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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Opinion: Growing old is no fun

I’ve gone from getting older to being old; and it’s not what I expected.
I am now 85 years old (it happened when I wasn’t looking), and I speak for myself and many of my contemporaries. Old age and retirement are not turning out as we expected.

We all know that this generation lives longer than any previous one, much longer, and there are many more of us. But some of us feel we have been deceived, or have deceived ourselves, because growing old comes with a huge diminution of strength, and we didn’t fully realize that.
And, although our society is kind to us old folks, it does not treat us with the respect some societies do.

When we worked and looked forward to retirement, we usually imagined it to be similar to our earlier life, but with the time (and strength) to indulge in hobbies and interests for which we had no time earlier. We now realize that this dream is not true. Everything we do now is much slower and far too much of our time is spent at the doctor’s office — and I speak as a relatively healthy woman.

Many now need help with such simple tasks as cutting their toenails. Shopping and cooking, visiting family doctors, heart doctors, the dentist ,dermatologists, arthritis doctors, eye doctors, the physiotherapist or seniors’ exercise class — these pursuits, just to keep us functioning and mobile — occupy far too much of our time.Not to mention those who have loss of hearing, eye problems, digestive upsets, chemo treatments, or who are recovering from, or waiting for, a new hip.

The brokerage firm Raymond James is running a commercial on TV showing a lady of 187 — yes, that’s right, 187 — hang-gliding, cycling and playing vigorous tennis. They also state that she is able to carry on these activities financially, because of judiciously having invested with their firm.What a crock of nonsense.

Most people I know, with the exception of the very rich, are concerned that their money won’t last as long as they do. We had all hoped to leave something to our children and grandchildren, maybe also to our favourite charities, but that dream has been supplanted with the hope that our money just lasts long enough to look after us.

Getting old is expensive, and I for one, consider it a selfish expense.I look healthy, and I thank God that I can do what I do each day, with limitations. But those limitations are meaningful. I take courses, I play bridge, I read a lot. And I manage my investments by myself; but all this with a severely diminished capacity. Often, we need to rest or nap during the day. Although some in my age group still do charitable work, my stamina does not allow it, and I regret that. Many of my friends live with pain, and almost all of us have some degree of impairment. Many old people are dependent on painkillers or sleeping pills. Too many of our friends die each year, and we regularly go to funerals or visit the sick. We have entered a new way of thinking, of behaving, and of looking at the world.

My point is that old age is not an easy ride, and retirement is not the Holy Grail that our culture and our expectations have painted it to be.Most of us do not fear death, and only wish for it to be rather quick and certainly painless. The growth of palliative care is something for which we are grateful. And this new law in Quebec allowing assisted death does not frighten us. We are grateful that we do not suffer from dementia, as some of our contemporaries do.

On the plus side, we no longer are “finding ourselves” and our place in the world.Those of us who live alone, especially with children no longer here in Montreal, have come to terms with that fact. Partners have died, siblings have died, old friends have died. We have moved away from loneliness and partially enjoy the freedom of answering to no one. But at the same time, we miss the age-old concept of children and grandchildren being a close part of our daily lives.

Friends and contemporaries have replaced family to a large extent, and we need one another. Thanks to the Internet and Skype, we can keep in touch with our families so much more than previous generations could, but the lack of daily-ness of nearby family means we always strive to sound cheerful and they do not know the extent of our medical conditions and cannot help us in daily tasks.I speak as a relatively lucky 85-year-old, but I repeat that old age and retirement bring with them many unexpected limitations.
I’m mostly happy and I think I’m still good company, but we have discovered that those of us who blossom into a new career as Grandma Moses, or who succeed in writing that book they have in them, are very rare indeed.

And did we really get wiser with age? I would like to think so, but is the younger generation listening, or do they have to make their own mistakes, as I did mine?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It Ain't Easy To Kill An Octopus..

An octopus in the open sea might seem easy pickings for predators such as

moray eels, sea lions and bigger octopuses, but the octopus isn't quite such a sitting duck.It has quite an armory. It can disorient a pursuer with a splurge of purplish-black ink. If it lost a limb , it can regrow one. And just one thing more, it can change color in split seconds. Octopuses also go all over reefs, probing with their arms for prey in hiding.

In its hiding,an octopus will often lie out of notice,arms coiled, before a tentacle unrolls to snag a passerby with the suckers at the tip. While gallivanting through the oceans , its primary attack posture is to parachute gently down with all eight arms outstretched and scoop its prey in the embrace. Having lashed its victim the octopus holds it against its underside and bites it with a retractable beak. 

Shouldn't you be an octopus amidsts predatory times like today ? 

[The writer believes that in a changing world the best business is that in which your talents lie]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Personal Responsibility

Any time one looks into the papers ,or chances upon tabloid liners ,brings new

grief , a fresh howl , glum or maddening , of a notorious affliction of our times , that we hear much of ,that's weighing down itself upon all of us.To suggest one reason for this anguish obligates bringing up one word :personal responsibility, accountability to or of one's actions and attitudes.The generation today, released from the pressures to be accountable , from the hard days and grim facts that stared down the previous generations has gone on to satisfy its whims and fancies.Unless teenagers today admit to personal responsibility for their actions or what they are driven to do , this generation is going to stagger and swagger towards decay, rot and moral bankruptcy and pawn or lose the very freedoms that earlier generations had fought for, cherished and guarded with their very lives , the succor that those freedoms had been to their growing up.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Do Something Different This Year


Start a Web Business

Pedal Round Your Country's Coastline

Friday, February 20, 2015

The berlin walls

The Berlin Wall divided Berlin into two halves during the Cold War. It became a symbol of the helplessness it put and placed families into.The world could only gape on while on either side of the wall families were broken up , severed and left to be devastated .Similar berlin walls have popped up around the world wreaking the same havoc and destruction - tribal killings , job discrimination , human trafficking etc.

But then ,not to overlook, there are berlin walls in one's own life too - the sort that have held and hold you back from being yourself , from being productive , from a happy life.The thing about these invisible berlin walls is they choke and strangle your life the way you'd rather have it and desensitise you , leaving you crippled to self help or self start on ideas that'll give you a leap into the future or to light your own fires.

One berlin wall you should  never ignore ....

The Coming Jobs War........Should You Not Rather Be Ready Against It ? DO Something About It!


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