ALL Lives Matter

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As yet another September 11th approaches, with a 3-hour televised reading-of-names, we should be asking ourselves why (even after 15 years) these particular lives seem to matter more than others. Regardless of your beliefs about destiny and happenstance or your definition of a true hero, there has never been an event in history that has been as publicly commemorated as this one.

September 11th is now part of our history and our culture – alongside two World Wars, too many genocides and the Holocaust. But we have never before dedicated a single day, every year, to publicly name those millions of people who have perished. Didn’t their lives matter, too?

Tragedy and heartbreak come in many forms – death from disease, arson, shootings, car and plane crashes. Who are we to decide whose death is more horrific or more memorable? We ALL matter both in life and in death. Isn’t it possible that the 9/11 families are not so much ‘honoring’ their dead as making their own lives (and losses) matter more?

New York has renamed countless bridges and streets in honor of politicians, policemen and even sports figures. The 9/11 Memorial, in its entirety, takes up much of downtown Manhattan. Since when isn’t a ‘moment of silence’ – generally heard around the world – enough?

I’ve always felt bad for people born on September 11th. How do you celebrate your special day when there’s such sadness all around? Do children innocently ask their parents why THEIR names aren’t being read aloud? Everyone grieves in a different way but most observances are kept private.

There’s a time and a place for remembrance of all kinds. But I believe it’s up to individuals to take on that personal burden if they so choose. We will never forget the events of September 11,2001. But isn’t the whole point for us to move ON and look FORWARD to a brighter future?

 

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Wise Life Lessons

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  • Life isn’t measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.
  • Life always offers you a second chance… It’s called tomorrow.
  • Life is not about how you survive the storm – it’s about how you dance in the rain.
  • The hardest thing to find in life is happiness. Money is only hard to find because it gets wasted trying to find happiness.
  • The best things in life are free. The rest are too expensive.
  • Math is fun – it teaches you life and death information like, when you’re cold, go to a corner because it’s 90 degrees there.

 

Go For It

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I find it amusing the way some people are hung up on age. I embrace mine. It’s true that age is just a number. And, sure, some days I feel it more than others. But, all in all, I am fairly happy with this new stage of life.

Yesterday I went to the movies. I seldom go because it’s expensive and there isn’t really anything playing that I’m that excited about seeing. And, besides, in a few months time I know I can see it On Demand or, shortly thereafter, I can rent it at my local Redbox.

But this time when I went to the theater,  I just showed them my AARP card* and I got in for less than the bargain matinee price. I could also have saved on concessions but I’m a tried and true sneak-in-my-own-candy kinda girl. So get out that discount card and flash it proudly for all to see!

*For those who think you have to be 65 or older to be an AARP member, think again. The age requirement is only 50.

 

You’re Old If…

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You’re old if…

  • Everything hurts and, what doesn’t hurt, doesn’t work anyway.
  • You get winded playing chess.
  • Your children begin to look middle aged.
  • You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.
  • Your knees buckle but your belt won’t.
  • Dialing long distance wears you out.
  • Your back goes out more than you do.
  • You answer automatically when someone addresses you as “Old Timer.”
  • You burn your midnight oil at 8pm.
  • You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.
  • Your pacemaker makes the garage door go up when you see a pretty girl walk by.
  • You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine cabinet.
  • The best part of your day is over when the alarm clock goes off.

Caregiving In America

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Ever notice that there are more new drugs on the market every day? And just the side effects, alone, can make your pulse quicken. In 2016, we should be curing diseases not still suffering from them. Why is healthy, affordable living so out of our reach?

Watch any black and white film (and even most current ones) and there’s not an actor to be found without his/her lips wrapped around a cigarette. People sometimes have to work at jobs surrounded by carcinogenic substances because that’s all they are qualified to do. We can’t start living in bubbles so what’s a person to do?

It’s true, for the most part, that we are living longer but we’re not fully prepared to care for our loved ones when they reach those new stages of life. Once upon a time, your grandmother might have lived with you and helped raise you while your parents worked. Don’t these same selfless people deserve our love and support? Not everyone can afford to take on that responsibility but… isn’t it worth looking into other options?

It’s not unusual to see multiple videos on social media showing stray animals being rescued and given another chance at life. Shouldn’t we do at least that much for our elders?!

Let’s Trade Up

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We’ve all complained, at one time or another, that life was unfair. Some people make more money than others and some people are just born into it. Some people have more kids than they should have and others can’t have even one.

