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What If You Only Had Two Years To Live?

Boomers might remember a TV show from the mid-1960s called “Run For Your Life”. Actor Ben Gazzara played Paul Bryan, an attorney who is told by his doctor that he has less than two years to live.  Bryan decides to try and cram thirty years of living into that two years.

He travels the world, helps other people solve their problems, lives life to the fullest. The disease this character has actually does exist and is terminal, but doesn’t affect quality of life all that much until the end.

So what would you do if you knew you only had two years to live?

Quit your job? Travel? Eat and drink like there is no tomorrow, because, well, there isn’t? Help other people?  Help yourself?

Being the skeptic that I am, I’d probably waste the first few months trying to prove the diagnosis was incorrect. After realizing the doctors were probably right, I’d quit my job. Then I’d travel to see friends I love but don’t currently do nearly enough to spend in-person time with. And I’d travel to other plac…

Overheard

Sometimes I sit at the end of the long, straight bar in my neighborhood hangout because that spot gives me a commanding view of the whole place. I see who enters and exits and watch and listen while sipping my favorite red wines.

Topics of conversation on a recent Friday night...

College - a young guy I don’t know telling a retired guy I do know all about his experiences a few years ago at University of Maryland.

Divorce - at least half the regulars, me included, are divorced and have entertaining horror stories about marriage. A fairly attractive, never-married 50-something female regular is listening to and laughing at the stories.

Retirement - a guy who has been retired for several years discussing that lifestyle with a guy who is retiring next month.

Amazon - a tech geek discussing the pros and cons of that monster company’s possible second headquarters in this county.

Music - we’re all trying to name the group as soon as the song comes on.  Yep, that’s AC/DC. That previous song …

I’m Coming

There was no accurate count, but it appeared to be thousands, maybe tens of thousands. All were human in form, waving their hands, apparently trying to get my attention. Many held signs.  Do It Now!  Don’t Wait-Tomorrow Isn’t Promised!  Keep Moving!

The sign that really got my attention said I’m Coming Sooner Than You Think! It was held by a very pale male of undetermined age, dressed entirely in black.

I wondered why snippets of advice were now personified, a crowd of individuals carrying signs advocating specific and generic actions or shouting out warnings. My analytical side assumed the man in black was Death. My logical side reminded me this was a dream. The woman by my side woke me up with the words “you must have been having a nightmare.”

I don’t usually assign meaning to dreams; I believe they are merely tangled fragments of thoughts being reorganized while we sleep. Dreams are the brain defragging its hard drive.

One image from that dream worth remembering, however, is I’m C…

Busy

Does this ever happen to you: you stare at your computer or to do list and just stare? For minutes at a time. So overwhelmed at the amount of items to do that you can’t decide which one to do next?
Or is it just me?
That indecision block happened to me this afternoon and it’s not the first time. As it’s happening, I wonder if the timeline paralysis is due to the quantity of items on the list, or an age-related mental slowdown or my Multiple Sclerosis. Maybe all three.
I want to believe it is the result of quantity. Like many people in contemporary American society, I am doing a job formerly done by three separate people. I have many tools to help with efficiency but the reality is that there is a lot of stuff to do at work; probably more quantity that when three people did this stuff. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.
Just doing my job is the mental equivalent of those ‘keep your brain active’ exercises AARP refers to, but my brain probably does process slower than a decade or tw…

Hoppy Easter

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I’m just a logical guy living in an illogical world.

As a child I wouldn’t think twice about a holiday that celebrates a bunny rabbit and Christ. Baskets filled with candy, images of rabbits, decorated chicken eggs and going to Mass to learn about and worship a human rising from the dead were all a normal part of the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.  I didn’t question the logic as a child, but I egg-spect some logic as an adult.

I planned to color this post with sarcasm until I hopped down the Google trail. It turns out the Easter rabbit tradition dates back to Roman Catholics in Germany in the 1500s. The rabbit has a high reproductive rate, eggs are a symbol of fertility, Spring symbolizes new life, therefore Easter eggs represent Jesus’ resurrection.

Ok, maybe there is a bit of logic there after all.

Except rabbits don’t lay eggs. But they do build nests for their babies (kind of like Easter baskets?)

So what about the Christ/Claus c…

Marching in March

Some politician my age had the audacity to ridicule the students who are planning the March For Our Lives. Don’t these politicians remember that we the boomers organized protests and marches to address the issues of the 1960s and 1970s when we were mostly students in those decades? We were young and passionate about making or trying to make positive changes in American society. We blamed the ‘adults’ of the day for war and racism, among other things.

The March For Our Lives, today in Washington DC, is primarily organized by students who survived the mass shooting at a Florida high school last month. The main issue is sensible gun control laws. They say “the adults have failed us”. Congress has done nothing. Mass shooting after mass shooting. These student, many students, don’t feel safe in their schools.

I won’t debate that issue too much here because it won’t do any good. Nobody will ever convince me that the average citizen needs an AR15. Nobody can convince me that sensible restric…

Alone On A Saturday Thinking About Directions

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Home alone on a Saturday morning, sitting on the sofa sipping coffee and reading a book about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, I take a short break to write some random thoughts that creep into my brain; thoughts that are interrupting my attempts to focus on the book.

Even though some details are new to me, I mostly know how the Roosevelt story ends. Obviously I don’t know how my story will end, nor can I know in advance what my life journey details will be.

I am at a crossroads that I bet many boomers reach in their 60s. The intersection seems to be in a large, open field where two highways cross, giving a person at least four directions to choose from in determining which way to proceed. Walk along a road north, south, east or west, step off the road and walk diagonally into the open field, or just stand there and contemplate the situation. That adds up to at least nine options. The picture in my head reminds me of a scene from the movie North By Northwest.

Being the over-thinker that…