of our time.. I ❤ "Himself" and ended up buying it years ago so I could watch it when the mood strikes. I find myself, decades after watching it the first time, still quoting stuff from time to time..lol. And no wonder I enjoy reading your blog as well as Greg & Jenny.. ya'll have birthdays REALLY CLOSE together!


    • Isn’t that interesting? I noticed the same thing, there are a lot of people born around the same time, starsigns etc. How fascinating! That’s great that you have it and can watch it whenever the mood strikes, my husband informed me after reading this post that he had never seen it!?!! Sacrilige! I need to get him a copy – stat!


  14. Anonymous says:

    This is so refreshing and funny!


  15. Well it looks like my happy birthday post is almost in the belated pile – I’ll blame the time differences between the continents!

    Have a fab day!!! Have a fab day!!! Have a fab day!!! Have a fab day”””

    ONLY 38 … awww … how sweet … and still so much growing up to do … I’m still growing up at 55 … I might be mature when I’m 80, but I seriously doubt it, and I hope I’ll still be thinking about it when I’m 90!

    Wish I’d moved to Australia too, because by my reckoning my body would be at least a year and half younger now … which would at least help a little. Gravity certainly seems to get stronger as I get older!

    Loved your post – refreshing and witty – a real lift for me here on this dull dreary blustery wet January British day …. NEED sunshine! (Can you pop some in the post please!)

    Oh yes, and by the way, Happy New Year … although for us Brits our year is slightly younger than yours! lol


    • Thanks for the wonderful comment, you would think the world could get itself sorted out a bit and offer an even displacement of sunshine and rain so that everyone gets a little of everything! I agree, don’t think I will be mature until I’m dead, where’s the fun in that? Happy New Year to you!


  16. delajus says:

    Well, I have to comment again on your birthday post. You cost me money, kiddo! But I’m grateful. Seriously! After reading your post, I got on Amazon.com like a flash and ordered Cosby, Cosby, and more Cosby. In addition to a DVD of “Himself,” I also ordered CDs of “Why is There Air?,” “Wonderfulness,” “I Started out as a Child,” and “To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With.” Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But I can’t wait for all of it to arrive at my door. Thanks to you my New Year is going to start out with a lot of laughs!


    • I love this! (well, sorry about the money part and all, but you know, you cant take it with you when you go, so you may as well enjoy it now). Bills empire will see a resurgence because of my posting, I can tell – because guess what I did last night? The very same thing! Well, not as many titles as you, but a few! Love that we will be doubled-over with Bill together – even though we are half-way around the world!


  17. Sunshine says:

    Happy birthday or belated where you are…love your thinking about being nice to your son. Humm, I failed to think ahead and now that you brought this subject up, I better start in with my drama mama act and get real nice and tight with my kiddos.
    A radiant 2012 to ya!


    • Love it! ‘Drama Mama’, I think I will steal that phrasing from you and start keeping my family on their toes! Thanks for the birthday wishes and Happy New Year to you too!


    • Sandhya says:

      Shayne had 30! Birthday Burpees today, she did them unbroken and after today’s WOD, go Shayne!Too tall Paul: you are killnig me with your 60#’s of less weight. I know it isn’t a competition, but I tried really hard to beat your mile time today 114 on the air squats, 6:26 on the run. I really enjoyed this one. See everyone next year


  18. etomczyk says:

    Happy B-Day Kiddo! I swear you don’t look a minute over 30! I stopped by to say hello after your fun comment on my blog about our lovely MILs of which I left a comment to. Yikes!

    I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was your birthday. I love your inspiration from Crosby. That concert is one of my main inspirations to start writing. Your writing is so delightful and your blog makes me want to come to Australia if I could just get WW to take a trip that way (I want to see New Zealand as well. . .)–husbands get stubborn in their old age.

    Have a very happy new year and keep writing because I’m one of your biggest fans. ET


  19. mark says:

    Wow, I’m WAY late on this, but happy belated birthday!


  20. mj monaghan says:

    Well, you’ll know you’re getting older when you start saying:
    This is the last roof we’ll need to put on the house.

    This is the last tv we’ll need to buy. 🙂

    But it’s still great to be alive, no matter the age.


  21. Happy belated birthday. I’m guessing as you age the average age in AUS will go up. So you have a long way to get to the half-way point. One thing, however. I’m amazed people in AUS live so long. Lots of poisonous creatures roaming the landscape and ocean. Amazing. Guess losing a bunch of people to critters doesn’t pull down the average.


  22. Halfway dead…..now there’s thought…
    What happened to “life begins at 40”?

    Since I’m 43 and now past the “halfway dead” mark ….sorry, can’t seem to get over it……


  23. Elyse says:

    Hey Karen,
    Where are you? I miss you!


  24. etomczyk says:

    Karen: I ditto Elyse. Come back. . .you are very missed!


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