Unexpected blessing – Adam Gopnik

One of the many unexpected blessing from Sunday’s Civil Conversations event was being reintroduced to Adam Gopnik.  What stood out to the organizers was his term “stretching the fabric of tolerance,” which apparently helped form the theme they brought to the evening.  What stirs me, reintroduced to his discussion with Krista, are his thoughts in people over & under 35. Maybe roiled & riled is more on point than stirs.

To Adam, everyone under 35 is still growing, still discovering, still finding themselves, while those who are over are “merely aging rather than actually growing,” “getting a little tubbier, a little grayer, a little balder, a little flatter.” “The under-35s are approaching the mature point.  Us mature ones are approaching our mortal point.”

It might seem weird that I utterly LOVE those comments, yet I do. Would love Adam to do a deep dive into what he means by what he shares, because it’s impossible for me to wrap my head around him actually believing that growth stops in our mid thirties. What I am wildly thankful for in his words, his description, is that it so perfectly captures what many people DO think about aging after a certain age – that it’s flatter than all that came before.

While Adam is right about bodies getting more prone to tubbiness, grey hair & hair loss as we grow into our forties, he goes off track – in my experience – when he addresses the impact on our spiritual intellectual emotional dimensions. Totally off the rails, in my experience, although it does capture a common misconception.

Here’s what I will share with Adam as we share a cuppa somewhere down the road ~ ~ mid-thirtysomethings are like a newly bottled wine, with all the components of a great glass of delectable delight BUT a truly great, complex vintage needs years of aging before its full glory. Some need just a few years to come into their own, others need many; some  turn to vinegar with too many years, while others turn the years into a spectacular savor.

Am WOWed that my original shock at the organizers of Sunday’s Civil Conversations selecting tolerate as the evening’s theme drove me to find the full transcript of Adam’s interview with Krista, to experience his words on aging which so match the misnomers held by so many about a great & glorious experience & time.  A beyond-the-beyond unexpected blessing.

 

 

“Update could not be installed due to lack of power”

“Update could not be installed die to lack of power.”  An iPad notification packs surprising wisdom.

God, the Universe,, the Great Spirit, our Creator – whatever name is used to describe the Wondrous Whatever behind this crazy loopy thing we call our existence  BEing LIFE constantly runs unscheduled inner updates to help maximize our systems,.

Reading that notification this a.m., something clicked sin my brain, setting off a whoosh of aha awakenings.

Will never know why our standard operating system seems to come with a default desire to side step personal responsibility.  Is it a glitch or does it save a funky purpose?

It sure does a lot of damage!  It’s how demagogues rise to power, offering people what they want to hear & believe, even – or as I’ve learned first hand, especially – when what they say defies reason.

We seem weirdly born with a whackadoodle desire to HAND OVER our power over to others.  I’ve seen it uncountless times in my family, personal & professional life.  In myself.  It’s the #1 reason  I balk at the argument that the. Constitution is written in stone or that the understanding of any group’s founders should remain arbiters of current rules & regs – that’s abdicating here & now responsibility it to long-dead ones.

Is the rise of powerful figures who speak to our deepest fears rather than our highest aspirations tied to an inherent desire to keep our inner power source just strong enough to run basic programs?  To welcoming an other eager to accept responsibility for making our lives work & who typically offers up any number of others  to pin with blame when things go off track?

Worth a ponder.

And a timely reminder to keep my own power source open.  There’s no guessing when the next aha update might try to download into my head heart spirit,

Related Link:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l1ajxoKbWB8

 

Secrets of centenarians

After spending thirty minutes watching videos that focused on the secrets of centenarians, I decided, “Bosh! Centenarians don’t know more about what makes for LIVING than a kid of eighty – longer years do not insure greater wisdom.”  MY secret to a good great grand life is to be present, whatever is happening.  Which means you’re not, as too many do, dwelling on what was or fretting about what might be.  Don’t be one of those who, when someone comments on what lovely weather it is, intones “Rain is predicted for Friday.”  Enjoy the sun & be happy the plants will be watered on Friday!

It’s a small but mighty virtue called contentment.  And interestingly enough, it’s the topic of an article in today’s NY Times.

And here’s the gist of what those centenarians said is the secret to living to a ripe old age – – whatever your age, LIVE!

Related Links:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/well/live/the-secret-to-aging-well-contentment.html

Change of habit

Growing up & deep into adulthood, my core inclination  bent toward cooperation & collaboration, but distorting messages received (perhaps not intentionally sent), left my vision distorted, my emotions messed up.

Took me close to sixty years to wake up to my true nature;  here I be, at sixty-six & dealing with creating instilling cementing the empowering core habits to back up my here & now acceptance of a long muddled self.

