Cooling Thoughts

One Day at a Time!

I have been reading selected readings from the Wit and Wisdom of Laura Ingalls Wilder and thought to myself that the knowledge imparted upon us in these short witticisms would also serve us well into our retirement years.  

“We would be much cooler and less tired if, instead of thinking of the weather and our weariness, we would try to remember the birds’ songs we heard in the early morning or notice the view of the woods and hills or of the valley and stream.”

I know that many of us like to think that we would not want to go back to the days of yesteryear, but after reading a passage like the above and then picturing in our minds the likes of which we see, hear, and read about today, one begins to wonder if the days of old with all the troubles they endured were as bad as some make them out to be.

Has the temperature changed over the years? Probably so. Do we get tired more quickly today than our forefathers might have? Again, probably so. But were we aware of all the problems of the world both here at home and abroad on a 24-hours a day/7days a week/52 weeks of the year basis? I think not. Chances are, that depending on where you were living, by the time you received the news of some disaster or calamity, it had been over and done with and people were getting on with their lives.

So, in reviewing the above writing, I contend that we would be wise to heed the words spoken in this passage by thinking more about the good things in life (birds singing early in the morning) and take notice of all the good things that surround  us (view of the woods and hills or the valley and stream). Chances are that we would no longer feel the unbearable heat from the sun nor notice how tired our bodies are from the work we do. Bottom line is that we would in all probability be thankful that we are alive and able to move about freely taking life one day at a time and enjoying the fact that while we woke up this morning, quite a few people were not as fortunate.

Until next time.

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Comfort Zone

I am going to go out on a limb with regards this post and change the way I write. They say you are to write what you know about but to be truthful – my career was in the insurance field when I was working but I have been retired too many years now to write about that so instead of doing something comical (My usual form) for this post – I will add a human touch to my writings.

Recently I had to go to the ER to get checked out for some unknown symptoms that were bothering me. This post is not about me or the results of that visit. To put everyone’s mind at ease, nothing serious was found and I was sent on my way with some simple instructions to follow that they thought might correct the situation. Enough said about that.

Even though I was supposed to be home resting, there happened to be a “Fair” in town and seeing that I was not in any pain or unable to do anything, we decided to attend the fair. A few hours of sunshine walking around the fairgrounds taking in the different vendors and such might take my mind off the matter. I am a ‘people watcher’ as I could sit in an airport or somewhere that there are people coming and going and be quite content for hours on end. Same holds true when visiting and walking through the fairgrounds. The people one sees is amazing!

For instance, I seen an adult male in a wheelchair, noticeably created just for this individual as it was motorized, had a speech synthesizer, and well, let’s just say it was custom made so that this individual could function despite whatever disabilities put him in the chair to begin with. The gentleman was surrounded by family and/or friends and despite his situation, he was smiling and apparently quite happy and content while engrossed in a discussion with all of them.

Later I passed several individuals that were very over-weight. One thought that crossed my mind was the amount of energy they must possess to do the things most of us take for granted day in and day out. Most people would look at an overweight person and say to themselves – why did they allow themselves to get that way. I look at them and wonder what type of glandular problem they might have and how hard it must be for them to do the things we do day in and day out naturally without thought.

In walking we also passed a mother feeding her child who was in a wheelchair. There were also elderly people strolling down the midway, and I use the term – elderly – loosely because I myself am on the upside of hitting age 79, individuals walking with canes, walkers, and so forth enjoying a nice day at the fair. I might add, that in each of the instances described above, everyone had smiles on their faces and were truly enjoying themselves.

Now, let me back up for a minute. In view of my recent trip to the ER and the fact that they could not diagnose exactly what my problem was, I got to thinking: “Hmmm, does this mean I will have to contend with this queasy stomach feeling forever?” Which in turn caused me to remember something I read recently from the “Wit and Wisdom” of Laura Ingalls Wilder and I quote:

“The man who had said the shield was white found the side he was now looking at to be black, while the one who had declared the shield was black found himself facing the white side, so each got the other’s point of view and felt very foolish that they had fought over so simple a thing. It makes a difference when you’re in the other fellow’s place.”

