If I had a dollar for every time a news report or a doctor told us that something we love was no longer good for us or visa versa…
How are we supposed to ‘eat healthy’ when every other day someone changes the rules about what we consume? Eat fruit and vegetables (but not if they’ve been sprayed with pesticide). Eat organic and natural (but only certain brands). Red meat is good… red meat is bad.
Make up your mind already.
All I know for sure is that dark chocolate keeps coming out on the positive side. So, I think it’s safe to say we should all just indulge in plenty of that!
What used to be an exciting event – planning a much needed vacation – is now an exercise, for some (particularly the elderly), in overcoming obstacles. There are many unconventional things that must now be considered before embarking on, say, a cruise:
Are there wheelchairs available in the terminals (and onboard the ship itself)?
Will all your meds be able to pass safely through customs?
Do you have a doctor’s note to explain the beeping that will (because of the titanium rods currently holding together your limbs) inevitably occur when you go through the metal detectors?
Mind you, these are only some of the obstacles elders will be facing getting onto the ship in the first place. Once you board:
Are there elevators to take you not only floor to floor but also to your seats in the dining areas and theaters?
Is there a special menu for diabetics?
Are there devices for the hearing impaired in noisy areas where BINGO and other activities take place?
And this doesn’t even cover any additional transportation snafus that might be incurred by using planes, busses, cabs or boat tenders to and from the cruise ship. Sadly, at this point, you will be so exhausted from merely planning (what should have been) this fantastic trip that you’ll most likely… just stay home!
I don’t know when it is, exactly, that a person stops wanting things. Maybe if you grew up in times of war or depression, you were accustomed to doing without. We are such an entitled generation that we take most everything for granted. Sadly, we ‘expect’ rather than ‘desire.’
When we’re small it’s always, “gimme, gimme, gimme.” When we’re a bit older it’s, “I want,” “I need,” “I’m the only one who doesn’t have…” We sound like a bunch of spoiled brats. But, more often than not, our whining gets us exactly what we want.
Fortunately, at some point (usually when WE start paying for our own food, clothing, rent, gas), we get it. That’s when we have to start looking at the prices of things as well as the balance in our checkbooks (okay, we don’t really use checkbooks anymore but you know what I mean…).
So, now we begin a new chapter in our financial history book called: “Which costs more?”
Dine out or cook in?
Movieplex or movie rental?
Vacation or stay-cation?
Bookstore or Library?
And then it hits us. The big divide between what we think we need and what we can actually afford. That’s not to say that we must give up all essentials – only those little ‘extras’ that we didn’t really need in the first place!
Last night I was having a conversation with my Mom at the dining table. I happened to sit down on ‘Dad’s’ chair because it was the closest one (and unoccupied at that particular moment). I had barely begun speaking when my Dad approached and asked me why I was sitting in ‘his’ chair.
“Because,” was my very grown-up answer. An answer, mind you, that my kids had given me countless times when they were younger. A perfectly ‘non-answer’… An answer telling me exactly nothing… Not even close to an answer and certainly not a complete sentence or even a complete thought.
But I digress.
My point, and I do have one, is that I wouldn’t purposely take his chair. Nor would I be particularly upset about getting up out of his chair… Except for the fact that, no sooner had I gotten myself up and moved to another chair, he didn’t even sit down. Not in his chair, not in my chair, not a green chair, not a blue chair (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
Well, he did sit down but not in the aforementioned chair. He took the chair on the other side of the table and turned it sideways so he could see and hear the tv from less than a foot away. So why exactly did I need to get up?
I guess it’s something we never really outgrow – that need to call things our own. We don’t like to share our toys with other kids when we’re toddlers or what we did at school that day with our parents when we’re teens. We hate sharing our feelings with our significant others when we’re dating/married and definitely won’t share our self-assigned dining chair with anyone, at anytime or for any reason. Just… because!