Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies?

Much Ado About Nothing

There’s been so much hullabaloo lately about NFL (and other professional and amateur sports team) players, in particular, Colin Kaepernick, kneeling during the playing of their own national anthem before their events.

Many feel this action or form of protest disgraces the national anthem and the country for which it is sung, as well as the team for which those players may play.

But we must take a step back and see different points of view before we judge so harshly the actions of others.

The United States has long defended peaceful protests, even upholding the privilege to do so in their Constitution, together with the freedoms of speech and personal expression.

Looking at it from another point of view, it is also easy to sit in judgment of protesters when you have not been victim of the injustices and unfair treatment being protested in the first place.

From a more practical point of view, consider that a form of protest is likely most effective when in a place like a stadium where tens of thousands of people have their attention fixed on one spot.  This is no different to politicians attempting to further their careers by hosting so-called dinners at several hundred dollars a plate.  The tickets for such dinners far exceed the cost of tickets to sporting events, yet no one seems to protest the fact that politicians are in effect attempting to buy their votes.

Moreover, how do you stand for a national anthem which you may believe in your heart of hearts no longer has the meaning it originally intended?  An anthem which speaks of freedom and justice for all can have little to no meaning for those whose freedoms are denied, let alone those who have not received justice from either the legal system or police enforcement.

 

It was Voltaire who said, “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.”

He also said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Perhaps we should keep Voltaire’s statement in mind before we judge so harshly those who may disagree with our points of view, lest we suffer the greatest fate of all – REPEATING HISTORY’S MISTAKES.

https://ca.yahoo.com/sports/ravens-anthem-singer-resigns-fan-reaction-player-protests-223648999.html

 

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Categories: Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies?, Random Crap, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pot Pourri

A few things I simply have to get off my chest:

  1. We all have to work for a living, and most of us don’t get paid for what we really love.  Seek it out in your spare time anyway.  Your older self will thank you for doing so in the future.
  2. The older we are, the faster we used to run.  This applies mostly to politics, and lately, mostly in Alberta.  In 2015, we overwhelmingly voted out the Progressive Conservatives after 41 years of “leadership” which was tenuous at best, and decided to give the New Democrat Party a whirl.  Before the NDP even has a chance to dust off the furniture, the conservative right wingers are crying for their precious PC’s back.  Here’s a newsflash: they had 41 years and you – YOU – voted them out in favour of some fresh air.  Give the NDP a chance to get going before you start crying for your familiar, albeit abusive, political parent to come back and love you.  Second newsflash: you don’t get that high in politics without stepping on a lot of people on the way up.  Deal with it.
  3. Same goes for the Harper v. Trudeau camp.
  4. For the over-leveraged oil slingers:  Try counting your money while holding your breath.  The recession you believe is happening to you right now is only personal.  You over-spent, over-leveraged and over-extended yourselves.  It’s time to answer for it.  The economy is not suffering so much as it is simply taking a break.  The skyrocketing value of everything could not sustain itself longterm and we are now only in what is actually a NORMAL economy.  The fact that you are giving up your family pets before you give up your smokes or 60-inch TV’s is on you, not the government.
  5. If, despite Number 4 above, you wish to continue spouting off about this “recession” in Alberta, being “worse than the 80’s”, please make sure that (a) you were alive and cognizant enough to understand the economy in the 1980’s, and (b) please have a look outside your windows and tell me what all those cranes dotting our skyline are doing.
  6. Just because you’ve given birth to a child, does not automatically mean that you are EVERYONE’S mother.  I have a mother, and you don’t hold a candle to her so stop trying.
  7. Also, women who don’t have children made as conscious a choice as those who did.  Respect both.
  8. The weather since Inauguration Day has been unseasonably warm in parts of Canada.  Hot air rises.  Coincidence?  I think not.  It also furthers the claim by realists that climate change is not, in fact, a “hoax”.
  9. It IS possible to sustain an economy without gang-raping the environment.  Our demand for oil, plastics and the like will not diminish.  However, we can do so more responsibly and slow the pace of our gluttonous consumption.  The answers are so simple an 8 year old could explain them to you.  I know just such an 8 year old girl who would love to speak to you, and likely shame you into submission in the process.
  10. It’s also possible to drive a 1994 Ford Bronco and get better gas mileage and have fewer emissions than many new vehicles being churned out today.  Regular maintenance and responsible disposal of oils and parts is key.  Don’t buy new when you can keep what you have running.
  11. Stop glorifying being “busy”.  You’re not busy.  And no one cares.  You’re just over-extending yourselves and one day you’ll wake up dead wondering why you bothered.  It’s okay to take a break and do sweet f**k all.
  12. And lastly, ADOPT SHELTER PETS.

