Thursday, June 30, 2016

Today is the anniversary of something

Marriage?  Going to school?  Getting that job?  Graduation?  The day the team won?  Getting that prize for the floral arrangement?

Our friends have a plaque on their door that says on this spot in 1864, nothing happened.  Today might be the anniversary of nothing happening.  Can you remember that day when nothing happened?  No, of course not.  Something happened every day, every morning, every evening, every night.

As soon as we think," Well, that is right: something or other happened", we start throwing our minds back in time.  Did something of importance happen on this same day of the year in 2015?  We use years as markers but we can use months or weeks.  Did something happen yesterday that still tickles you?  Did something happen that you are still worrying about?

The branch of statistics called "time series analysis" is about studying the history of occurrences of something, say tropical storms or the size of apple harvests.  Marking anniversaries or month-aversaries leads to reflection or careful mathematical analysis.  Pure reminiscence is fun and helpful.  You know that old Socratic bit that the unexamined life is not worth living.  Noting the anniversary of whatever happened just one year ago or exactly one decade ago is a tool for examining our lives as they pass along.  Time series analysis of our bank balances or the size of our libraries over the past 120 months is another sort of life examination.  Maybe that examination would show the ups and downs of regular expenses and bonuses and payments.

Realizing that something happened on this day ten years ago and trying to figure out what that day was like is a way of appreciating the blessings and good things in life.  Today is June 30, 2016.  If my blog went back that far, I could look to see what I posted that day of 2006.  The blog has not been written for that long but it does go back for more than five years.

Today is the 5 year anniversary of my writing the blog post of June 30, 2011.  That day I wrote about the bother of junk mail.  We are still bothered by that problem.  My shredder is still full of shredded mail.  

We can't mark every event.  We can't even notice every event.  But our lives are floating or spurting or jerking on by and noting the anniversaries and other markers of interest increases the pleasure of living and reliving.  Where is that notebook?  Where is the camera?

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