While the above quote apparently dealt with two individuals arguing about one thing or another, and it was only when they put themselves in the other’s shoes did they see the light, so to speak, point is, when we are thinking to ourselves, “Woe is me, I have it so bad,” we should stop for one moment and put ourselves in another’s shoes. I would venture to say that none of us would think our problems are true problems in light of what others must go through each and every day.

By my observations at the fair, my little bellyache, is child’s play in the overall scheme of things. With that I will enjoy my bland diet and get on with my day.

Until next time!

From My Perspective

What to do in Retirement!

Seeing that my life these days is much busier than, I expected it to be, let me just say that when I first started blogging, much of what I wrote was geared towards either those individuals that were soon going to retire or   that, like me had already retired. Let’s face it – retirement is merely just another phase of our lives. And while I may have intended to write about retirement issues, fact is that when it was all said and done, I found myself starting this blog site (second site I blog on) basically for my own enjoyment. Well, mine and those of you that get a chuckle out of the gibberish I come up and that flows onto these pages.

Sound selfish – not really. How many of you out there reading this blog, and be honest, have what we all would consider to be “good days and bad days?” If we are being honest, most of us will admit that we do experience both good days and bad days. The secret to master though is to have more good days than we do bad days. I have never quite determined what my “niche” is. I just sit down at the computer and well, what may be rolling around in my brain (yes, I do have one – leastways, I hope I do) eventually gets transferred to the page I happen to be creating. 

Should I come across any idea or subject that I feel will assist other retirees or those soon – to – be retirees, I try to share same via a blog post. However, there are those days when I really do not have an inkling let alone an idea of what I may want to write other than knowing that I do want to sit and write and want to share what it is I am writing about with others. So, what do I do – I just let my fingers flow across the keyboard and hope that what goes onto the page is something worthy of reading that will not only bring a smile to my face – especially on days where I am down but will bring a smile to your face as well! They say that misery loves company – well – I would add that reading comical stuff causes others to think comically too and that given the choice, most of us would rather be in a comical mood versus a down and out mood.

I try my best to smile as well as laugh as often as possible plus I am very fond of trivia, quotes and thoughts to ponder. So, this post has no specific niche other than hopefully after reading it, if you were in a bad frame of mind that you will be in a good frame of mind. And if you were already in a good frame of mind, that what follows will only add to your happiness.

Trivia/Puzzle

Name the law that says: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  NOTE: Answer at the end of the post.

Thought to ponder

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Joke of the day – this one is a one-liner

Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

Quote for today

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz

Interesting math statement

40 when written “forty” is the only number with letters in alphabetical order, while “one” is the only one with letters in reverse order.

Senior moment

You are delighted to discover that your new acquaintance is taking all the same prescriptions that you are.

This day in History

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell – is granted a patent for the telephone.

In 1933

The film King Kong premieres in New York City.

Answer to Trivia/Puzzle: A proverb coined by the twentieth-century British scholar, C. Northcote Parkinson, known as Parkinson’s Law. It points out that people usually take all the time allotted.

 Until next time!

Idioms and Our Days!

Did you ever wake up one morning and wonder how you were going to get everything you had on your plate done within the eight hours allotted to getting it done? This brings me to an “idiom” that is usually associated with the mood we place ourselves in when facing such a situation. Think about it – we have a ton of things to do and only a few hours (well, eight hours is a bit more than a few but what can I say, I haven’t had my morning coffee yet) to do it in.

If you are like me, the first thing that pops into my head is that if I am going to make any headway in the list of things I want to do I am going to have to move “like a bat out of hell!”