It’s not rocket science, people.

Categories: Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies?, Random Crap, self acceptance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lost Art of Saying No

Saying ‘no’ to anything or anyone in this day and age of widespread materialism and instant gratification is a lost art. And yet, so many of us would be far less stressed and much happier if we could just implement that one little word into our daily vocabulary. It is, after all, one of if not the very first word we learn as children, right behind “mama” and “papa.”

As I write this, I have a specific situation in mind. There are three players in my viewpoint, an aged mother in her 80’s, a daughter in her 50’s and a granddaughter in her 20’s. The 50-something daughter is the heart of the matter in that she is addicted to medications and will take whatever the doctors will give her for her mostly imagined symptoms for mostly imagined and creatively-named illnesses. This person, naturally, has found enablers in her mother and daughter who have been conned into doing everything for her, including cleaning the house in which she spends all day, cooking her food, administering her medications, attending to her errands and obligations, etc. All while the daughter expresses no appreciation at their hard work and sacrifice, and continues to demand even more from them, which so far they have obligingly provided at great cost to themselves and their own families.

One has to think that this person has grown accustomed to having others at her beck and call, and has never learned to appreciate the time and effort it takes to care for herself since she’s never had to do it. Neither, apparently, has she ever been forced to show any gratitude or reciprocated the kindness of others.

And as every intervention will demonstrate, the first part of anyone’s recovery from their addictions or demons, is removing the safety nets of the offenders. Stop saying “Yes,” stop giving them your money and time, stop letting them take everything from you. In other words, force them to survive on their own, and stepping in only when their behaviour shows more positive signs of their own effort to become better people.

I could recite countless other situations my friends and acquaintances have shared with me, detailing their frustrations at being taken advantage of by ingrates and reprobates.
All the while, I can’t help but think if these people had set a precedent at saying ‘No’ earlier on, perhaps the abusers would be stopped in their tracks, or at least their path of emotional destruction would have been impeded.

Naturally, no parent wants to deny their child anything but sometimes there are valuable lessons to be taught and learned by saying no to your children. You teach them that the world will not always bow to their whims, that they shouldn’t expect other people to always give in and that the time of others is something to be appreciated like any other valuable commodity.

In my own experience, learning to say “No” has resulted in only good things. I have managed to eliminate certain draining people from my life because the minute they realised this particular well had run dry, they stopped calling on me (though undoubtedly they went off in search of other victims, and likely found them). In return, my free time was now freed up to spend on things I wanted to do which in turn nurtured my own soul and made me a better and more productive member of my own family, freeing up time and energy better spent on those who truly matter.

Saying ‘no’ will not only save you from doing things you sincerely do not want to do, but will also send a clear message to others that you know how to stand up for yourself and that your time is equally valuable. It’s really that simple. Give it a shot.

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There’s a pill for that.

I do not in any way claim to know all the ins and outs and sideways views of depression. However, I have known several people over the years who also did not know they were at least clinically despressed, so I think that the playing field is sufficiently evened out for me to say what I’m about to say.

