Matt Hackmann


The thoughts and goings-on of some programmer dude.

Revisiting Ancient Cherry Picking

Occasionally, I get bored and/or anxious and, instead of doing something productive, I will turn to reading the deeper regions of this very blog. On one such occasion earlier this evening, I ran accross this little gem. For those who don't follow the link, it's a post in which I posit that, every two years, my life checks off some societal major milestone. While an argument could be made that the provided evidence is heavily cherry-picked to support the argument, some compelling points are made. Starting college, beginning my career, and moving out are all big life events. That these all happened at a cadence of once every couple of years is interesting.

What's more interesting was the end of that post, where I attempted to predict the next several cycles of earth shattering life events. To be fair, the ideas put forth aren't very novel and aren't necessarily wrong... except the timing. And that brings us to the conceit of this article: let's catch things up and see how that theory held up.

Catching Up


In the original post, I suggested that 2015 would be the year I started going steady with a "nice girl". This was probably more projecting of my desires at the time than anything based in evidence, and I most certainly did not have any long term romantic situations in 2015. I was correct in that I was still at LinkedIn, but the biggest thing I think happened that year was probably moving to San Mateo. Not a huge shift, really. I suppose it was also the year where I started my spiral into depression?


Well, I certainly wasn't married to the "nice girl" that I supposedly was dating in the previous milestone year. In fact, the biggest thing I think happened in 2017 was moving to a different apartment in San Mateo. And got more depressed?


Here's where my original ideas start catching up to reality, if not in timing, at least in sequence. Found that "nice girl" in Kayla and we moved into a house together. Sweet, we're back on track.


Got married in 2021 to the same person I was seeing in 2019, restoring credibility to the prescience of my 2013 self.


And, rounding it out, 2023 will see the birth of our first kid. Also, I've now been living in California for ten years? What the fuck?

Okay, we're caught up and kinda-sorta vidicated the predictions of my past self. Let's do this extrapolation exercise again, looking forward to the next three cycles.

The Future


Given the plan as it exists now, somewhere 2025 we'll be expecting child number two. Does that count as a big life event after becoming a father once? Probably. (If you're reading this in the future, child number two, I love you :D)


Y'know... at this point, we're kind of running out of giant life events. What's left? Sending a kid off to college? Starting a mid-life crisis? By this time, I'll be over forty, but crossing that line will have happened the year before, breaking the proposed two year cycle. It'd be nice to have a house attached to the ground, but that's not a huge life event and really falls into the vein of years 2015/2017...


I got nothing. Maybe at this point, huge life events are just staying alive...

I started out writing this as an interesting though exercise, much like I'm sure the first one was. Despite the radical difference that my day-to-day life will take in the next few years, life really is kind of hitting cruising altitude. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just how things go.

Maybe I'll wait another eighteen years before I revisit this idea.