What does that even mean? Well, if you look it up – the expression “like a bat out of hell” is very commonly used in English. Bats have been associated with witches since the Jacobean times (reign of James VI of Scotland). Bats fly very quickly as if they are panicking, so this is how the phrase is associated with its origin.  Source: theidioms.com

But instead, I sit down at my desk and prepare a “list of things I want to accomplish” knowing full well that I will probably not get all of them done. But, by having the list in front of me, I can pick and choose those that I feel are most important and attack them first. In that manner, when the end of the day comes and I sit down to review the list once again, hopefully, those that were of most importance will be check-marked ‘done’ and I will feel as though my day was not a total waste of time. Beats moving “like a bat out of hell!”

By taking the approach I mentioned above, one avoids yet another idiom that many people fall victim to in their everyday lives – that of “making a mountain out of a molehill.” Which, by the way, I must admit, I used to do all the time.

Again, referring to the same source, the oldest record of this particular idiom “making a mountain out of a molehill” is to be found in Nicholas Udall’s translation, 1548. It was mentioned as:

“….The Sophists of Greece could through their copiousness make an Elephant of a fly and a mountain of a molehill”

He is comparing a fly with an elephant which is a clear reflection of exaggeration. It is impossible to compare an elephant with a fly because of the difference in their size. Since then, this idiom was used rapidly in order to highlight the dramatization.   Source: theidioms.com

My point to this entire post is that if we slow down and think things through and not fly off the handle “like a bat out of hell,” the tasks before us on any given day are not those of the “making a mountain out of a molehill,” but instead are as simple as that!

Source: theidioms.com

Until next time!

Wake Up Call

As has been the case lately, I have not been writing posts as frequently as I would like to. It would appear a small thing called ‘life’ tends to get in the way. I know ….excuses, excuses, excuses! But, having said that I have another reason for not writing and that is that my “Idea” box is empty. Empty, that is, until around three o’clock this morning.

It was after I woke to go to the bathroom (one of three or four trips that I make in an evening – “Oh, the joys of getting old – but having reached age 78 last month, I am not complaining – just confessing!” During one of these trips I started thinking about what my next post should be about. What entered my head was a combination of things – one, I was feeling sorry for myself because lately I have been having some minor health problems and how this minor health problem could be looked upon as a  disability!

But then, my mind then wandered (which it tends to do a lot lately) to item number two which was about some of the posts I recently read where some retirees complain because they do not know what to do with themselves now that they are retired.

This combination of ideas got me to thinking, not of myself, but of others, people with true disabilities, not the mediocre ones many of us feel we suffer with during our daily lives. I got to thinking how these people managed to hold it all together and have the strength to move forward and do something with their life. Many of which probably never did retire as they were too wrapped up with what they enjoyed doing every day of their lives.

People like: Helen Keller – born June 27, 1880, and became deaf and blind at 19 months yet went on to become involved in significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century and worked diligently until her passing to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Or, John Nash – an American mathematician, born June 13, 1928, whose life, marked by acute paranoid schizophrenia, is known to us thanks to the film “A Beautiful Mind.”  Knowing of his illness, Nash fought against it and went on to develop a successful academic career that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

Christy Brown, an Irish writer and painter who had cerebral palsy yet went on to write or type only with the toes of one foot and his most recognized work is his autobiography, titled My Left Foot.

I could go on an on as there are so many – Stephen Hawking, Marlee Beth Matlin, Michael J. Fox, Stevie Wonder, Nick Vujicic, Andrea Boccelli, and Muhammad Ali to name a few.

Many of us handicap ourselves into thinking “woe is me – what am I going to do with myself – I have it so bad” or “what is happening to me ‘sucks’.” When such a thought crosses our mind, what we need to do is “Gibb slap” ourselves on the back of our head and thank our lucky stars we are not ‘disabled’ in the true sense of the word, straighten up, and get on with our lives doing something instead of whining about it – myself included.

Besides, ‘wine’ is best served at the end of the day as we sit back, put our feet up, relax, and take stock of what we accomplished today. After all, we are retired, we have as much time as we need to get it right! Or do we?

Until next time!