There have been several losses of good people this past year, as there are every year. Death is a well-known fact of life, no matter how much we attempt to preserve our youth. One of the ways some people attempt to preserve their youth is to maintain an energetic, youthful persona, while others sometimes go in search of more permanent, more surgical methods. My point is this: it’s perfectly all right to have a bad day. It’s perfectly all right to have things in your life which upset you and cause you either physical or emotional pain. These also are facts of life, but in recent years have become far less well-known. My personal belief is that coping skills are becoming the least known of all the Facts of Life.

We pad our kids’ playgrounds, as an example, and sometimes their clothing to keep them from physical harm, and yet, growing up, skinning my knee once taught me not only that what I had foolishly attempted was not well-calculated, and it made me second-guess my next foolish undertaking in order to avoid other skinned body parts. On the flipside, I was taught the kindness of my parents in their treatment of that skinned knee and in the process, I learned empathy from their example. Not such a bad bargain, all things considered.

But if we continue to protect our children from what’s out there, they will eventually grow up into adults at least in the physical sense, but their coping skills for life’s hiccups and u-turns will be greatly retarded if not altogether non-existent. I see “adults” now who cannot cope with, for instance, the coffee machine being out of order for a day, and they waste the rest of their day from that tiny little upset that morning going around complaining to anyone who’ll sympathise that they were deprived of their daily jolt of caffeine. This breeds problems down the road on an exponential level. If a malfunctioning appliance is all it takes to stop your processes for that day, what will you do when you get blindsided by something more severe on some idle Tuesday? You’ll reach for something, but maybe not what you really need. Ironically, the anti-depressants many reach for will, in fact, cause further depression and suicidal thoughts, among some other unpleasant side effects like cancer and heart stoppages, along with restriction of airways. Either way, you’re going down the rabbit hole.

Many of these adults reach for pills like anti-depressants and what can only be described as snake oil nerve tonics, rather than get right to the heart of the matter and deal with their issue at hand, on their own and without any pharmaceutical assistance whatsoever. Certainly, no one enjoys dealing with the unpleasant aspects of life, but these are still aspects of life and by dealing with them head-on, and not shying away into bottles of pills or booze, we can learn and grow from those experiences, painful though they may be, and our future decisions can be based on what was learned and gained through not only the upsetting experience, but also from the process it took to get past and hopefully resolve the problem, thereby ensuring that we are better equipped for the next round of obstacles life brings.

’cause you know what? Life is full of obstacles. Shocking, I know.

Categories: Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies?, Random Crap, self acceptance | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Where have you been?

I don’t often pay attention to the news for the very reasons that the Rob Ford (Mayor of Toronto) scandal has demonstrated. It is often sensationalistic, focusing only on the most ratings worthy “facts,” you get one side of the story and that side may not be based in fact but merely on rumour and conjecture, and it points out things to us which should be readily obvious.

What, you’re all surprised to find out that a politician is corrupt? And a liar, and a roguish, cheating scalawag?

The question you must ask yourselves is not why Rob Ford did what he did, or how he got away with it so long, but rather, where have YOU been all this time? This isn’t the first scandalous thing any politician (or even Rob Ford himself) has done. It will NOT be the last. No, instead you must ask yourselves why YOU continue to be surprised. Why YOU keep electing people like this into office. Why YOU never do background checks on the people you are effectively hiring to work for you (as most employers would do with their new hires). And why YOU never hold those people accountable to the fullest extent of the law and governing legislation. Essentially, why YOU don’t fire their asses.

Accountability is two-fold. As much as Rob Ford must answer for his mistakes, we and others like us in Toronto must also answer for electing him into office, and allowing him to stay. After all, according to the journalists and reporters telling the story, we are all incensed and outraged at Ford’s conduct. Much the same as the people who elected the last four mayors into office in Montreal, the last two of which have had to resign under allegations of corruption. So why is he still in office?

It’s because of YOU.

When Rob Ford denied ever smoking crack (along with the other reprehensible things he’s done which have been documented as far back as 1987 or so), despite the overwhelming evidence against him, people believed him and took him at his word. When he recently admitted that he did, in fact, smoke crack while in a “drunken stupor,” his approval rating shot through the roof.

