BINGO

Card or Online – Lots of Fun

What shall I talk about today or shall I say “rant and rave” about? Being the old fart that I am, let’s talk about something seniors and retirees such as myself have been doing for centuries and that is play BINGO!

What is it about the game of BINGO that fascinates players around the world today? Yes, I said, around the world. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, believe it or not, Bingo has been around since before 1530 and really only came into being in the United States in the 1900s when it was a carnival game by the name of “beano.”

But, as members of the community where I live know it, Bingo is a game they cannot wait to play every Monday night. It is interesting to me how many players look forward to their Monday evening night of fun and the things they do to personalize it and make it their own. For instance, say the games only start at 7 PM, players will actually come to our clubhouse several hours before, enter the hall, choose or should I say mark their table by placing something personal in the spot they intend to sit at for the three hours once the games begin, leave and then return about 30 – 40 minutes prior to the games starting time. And woe is the individual that attempts to sit in that spot (usually the newbie that has never played before and doesn’t know how the game is played). Dedicated players take Bingo playing very seriously as evidenced by the marking of their territory.

But, truth be told, no matter where bingo is being played or what seat you end up sitting in, playing bingo brings joy to seniors and retirees all over the world as they come together to enjoy a night of fun as they share the thrill of an active (depending on the caller), animated game.

While it has been some time since I have actually sat and played Bingo, just listening to the callers yell out some of the cute catchphrases that represent the actual number can be entertaining in and of itself. For instance, “One dozen” would be called for the number 12 or quite possibly, “Unlucky” might be called for the number 13. I could go on but I am sure you get my drift.

Bottom line – I am keeping this post short as I myself am new when it comes to the history of BINGO. Fact is I will be learning more as I go along. But, believe it or not, bingo is now one of the most popular games in the world. I mean think about it – it is so easy to pick up, it is not hard to follow, is a great game to bring people together, and get them chatting. And this applies to whether it is played in a clubhouse, in a classroom, or now that we have the Internet and access to so many “smart” devices, it’s a great game of fun, luck of the draw, and speed.

Bingo first went online in 1996 and as a game that is continually developing and changing, easily offers players numerous choices on how to play the game. An educated guess is that more than 9,000 to 10,000 games of bingo are played every day online in addition to the Bingo halls which now offer both the table games as well as access to the online games.

Who knows, I may even go back to playing Bingo on Monday evenings here in our park as I am sure my wife would enjoy a night out once a week. That’s it for now,

Until next time!

SNOOZE BUTTON!

Time waits for no man!

I recently read a quote that sort of gave me that kick in the ass that some of us need every now and then to get motivated and write that article or post we have been putting off for quite a while.

The quote went something like this:

“Our snooze button does not have the power to delay the sun from rising in the morning. Time simply does not wait for anyone. Ted Robbins, Time Management Master Time Management and Boost Your Success 

Fact is this saying applies whether we are still in school, still working, or enjoying our life in retirement.

I keep wondering what my problem is and why I do not sit down at my computer to write that weekly blog post I keep telling myself is important. For some reason, making the bed, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, paying the bills, filing receipts, and all these type things ad nauseum easily take the place of our sitting on our butts at the computer or in a chair with pen/pencil and tablet writing.

It would appear that we forget the number one rule of those of us that want to “write,” and that is we must actually take the time to write. While I keep a daily journal of sorts, basically it is a compilation of notes of things I plan on doing on such and such a day, how I feel, whether or not we got to see our children, and what I usually end up calling “unimportant stuff.” True it is writing but it is not the type of writing I thought I would be doing when I set up this blog site.

No, what I had in mind when I set up this site was to share with everyone – funny stuff, educational stuff, philosophical stuff, and so forth.

There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to what it is that I write about. Part of me says: “Hey, what’s wrong with that – you are doing what you want to do and writing that which satisfies your itch to write.” But then my conscience asks the question: “But is that enough?” Shouldn’t you have a niche, a brand, something that would keep people coming back for more?

Hence the reference to the quote mentioned at the beginning of this post – mainly the part that says: “Time simply does not wait for anyone.”  I mean, in a few days, I will be turning 79, you would think I should have it all together by this time in my life!

Perhaps one does not need a niche, brand, or something to keep people coming back for more. Perhaps it is my writing in and of itself (hopefully the content of same is what people enjoy) that will keep people coming back for more.

This post is becoming a lesson in writing with me being both the student and the teacher it would seem. Why do I say that? Well to begin with, having said that, the only other obstacle I need to overcome is that of being consistent.

How does this come into play? Well, for one thing – if I were more consistent, chances are those reading my rants and raves would have something to look forward to every week. Even more so if I tied it to a specific day as I have seen other bloggers do (post an article every Sunday evening for instance). In doing so, those that do get some enjoyment out of the dribble I write about, will know to look for my latest rant each and every Sunday evening.

I am beginning to be glad I had this conversation with myself. Now all I need to do is come up with content (preferably something readers will enjoy or something I enjoy writing about) and then be consistent in posting on a certain day be it weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or what have you.

I knew there was a reason I like that joke about talking to oneself because that seems to be the only time those of us that do talk to ourselves have an intelligent conversation.