Well, guess what? Life isn’t always fair. My Mom always told me (as her mother told her) that if everyone put their problems in the middle of the room, you’d grab yours and run like hell.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why but, then, I don’t make the rules. I just have to live by them. We all do. Ever hear the expression: “sell your soul to the devil?” Some people are willing to give up almost anything to get what they want. But most things like that come with too big a price tag (and not just financially speaking).

So, what would you be willing to give up everything for… Your family? Your health? Let’s hope you never have to find out!

Words And Phrases

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A diamond is forever – with divorce rates up, is that still true?

A dog is man’s best friend – I love dogs as much as the next person but shouldn’t your spouse be your BF?

A skeleton in the closet – let’s hope that isn’t a literal meaning.

A watched pot never boils – a quaint expression but, obviously, untrue.

I understand and appreciate the feeling cited above. But we cannot live fortune cookie lives. We can’t possibly take a few nice words (written on a small, folded piece of paper and shoved inside a dessert) seriously. We hear about tragedy and suffering on the news all day long. We see injustice and cruelty all around us. Sure, it’d be great to live in a world wearing rose-colored glasses but, eventually, reality will cross our path and bite us in the butt.

So, by all means, think positively and be considerate of those around you. But know that, against our better judgment, words CAN sometimes hurt!

Disrupt Aging Now

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What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?

I don’t know and I don’t care.

Sadly, that’s a more truthful answer than you’d like to believe. Elderly people get a bum rap. They’re made fun of and they’re underestimated. Older folks have always been depicted as decrepit and powerless in movies and on TV. They are often seen as victims and tend to be the brunt of youngsters’ jokes.

But the joke isn’t on them… It’s on the jokesters themselves.

Celebrities like Betty White and politicians like Jimmy Carter can teach us all a thing or two. They’ve not let time slow them down. They are as active and as productive as ever.

So, next time you see an elderly person (possibly even walking with the help of a cane or a walker), don’t assume they need your pity or your assistance. They may surprise you!*

 

*holding the door open for YOU or even bopping you on the head with their handbag like Ruth Buzzi @Laugh-In

My Dream Job

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“Hello… Hello… Is anybody there?” I often hear this refrain from my Mom who just can’t seem to figure out ‘call waiting.’ I put it on her phone so that she would never miss an important call (from me) while chatting with her friends. I might need to tell her that I’ll be home late or that they didn’t have the library book she asked me to pick up for her and is there a second choice on her list. But if she’s going over the crossword puzzle answers or debating politics for the umpteenth time with her friends then I better just give up and come home (of course then she’ll tell me she was worried sick and why didn’t I call).

There’s been a fairly contentious TV battle going on in our home, too. We have several TVs (one in each room not including the bathrooms) so it’s not like you’re outta luck if one of them goes dark. I have repeatedly shown my mother the art of HD and explained that the HD TV does not respond as well on standard channels so just add 500 to all your favorites and the TV will be your new best friend. Simply waiting for a service call is, obviously, not an option.

I’ve long since lost the ‘computer’ war with my folks but that doesn’t mean they don’t see the good that my having one does them (in full disclosure, I don’t actually have one either because I do all my business on my phone). 

For instance:

  • “Ellen, what is 10 across and 29 down – can you look that up for me?”
  • “Ellen, can you deposit this check for me and check my bank balance?”
  • “Ellen, can you get me a digital coupon for this week’s shopping?”

And so on and so on…

The bottom line, clearly, for them is that THEY don’t need to have a computer because they have ME!

 

A Heads Up

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The end is coming… sounds dire, right? Well, that all depends. If you truly believe in quality over quantity, you already know how to make the most of your time. Most people, when asked if they’d like to know when they’re going to die, prefer remaining ignorantly blissful. What kind of life would you have if you spent every waking hour waiting for it to end?

We are given warnings about our wellbeing since the moment we begin to understand: “Don’t touch the hot stove,” “Don’t pet the loose dog,” “Don’t smoke cigarettes,” Don’t Don’t Don’t.

All the advanced notices and ‘heads up’ in the world continue to fall on deaf ears every day. Some people are no brighter than a deer caught in the headlights of an approaching car. That’s on them. There’s an old expression, “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on ME.” In life, you don’t always get a second chance so it’s best to keep your eyes wide open and your head up at all times!*

*especially people who walk around with their head down and their eyes glued to their phones…