While I am a firm believer in maintaining that, in all fairness, we must remember that our politicians are subject to the same frailties as ourselves, what then, does it say about each of us not striving to avoid making the same mistakes when we continue to enable a person who is clearly incapable of making sound, rational decisions? Furthermore, he will likely get re-elected as Mayor of Toronto and people will base this on his “honesty” and “candidness” about his demons.

As with Bill Clinton’s ignominious affair with Monica Lewinsky, I care little for Rob Ford’s demons. I care only that they don’t impact his ability to do the job for which he has been elected and entrusted. However, crack being what it is, it is obvious that it will hamper his judgment not only as it relates to his job, but obviously his decision-making skills in all facets of his life. Rather than judge Rob Ford and tut-tut him for being a reprobate, and then piously forgive him for being “human,” we need to look at our own standards of what qualifies a person to do a particular job, and to what standards we will hold them. We should also, and perhaps more importantly consider to what standards we should hold ourselves were it us doing the same job. Perhaps then we might end up with more honest and forthcoming politicians. But I doubt it. Human nature is a fickle thing, after all.

I do not own the rights to this picture.  Copyright unknown.

I do not own the rights to this picture. Copyright unknown.

UPDATE December 4, 2013: See what I mean? http://sports.ca.msn.com/top-stories/rob-ford-to-talk-nfl-on-washington-radio-station-1

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Oh, Canada…

The True North, strong and free?

The True North, strong and free?


A group calling itself ‘Restore Our Anthem’ has recently put forth their campaign to make our national anthem, as they put it, restored to its original gender-neutral lyrics to reflect what they believe are the values of present-day Canada. Granted, we are a society well-known for its celebration of multiculturalism and which is welcoming to people from all over the world. But do our lyrics need to be changed to reflect this, and does this change need to be made on the basis of the beliefs of a small group of people who may or may not represent a cross-section of present-day Canadians?

While there is some merit to the statement that as our country evolves, so do our values and beliefs, I object to their claim that they wish to restore our anthem to its original gender-neutral state when, in fact, they only wish to make the lyrics gender-neutral and not to the original state as they were written by Stanley Weir in 1908, which begins “O Canada, our home and native land! True patriot love, in all thou dost in us command…” (The English version we currently use reflects changes made in 1968 by a joint committee of Members of Parliament and Senators.)

The official lyrics, as they currently exist, are as follows:

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!

From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

The Restore Our Anthem group proposes to alter the line, “In all thy sons command.” to “In all of us command,” which is not, in fact, the original lyric.

So is the claim to make the lyrics original, or to make them gender-neutral? What, then, happens when a new group is formed to make the lyrics religion-neutral as all lyrics from the original to the proposed include references to God, a deity widely accepted as Christian.

Bearing this in mind, how many more attempts will be made to reflect the needs of the special interest groups who all want their voice heard in our lyrics? And then, in so doing, how much of the meaning will be lost and with it our national identity? And with so many Canadians already uncertain of the lyrics, do we have any hope of re-learning the new lyrics and in the process of muddling the original, with the official, with the revised, will we lose a sense of ourselves as Canadians?

Like our flag, our national anthem identifies us as a people, distinguishing us from the rest of the world. Would the same group wishing to change our national anthem’s lyrics support the changing of our flag? And after that, what else should be changed? Perhaps our system of government, our system of health care and with it our sense of national identity.

It is safe to say that if one approached an American and asked whether the lyrics to their national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” should be changed to reflect the wishes or whims of a special interest group, that it would be met with vehement opposition and a response which would likely be to the effect of, “If you don’t like it here, leave.” I believe the same could be said for England whose own national anthem changes only to reflect whether a queen or a king is currently sitting as monarch.

These other countries do not wish their lyrics to be changed because a national anthem is meant to symbolize a nation’s strength and place in the world. To change the lyrics would imply to the rest of the world that when put under pressure from special interest groups, we will not hold fast and true to our beliefs, but will instead limply bend to accommodate. In this world’s political climate, I am not certain this is the message we Canadians wish to send.

