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Macho Madness Time's A Wasting
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...And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table.

- Anna Nalick, Breathe

Yeah, I know. 'Breathe' by Anna Nalick is a chick song, but her lyrics fit my column today so I decided to use them. So sue me. I expect my son-in-law, Danny, to give me a bad time about this, but that's OK; he's into the girly Twilight movies, so I have plenty of ammo.


About 30 years ago, around the time I had turned 20 and shortly before I became a police officer, my dad celebrated his 50th birthday. He's about 30 years older than I am, and I recall at the time his comment about how fast the past 30 years had passed.

Like most young people, I respectfully listened to the words of a parent while thinking their wisdom, in no way or form, actually applied to me.

After all, I had my whole life in front of me.

Over the years my dad has given me two pieces of advice that did stick, though. First, he said, never speak ill of the spouse of a friend going through a divorce.

"You never know if they'll patch things up or get back together," he said.

He couldn't have been more right, as over the years I refrained from joining the banter of bad mouthing a soon to be ex-wife of a number of friends. From, "You're better off without her," to "Yeah, I never did like her," I heard mutual friends make statements that later caused a bit of awkwardness when the couple reconciled.

The other piece of advice was to spend time with my kids when they were little. My dad said one of his regrets was not spending more time with me and my brother and sister as we were growing up, and I often thought of this when I tried to balance my career with my family.

But when I was 20, my 50th birthday seemed far, far away.

Of course, I celebrated my 50th birthday this summer. And like my dad, I can't believe how fast the past 30 years have gone by.

I find this is common theme among people my age.

But it's true. I'll recall an incident I might have been involved in at work, or some other benchmark of my life, and think it was just a handful of years ago. But when I sit down to do the math, I'll find it might have been 10 or 15 years ago.

One of my colleagues is always quick to point out it is my extended age that is causing these memory lapses. Then again, she also made sure to forward me a flyer on a senior driver safety course recently. I'll have the last laugh, though, as she is only a few years behind me.

But seriously, time seems to flying by. And it's something you never get back.

I thought of this recently when my granddaughter, Maddie, turned two. But even more shocking was my daughter, Rachel, turning 27.

"You're almost 30!" I blurted out to her on her birthday.

"No, I'm not," she said. "But thanks."

For being 27, she really has the eye roll thing down.

When I think of Rachel in high school, for example, I'll recall it was just a few years ago, just a short couple of years that had gone by. Then, she tells me her 10-year reunion will be next year.

How did that happen?

But the really scary part?

My dad celebrated his 80th birthday last year, and with me turning 50 this year, we spoke of all the sand that had passed though the hourglass.

And do you know what he said?

"I can't believe how fast these past 30 years went by."

Um, faster than the 30 years between the time you were 20 and 50?

"A lot faster."

Great. But at least I'll have another column idea in a few years...

Craig Macho is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.