Getting Older

Getting older is something that as a child you look forward to. After all, all of those things that you want to do, or at least think that you want to do requires that either you get older, or you get taller. Yet when you reach those thresholds the euphoria lasts only a short time and then becomes less important. And once your 21st birthday is past then there is no longer any of those milestones that you looked forward to as a child ahead of you. Now life is in full swing and the day-to-day struggle to keep job, family, food on the table, and a roof over your head takes precedence. Time picks up speed, and while the days may drag, the years flow by ever faster until you find yourself now past that final milestone, you have become a senior citizen.

Once you have entered this time in your life you realize that getting old is not for the meek, or the faint of heart. All the abuse that you did to your body in your youth comes to haunt you in your later years. Pain is you constant companion, and while in your mind you know you can do something, your body replies that you cannot. Like with that automobile that you own, as the mileage goes up so do the problems. One of the reasons for this line of thinking this week has to do with the trip my wife and I took last week. We went to visit her sister. Her brother would be there also, and while it was a family reunion of sorts, the main purpose of the visit was to bring all of them up to speed as far as care for their mother, her finances, and her future care and needs. Both her sister and her brother, as I have stated earlier in another blog, have fought or are fighting life threatening diseases. So far my wife have avoided any of them, but with 2/3rds of the family with issues, there is a good chance that she could face something similar down the road.

Her sister and brother are retired which puts all of us in that senior category. I have found that much of the jokes that go around about this time of life unfortunately has a ring of truth to it. An example would be leaving one room on a quest or chore, arriving at the destination and not remember why you were there and what you needed to do. Then retracing your steps to see if you can see what triggered it in the first place. Sometimes you can, and sometimes you can’t. Conversation is no different. You can be discussing something, have a point you want to make, wait your turn, and in the process completely forget what the point was that you wanted to make. Aches and pains are a constant companion, and a full night’s sleep is rare. You find that the extra energy you had in your youth, that reserve energy that helped you keep going is gone. Your tank is empty, and at times getting through that extra work or heavier load completely wipes you out. And naps, the dreaded nap when you were a child is looked forward to as a senior. It gives one that recharge that allows us to finish the day. Yet even with all of what one faces I still wouldn’t trade it for anything. It has been said many, many times that it isn’t the destination that is important, but the journey. After all it is your history, your road to where you are that defines you as a person, who you are and what you have become. So cherish every moment, be it good or be it bad. As each of these moments are responsible for who you are and what you’ve become. And if you are a senior you can say that truly you are a survivor.

Advertisements
Published in: on June 25, 2011 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Family

I guess on this weekend that leads up to Father’s day one should be speaking about family. While it is mothers who do the heavy lifting, and truly are the center of the family, fathers are important not just because they donated to the cause, but there must be a team at the top that can make the family work, many times with the father as the unofficial leader. It truly takes both parents to make the family work as it should. And how goes the family, is then a reflection of how goes society, and the nation. Now this week’s blog really isn’t just about fathers, but is about family and where we find ourselves in that role throughout our lives.

So when we begin life we are completely dependent on our parents for everything. And as time passes other siblings may become part of your family. It is here where one becomes the worst of friends and the best of enemies with their families. After all we all become quite vulnerable to each other since every other family member knows absolutely everything about you. And while one can choose your friends, you cannot choose your relatives. You have your friends in the neighborhood, and school, but at the end of the day you are with your family. Now it may sound like I’m one against family, but that is untrue. Family is the most important thing out there. Without family you are nothing, you have no real support, and no history. Are families perfect? Of course not, and there are enough failures out there in the news to prove that. But overall they beat whatever would be second on the list.

Anyway we spend the first part of our lives being children and it appears to last a very long time. Then suddenly we find ourselves being the parents, looking back on that time as a child and see it as a very brief time. Then we realize that our parents are grandparents, how did that happen? After all they were only parents, and would always be mom and dad to us, but they are grandma and grandpa to your children, and then you begin to see them with different eyes as they interact with your children. You see your children pulling many of the same stunts that you did, and even though you have to laugh about the incident you still have to go in and lay down the law, before leaving and laughing where they cannot see you. Then just as suddenly your role has changed once again, you become the grandparents and again you wonder where the time went and how did you get here?

