Monday 6 June 2022

2022: Where I am and where I’m going

A few years back, I wrote "2019: Where I am and where I’m going". Maybe, it's time for an update.

I'm 69 years old. I turn 70 this coming fall. I've been retired three years this past February. I will be divorced for twelve years this coming September. This past February, I have not had a drink in thirty-four years.

Is this the time in one's life when you get reflective on your life? What are your accomplishments, and, of course, what are your failures? To be honest, there are things I've done in my life that still make me wince. God, how could I have been so dumb? I don't know what other people do, but I sometimes focus more on what I've done wrong than on what I may have done right.

70, Health, and Death
My father died of a heart attack two days shy of his eightieth birthday. How much time do I have left? I have to recognise and accept that someday, this ride will be over. I will have to leave, and the rest of the world will carry on without me.

Is that depressing? Or is it merely realistic? I find it amusing to say to younger people that by the time they reach my age, I'll be dead. I suppose someone may think I'm being morbid, but I really do find that funny.

Although, there are differences between my lifestyle and that of my father. I eat better and exercise more than him. He had a quadruple bypass at the age of 74. Obviously, the makings of cardiac issues were already in place. While I hope my lifestyle will see me live healthier and hopefully longer, there may be parallels. I suffer from erectile dysfunction. Your first thought is about sex, but this condition is also known as the canary in the pants. The blood vessels which feed the penis are some of the smallest in the body and may be susceptible to blockage long before other signs of cardiac problems manifest themselves. Studies have shown a correlation between ED and heart issues. Is my number in the queue?

I'm lucky
In the past three years since my retirement, I've handed out hundreds of dollars (probably between one and two thousand) to various homeless people in the streets. There but for the grace of God go I. I'm sure family, friends, even you, the reader, may find my behaviour odd but I'm reminded that when I hand someone a twenty-dollar bill, it means just about nothing to me. I'm not saying I'm rich but I'm okay enough to see that twenty dollars as being an insignificant amount of money. Giving it away has virtually no impact on my life but I know it represents something important to the homeless person.

Old saying: You can work hard and still fail. Yes, I worked hard. Yes, I made good choices. But I also recognise I had opportunities others may not have had. You could say the homeless deserve what they have but I would counter argue that no one chooses to be poor. With age, I'm finding I'm less critical and more compassionate.

In 2010, I started this blog. Since then, I've written hundreds of articles and hundreds of thousands of words. For a few years, 2011-2013, I did unpaid work for an online newspaper, writing about everything, politics, science, sociology, sex, divorce, etc. In 2013, I participated in NaNoWriMo. In 2016, I self-published a first novel. Since then, I've published five small collections of short stories and a second novel. I've had my stories published online in a variety of webzines. I'm currently editing a third novel and hope to have it published in the fall of 2022. If anything over the past decade, I've discovered I like to shoot my mouth off. Now, if I could only figure out how to get paid for that.

This Blog
I got bored with writing this blog. I pretty much stopped around 2016 and the break was so dramatic, I went through the site map and added indicators, showing articles as being older than 2016 so people could see what's recent.

Why did I get bored? I was repeating myself. In the past week, interested in a certain controversial topic, I went back to read my own articles from a decade ago. Those articles still stand. Same sh*t, different day. We're all arguing about the same issues, and nothing has been done to rectify the situation. I'm wasting my breath. I could take an old article, change the date, and republish it as an analysis of the issue in question.

In the fall of 2021, I finally got worked up enough over the misinformation being passed around about the pandemic that I did sit down and pen a number of articles analysing various issues relating to Covid. My conclusion is that the average person knows little or nothing about what's going on in the world and does absolutely nothing to educate themselves. People can be f*cking stupid and wear their stupidity as a badge of honour.

Don't get me started on politics. The world has gone completely mad. As I said, I could take all my political articles about the 2012 election and merely change the dates to get them to cover the current situation.

Final Word
I've been asked what I'm doing now that I'm retired. I tell people that I spend my days fiddling without going into specifics about what fiddling entails. Do I even know what it entails?

Twenty years ago, my wife and I would occasionally have dinner with neighbours who were both retired. At the time, my wife and I had career jobs; our lives were busy, like really busy. These two neighbours would talk about having full days and finding it difficult sometimes to find the time to do everything. They were retired. My wife and I would walk home after our visits and wonder between us what these two people were rambling on about. Retired? Not enough time?

Now, I am retired, and many times, my days are full. Full of what? A colleague from my former company, also retired, invited me for lunch a few weeks ago. It was a pleasant couple of hours, talking about the supposed good ol' days. But what was I doing now? I remained vague but did mention having done a little writing and had published a book. "Mom liked it." He laughed.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver (b 1935), American poet

Nobody knows about my fiddling with writing. Not family, not friends. Nobody knows about this blog; nobody knows about my books. Does it matter? It's a question of amusing myself and whether it leads to anything remains to be seen but also, probably doesn't matter. The point is to amuse myself.

There's an old joke about nobody has written on their tombstone "I wish I had spent more time working." Am I going to have written, "I wish I had spent more time fiddling"?


Forbes: 'Canary In The Trousers': Why Erectile Dysfunction Can Signal Heart Disease - Jan 30/2013

my blog: I wrote a book. So what? - Jan 30/2018

my blog: 2019: Where I am and where I’m going - Apr 3/2018

my blog: 2018: Where I am and where I’m going - Jan 30/2018

my blog: 2017: Where I am and where I’m going - Jan 28/2017


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