I am posting this today but am shooting for Sunday nights in the future to begin posting weekly. If I don’t follow through, please feel free to give me a swift kick in the you know what to get me motivated and doing what I love doing…..WRITE!

With that I will bid you adieu and be back Sunday evening.

Frame of Mind

When I woke this morning, I wasn’t in the best frame of mind. I thought to myself, this is going to be one of those so-so days and contemplated rolling over and going back to sleep. But the more I lay there, my mind tended to roam to places I never intended it to roam to.

I pictured various scenes, scenes like a very overweight individual out and about shopping; the conditions of various individuals in the doctor’s office where we recently had our follow-up checkup regarding some blood work drawn the week prior. I also pictured the guy looking for a hand-out on the corner with his sign indicating he hadn’t eaten in quite a while. My thoughts roamed all over the place. They took me overseas to our military and I thought of the young recruit in a faraway land weighted down with about 65 pounds of military gear in addition to the weight of the weapons he must carry with him to be safe.

What do all these scenarios have to do with me and my temporary (yes, temporary) attitude. Just this – it didn’t take much thought after reminiscing about scenarios such as those just mentioned to – how shall I put this “Wake up and smell the roses or in my case the coffee!”

Scenes like those just mentioned made me realize just how good many of us have it. As I looked around our bedroom, I seen nothing but items that reminded me of all the fun and good times we had acquiring what it is we wake up to each and every day. I also gave thought to the knowledge that once I did get up and go to the kitchen, it wouldn’t be long before I am sitting there – still in my pajamas drinking a cup of coffee looking out the window hoping to see a glimpse of the sun rising.

We are fortunate enough to go to bed at night and not have to wonder where our next meal is coming from. Or worry constantly about some type of physical impairment or disease we wrestle with every day and wondering about how we are going to get out of bed and manage whatever it is we have to do today. Nor are we  in the military stationed in some foreign country or war-torn area where nomatter how we feel when we wake we do not have the luxury of waking up and saying: Oh, I don’t feel like this is going to be a good day – that’s it – think I will just roll over and go back to sleep. The list that flashed through my mind was endless.

Am I saying that “we don’t have bad days?” Nope, we all do. But what I am saying is that when we think to ourselves – “Why me?” or “What am I to do with myself, how am I to cope?” stop for a moment and just give thought to all the other people in the world that do not have what you have at this particular moment in time. Doing that simple task may be all you need to get your backside out of bed and make the best of what you have. After all, isn’t that what everyone else has to do.

To coin a phrase that sort of sums it up and by the way – just sitting down and writing this short piece put me in a much better frame of mind – “Suck it up, Buttercup” because when you get right down to the “nitty gritty” of it, things could be a lot worse!

Until next time!

Second-Guessing vs Grass is Greener on the Other Side

Second guess is defined as to question a decision or action that has already been completed. An example of second guess is when you make a decision and then you start to think about it a little more and decide another decision might have been better. Why do we, as seniors, find it necessary to second-guess ourselves so much in our later years?

Have you ever noticed that as we age, we find it harder and harder to make certain decisions and find ourselves putting things off because of one thing or another? I like to refer to this as second-guessing ourselves.

Are the decisions we make good things or should we be seeking another opinion on? And what if that other opinion differs from the decision we originally came up with?

Many of us, tend to say as we enter our twilight years, that getting old is not for sissies – usually based on problems with our health. Health problems, I can deal with. Usually with health problems the situation is that you either have a problem or you don’t, or you are told that in the near future, things are going to change and here is what you must do to be prepared for them. While we may not like it – hey – at our age, most of us try to roll with the punches and thus do what the doctor says.

Not so with the second-guessing type scenario. There is something you want to do that could possibly make your life better but there is that nagging question in the back of your head, will the change be for the better? We know that at our age nothing is guaranteed. The thought process is that hopefully, your life will change for the better but there is no guarantee hence the second-guessing and wondering if you are or will be doing the right thing.

This overall thought process raises so many questions, the main one being: Do we take the chance knowing that depending on what we eventually end up doing, we will have to live with the consequences as there will be no turning back. Or, do we withdraw into our shell like the turtle and say to ourselves – I know what I have in here – why risk it wondering if the grass will be greener on the other side?

I am sure those of you reading this are aware that “the grass is greener syndrome” means that individuals having this syndrome have an inability to feel content with their life as it is, and relentlessly seek something better.  Having made it to the grand old age of 78 soon to be 79, I feel certain that this dilemma happens just as much during our retirement years as it did during our working years and thus the reason for the article. Chances are that many of us senior citizens have been in this dilemma more times than we care to admit to and in each case, my guess is that there were always a couple of hiccups along the way to make the challenge even more interesting.   

Why the word hiccups – primarily because it is these hiccups that make us question our initial decision (you know the one that put us in this position in the first place, thinking that the grass may be greener on the other side), thus opening the door to second-guessing ourselves.  

So, the question becomes: At what point in one’s lives do we feel content with where we are in life and thus no longer have to second-guess decisions that we may or may not make. Decisions we consider to be relevant to our future well-being?  

Interesting dilemma, isn’t it?

Until next time!

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.