At this time your parents may still be around but you can see that time has taken its toll, and they are feeble, frail, and are fighting illnesses all the time. One woman was asked how it felt to be a great-grandmother, and she responded by saying: At first it was great. Until I realized that I was a mother to a grandfather. Yet in the winter of their lives they still are important to us as we try to care for them the best that we can. Then that day comes when you realize that you are now that generation that your parents were. You have replaced them as the leaders of your clan, and you are now those elders who now are facing your last days however many you may be given. And you look back and marvel at the speed that time has passed and put you where you are today. But again once here you realize that it is family that has been the one solid thing that has always been there no matter what the rest of the world was or is doing, and is the most important part of your life.

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 8:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Music

What is it about music that can evoke moods, thoughts, and feelings within all of us? Music is pervasive and is used to heighten tension in movies, or to make one feel sad with something disastrous happens to the protagonists. It has been used successfully in cartoons, and is an entertainment medium all in itself. And as there are different people and personalities, there is music to fit them. From the classical to new age, from soft rock to hip hop. And what you heard in your youth comes back to you in later years as a nostalgic reminder of that time. It can bring back images of that time period that are so real that one can almost relive that specific incident. Music colors our world and can bring a smile to our faces, even if that smile may be a sad one. Since none of us can go back to the memories the music brings to us, it can make us sad. Yet like in the song “Memories”, do we chose to simply forget the bad, and only remember the good ones? Who really knows?

I’ve always enjoyed music. Starting out with the classical which my parents played with the old 78’s. Of course the William Tell comes to mind as part of it was used in the old black and white TV program “The Lone Ranger”. Funny thing, but I never really enjoyed my generation’s music when I was in high school. It wasn’t until later when I was in Viet Nam that I found that I enjoyed it. Groups like The Four Seasons, Beatles, Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, come immediately to mind. And if one truly wanted to admit it, because of what they did and their overall influence on popular music the Beatles has to be considered the most influential band of all time. And if you hear the first few notes to the opening of Mission Impossible, or The Rockford Files or any of the many themes to TV shows, you knew immediately what was coming. And then once must not forget the jingles and music attached to commercials, and on and on.

But now for me I use it to get myself prepared to write. Again whether any of what I write will ever be published, well only the future will know. While I think about what I need to write to advance my story off and on the previous day, it is the music that helps set the mood for my writing. I use new age, not because I am into the new age movement, far from it really, but because it allows my conscious mind to take a back seat and allow the story to flow from my subconscious. This music allows me to block out the world around me and to completely immerse myself in the world that I am creating. So for me music is very important. Not just from the enhancements to our other entertainments, and strictly as enjoyment, but as a source of inspiration.

Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Family Finance

How do I mean this? Not from the business sense but personal, or family instead. There is much out there both on the net and in books to probably easily cover a football field with advice on how to finance and run a business. But there is not much out there that really impacts the family in a positive way as a road map from the beginning as a wage earner to retirement. And to cover all aspects in a way that is both educational, and entertaining. So in a way this week will sound like an advertisement for one of these that works very well, as I can attest.

To put a little history here to begin with, when we moved to where we presently live we had an unsecured debt of $90,000. This did not include loans that existed on secured property such as automobiles or homes. We were attempting on our own to eliminate these unsecured debts, and were slowly being successful. But at times it felt like we would end up taking two steps back before we could advance at all. Then a friend of my wife suggested that we look into Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University program. This program is normally taught through churches and is Christian based in the way it approaches debt elimination. The course is 13 weeks long and teaches one the principles necessary to live a debt free life, and I for one have to say that it works, and it works well. The other nice thing about this course it that once you have successfully completed it, then you can go back any time you would like and take it again for free. So other than our mortgage which we pay more than the required amount. we are now debt free. It took about 3 years to accomplish it, but his system works and works well.

Are there other systems out there that work? I’m sure that there are, and the people who have successfully completed those courses probably feel the same about those. But I can only confirm the one that we took as a family, including our children, and overall if one sticks to the principles that are laid out, one cannot help but be successful. It’s freeing knowing that you do not owe anybody money, and it makes it much easier to deal with “Murphy”, when he comes knocking at the door. And all of us has to deal with him and the unexpected expenses that comes with him when he’s knocking on your door.

Published in: on June 5, 2011 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  
%d bloggers like this: