Friday, May 29, 2015

Once is Enough

1989
I am in the stage of life where I have friends and family losing spouses. Sometimes under tragic circumstances, others to illness, and always sad. Seeing them go through this, and knowing my father-in-law was only 64 when he died, has made me more aware that I have no guarantees of a long life ahead with my husband. This does not mean that I live in fear or with a sense of impending loss, but I do choose (usually) to put aside the petty annoyances (does the television really have to be that loud?) and enjoy, cherish, and hold on to the present day.

With a good chance that he will pass before me and I will face life without him, I have contemplated what might happen next. A common theme that I seem to hear is that a person "deserves to be happy" which apparently can only happen with a significant other in their life. Multiple movies show widows and widowers, and divorcees finding their deserved happiness once more. Elsa and Fred; And So It Goes; Something's Gotta Give; and Grumpy Old Men are just a few that I've watched and enjoyed.

A close cousin in our family lost her husband a little over a year ago. It was a long and difficult journey as she lost him a little at time over several years to a debilitating disease. Within six months of his passing the nudges were already being made that she should think about dating. Why? If she chooses to do that of course I will support her, but why do others assume she needs someone else in her life to feel complete, to be happy?

When I tell others that I have no intention of marrying again or finding a significant other should my husband predecease me, I get the knowing nods (like, we'll see about that). Maybe I will change my mind, but what's wrong with that intention? Can't I be content with one great love in my life?

I wonder if that thought of needing to have a "significant other" comes from a subconscious fear that we are not "enough" in and of ourselves?

I don't know what my future holds, but I do know that I get to choose what's right for me.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Boom or Bust?

Photo Credit: jeffshapirorealtor.com
I am at the tail end of what is classified as the "baby boomer" generation (1946-1964). For the last 30 years I have heard how this generation is numerically huge (after the war, "boom") and is living longer and healthier than ever before. In fact, our whole way of life has shifted as retirement communities have sprouted up all over and post retirement "recreational" lifestyles have taken off. Political parties devote major attention to this demographic and young parents find themselves more and more part of the sandwich generation (kids still at home but aging parents and grandparents to watch after).

We have become used to people living well past 90 and being over 100 is no longer an anomaly (remember Willard Scott on the Today Show?). However, those long lives belong to the "silent" generation (1945 and before). The oldest of the boomer generation just turned 69 this year. We boomers have assumed that because of our parents living longer, the incredible advancements in medical technology, and the emphasis we have placed on health, exercise, and nutrition - it is a given that we will live just as long or longer.

While this is most likely largely true, it does tend to give us a false sense of security for the future. This as brought home to me this past week when a parent that I had known through volunteer school work and my kids passed away very unexpectedly at the age of 44. This was after a dad of one of scouts in my boys' troop died the week before of a heart attack at the age of 50. Last year a mom of one of our high school cheerleaders collapsed at one of the games and then passed (that's southern for died). The year before a good friend of ours died at the age of 47. I've had multiple high school classmates die over the last few years before they reached 55.

Once I started looking into it, I found plenty of material to suggest that we might grow older but not healthier or not grow older.

So what does all of this mean? I don't normally write this "seriously", but this is important, at least to me. I am reminded to:

1. Don't take it all for granted.
2. Plan for tomorrow, but live for today.
3. Don't live arrogantly.
4. Enjoy today whole-heartedly.
5. Grow spiritually, this life is only a prelude to eternity.
6. Take care of myself, but don't obsess - that guarantees nothing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NFL, American Idol, and Celebrity Babies

The NFL suspended Tom Brady and fined the Patriots a $1,000,000. And this is all about football. A game. Wouldn't it be great if the $1,000,000 fine went to charity? Kind of like the community fund in Monopoly? Just a thought.

American Idol is coming to an end. What can you say about a show that has "idol" in the title? It's certainly truth in advertising. America does make idols of its entertainers.

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler are expecting their third child. This is apparently is big news. Interestingly enough, I have no idea who they are . . .
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