For well over fifty years, I was entrenched in SEEING myself as a go-it-aloner kinda gal, even when what I was DOing said otherwise.  That aggressively warped sight doesn’t immediately vanish with aha awareness of reality.  It can be obvious that poor care has left an apple tree unable to bear the abundance of fruit natural for its ideal location & rich soil, but it takes more than the strongest good intentions to restore the damaged tree to its true nature – it requires a skilled arborist to reclaim its health.

These are emotionally perilous days.  I came to the end of my 42-year quest for balance/alignment to find myself facing the gut-wrenching work of pruning away my stunted grow, which still too often persists in bending me AWAY rather TOWARD stated goals,  then nurturing new productive habits that will help my dreams goals plans come to glorious fruition.

FACT :  I’ve come to the end of where >I< – solo, on my own – can tap into book audio video mentors to empower great deep forever change.  Now, I need more.  To change my HABITS requires a form of skilled spiritual emotional mental arborist to help restore the visible, fruit-bearing parts of my psyche, to get back in sync with my healthy, deeply-planted roots.

Consider this my “help wanted” ad.  My season is now; I am eager to bear much fruit.

 

Better life, new reality

My Analog Summer has been extended, maybe to forever.  I like the changes that came with not having a smart phone -or- a tablet -or- a laptop -or- any sort of digital device in the house.  If I’m online, you know that I’m at the library.

Yes, I will be getting a phone – but one that takes calls & texts, nothing more.  I do have a tablet, purchased from a friend getting a bigger better bolder version,  but it is on lock down.  Instead of “sunsetting” my digital device as some do – giving them a calmer, quieter evening – I keep mine virtually mothballed for the day, checking it on the hour rather than reacting to ITs electronic beck & call.

I know how malleable our brains are & how easily affected they are by the digital rerouting of the electronics that have become super glued to so many hands.  I opted out for the summer & now for the foreseeable future.  I like my brain circuits just the way they are.  I like to use electronic devices as tools, I am delighted with how powerfully teamed they’ve been this summer with my head heart soul – happy to be friends, rather than the masters.

All of my life has been about finding alignment, balance.  Thanks to my Analog Summer, waved off getting caught in the flummox of alternating between focused & scattered, focused/scattered – aka the natural state of the human mind on a digital feast.  Opted for a returned to my old ways with a soupcon of online.  A new way, a better life.

Feels GREAT!

She doesn’t get it

A close-to-the-heart friend offered suggestions on ways I could produce more robust income streams – sign up as a home aide with a visiting health care agency, get a job as an Activities Director at a nursing home – or – “If you want to reach people before they get to the Nursing Home stage, try working at an Assisted Living Organization as an Activities Director.”  Sigh…  One of my nearest & dearest, yet she hasn’t a clue about how I’m experiencing my here & now calling.   My heart’s desire is to open the eyes of young middles olders to the importance & value of aging ever upward.  AT EVERY STAGE, including what’s though of as OLD.

Face it – the only person who is NOT “getting up there in years” is dead.  A person’s point of view on growing “elderly” begins in the cradle & grows from there.  But unlike every  previous generation, stretching back through millennia, many people in their 50s & younger didn’t experience multiple generations regularly rubbing elbows, living in the same town or nearby, getting together en masse at least once a year.  Sunday dinners a la Blue Bloods are increasingly rare, which is sad because food has created a sense of community, a sense of bonding, of shared moments.  Through the millennia.

What my friend doesn’t understand is that we’re in a moment that’s unique – and scary.  We are in totally unknown terrain, flying blind & most people don’t know it.  They increase their use of social media, which isolates more than it connects.  Increase their screen time, which stresses as much as it informs.  Let very little children use digital devices, in spite of warnings about the long-term damage they do.  Digital devices make a joke of privacy, expose millions to ID theft, do as much damage as good.  Yet millions upon millions continue to get utterly in their thrall, even outright addicted.

We are an increasingly divided nation, which was EXACTLY Osama Bin Laden’s aim when he directed our own planes, loaded with men women children, against our own buildings.  His knew the USA wouldn’t be destroyed by turning iconic buildings into rubble, murdering thousands of people, destroying many more thousands lives.  It was to create a breach for the inexorable crush of the worst parts of human nature bearing down on a tiny opening, ripping it open, tossing & crashing the structure of our nation from a bulwark of democracy to its own pile of rubble.

What my friend doesn’t understand is that my here & now calling is to be one of the countless human cattle prods zapping people into awareness of the crazies all around us, looking to suck us in, to bring us down, to make the United States another example of a great nation being brought down by our own obliviousness, our unwillingness to see hard issues in a clear light, to look back to the quick sand of our origins that’s sucked us under ever since a slave holder wrote ‘All men are created equal.’

There’s sure no job title for it.  And it is essential that we step up, embrace it & get to work patching up that hole that was blown in our national psyche seventeen years ago.

She might not get it, but I do & that’s what matters.