How Are You Doing?

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Did you notice that in many parts of our world, it is time to move our clocks forward one hour on Saturday night?

It is a time to ”spring forward” both in time and mentally. Winter is over, at least according to the calendar. Spring – the time of new beginnings, a fresh start, a time of hope and renewal – it is time.

Winter is past, at least in our northern hemisphere. The trees will soon be in leaf, and the geese – Canada geese! – have returned to my apartment complex pond – even though that pond is still frozen over! Now that is hope for the future, even in our Canada geese. Their instinct tells them that the ice will soon be gone and still and gentle waters are ahead.

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I hear the geese as they return to the iced over pond. There are not many – a lot of the flock pass over, but the few that land! They have hope for the ice to melt and water to be there, for their mating and for the young ones. I will watch this year, as always, for the little ones to learn to swim and then to fly.

The red winged blackbirds will return as well, nesting in the reeds along the edges of the pond.

The sparrows! So many of them so plain and so brown and so loud! They too will return.

The flowering trees in the complex will bloom. Soft pink blossoms that scent the air for oh so short a time, as the winds waft through the branches, and slowly the blossoms fall to the ground.

This is life. This is the beginning of the next stage of our lives. We have the power to accept it, to acknowledge it and to use it for our enrichment.

Peace, the sounds and the fragrance of the spring air – this is what we have, the here and the now!

Use it! Appreciate it! Today! Love!

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

Anne Bradstreet (1612 – 1672), ‘Meditations Divine and Moral,’ 1655

I Am Too Old For This Crap

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I spent a little time this week helping my older sister upgrade to a new browser on her PC. She’s been using IE forever. She’s trying Firefox at the moment.

She’s 86 years old. I am so proud of her. Some people won’t ever try to learn anything new. Some people will make a half hearted attempt at a new thing, and then if it is too difficult, throw up their hands in despair and give up. Not her. Dare I say perhaps stubborness runs in our family?

Technology is evolving. It has been all along. It may be that it has made our lives easier. I question that part though. For those people to whom a plane flying in the sky was a wonder, in the 1930s and 1940s, it is ever a challenge to learn to cope with the requirements of the digital age.

I know of a fellow in his 80s who still likes to pay his bills with hand written checks. We know there are simpler ways to handle this now. Is it really simpler for him, though?

How much is too much? When all the banks change their physical locations to be only for meetings between employees and customers wishing to invest or borrow, and the actual daily banking is expected to be done online or by telephone – is there a benefit?

What about the hard of hearing? How do they cope, especially if they are not computer literate? How do they make a phone call to change a cable TV account subscription if they cannot hear well? If the offices are no longer open to assist them?

Too bad, you say. Get old, and get out of the system. Who cares about old people? So they have the greatest risk of dying from COVID? Who cares? They’ve lived their lives. ”I’m safe. So what if some old person dies? Big deal!”

Let’s get rid of old people. Let’s stop talking about them. Talk about me!

Never mind the children, grandchildren, great grand children of these ”old people”. Who cares?

I care. Until we can accept that every life has value, that every life is important on this planet, the future of our world is in dire jeopardy.

Is selfishness so prevalent? Sometimes I fear that it is.

When I read the hate filled posts about our government leaders, about our scientists, and about our health care workers, about the denial at every level that there is even a pandemic happening? What has happened to our minds?

Where did the acceptance of hate and vitriol toward the older generation come from? How is it that it is acceptable to call someone ”boomer” and mean it as a slur, when it is wrong to use the ”n” word and to say cruel things about other minorities and about women? Why is it that the western world still needs to hate on someone, whether it be smokers or the old? How can that be right? How can it be acceptable?

I fear that there is a world wide crisis. This crisis is in the mental health of the every day citizen.

Come back to us, Erich Fromm, Erik Erikson, and Rollo May! Viktor Frankl we need your theories and your wisdom now more than ever!

https://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/perscontents.html

The hippies had something right.

And all of those who listened and loved this song in 1965.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUaxVQPo

Have we gone so far astray? Have we lost the values that mattered in the 1960s? In the early 1970s when I hitch hiked with my American husband, across a large part of Canada and met so many people. Do we no longer care enough about others to accept a bit of discomfort now in order to help to keep all of us safe and healthy?

I believe that the media’s reporting of ”mental health issues” regarding the changes in our lives necessary to deal with COVID is greatly exaggerated. Are we truly so selfish and self centred that the postponement of kids playing hockey and adults allowed to go to a gym to workout is having an effect on mental health? Please!

There have been real disasters and truly horrific events in our world. Having to stay home, to wear a mask and to comply with health recommendations is not a part of that!

The mentality of ”I can do what I want and how dare you try to stop me!” What is that? Where does it come from? Society has had guidelines, rules of conduct and expectations of acceptable behaviour throughout history. Where does some person get the idea that he or she can flaunt the rules because he or she is special? No. You are neither special nor exceptional. As a citizen and a part of society you are expected to behave in a way that helps to keep everyone safe. It is not a question of your ”freedom” or of your ” rights”. Anyone unfamiliar with the story of Typhoid Mary is encouraged to ”do your research.”

Take care of yourself and take care of each other.

That is the way society works today.

Or…at the very least, that is the way society *should* work today.