But I am happy to be a citizen of a country which not only allows my point of view, but the points of view – however misguided and selfish I believe them to be – of the ladies who form the group, Restore Our Anthem.

Categories: Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies?, Random Crap, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Perpetuated Stereotypes.

The news these days concerning over-used health care and far-too-accessible highly addictive painkillers and prescription drugs is alarming, no doubt.  Even more alarming are the people who perpetuate these dangerous and critical errors all the while unknowingly perpetuating their very own stereotype.  Yes, I’m talking about the Baby Boomers.

This past weekend, I was privy to a conversation between four members of this particular demographic while they were seated around a table at a local fast-food establishment.  My entry into the room began with one of the husbands mentioning to the other couple that he was encouraging his wife, a hapless woman seated directly across from her husband, to have work done on her eyes for, as he put it, the benefit of her patients who visit her clinic and over which she must lean during which time they get the full and sagging effect of her face.  Why not spare them the sight of her middle-aged and slightly sagging skin, after all?  I’m sure his wish for her to get an eye tuck was out of strict beneficence for his wife’s patients.

What was even more troubling was her all-too-willing agreement with his line of thinking.  Yet, no one once questioned the husband in asking what areas of himself might be tightened up to the pleasure of his wife. Looking at the man, I could easily, if so inclined, pick out any number of defects he might have considered correcting for, as he put it, the sake of others. It was all I could do to not expound on those ideas as I sat just a few feet away, gathering data.

And so the conversation progressed, where each person seated at that particular table went on to say how doctors are “butchers” and how if they truly cared about their patients’ welfare, they would send them home with real painkillers like Oxycontin, rather than a measly half dozen Tylenol 23’s to “barely tide them over” during their recovery.

In each story recounted, they described in nauseating detail the ordeal of surgery and the infections which arose therefrom, but always, ALWAYS the conversation came back to how “peppy” and “awesome” the painkillers they’d received as post-surgcical therapy had made them feel! There was no mention of how quickly they were able to recover as a result of the doctors’ skilled work on their bodies, nor for the physiotherapists who helped them recover post-surgery. Their attention was strictly focused on the pills, the quantity of pills and how “great” the pills made them feel upon taking them. Spoken like true addicts, if you ask me.

So, what we can derive from their conversation is this:  These people, seated at a fast food establishment care nothing for their overall health (otherwise they might not have been seated at a fast food restaurant sucking back floats).  We can also ascertain that they are perfectly willing to undergo any manner of surgery, whether or not it is actually necessary, just to get their hands on opiates and painkillers, legally prescribed to them by their “butchering” doctors who were, after all, only trying to help ease their so-called suffering.  Taking it one step further, we can also deduce that the more Oxy’s they get their hands on, the better, and who cares how those pills are used as long as they don’t have to feel ANYTHING. Never mind that their kids and grandkids may very well be eyeing the Boomers’s stash of pills for their own recreational uses. And why not? I mean, it’s not like their parents and grandparents have set an example of dealing and coping with life’s various issues without using narcotics and opiates, is it?

Well, here’s the thing.  Life is pain.  It starts off as painful labour, resulting in even more pain as that little body your mother exuded grows continually to whatever height and weight it was meant to be, and then some.  And not just physical pain, but emotional and intellectual pain.  Pain is an absolutely necessary part of life.  Without it, how do we expect to learn how to cope and to grow and to realize that for every moment of hardship, there would be no reward? We become who we are through the trials of our lives. Why, then, would anyone rob themselves of such a rich tapestry of life by blacking it out through opiates and self-obsession?

I take further exception to the fact that these people who apparently rather enjoy their endless doctor’s visits and surgeries and who are, in essence, over-taxing the health care system (as is their generation’s habit of exhausting every possible resource like so much plague before them) to the point where it is doubtful to younger Canadians like myself will ever enjoy the benefits of this socialist system which was meant for ALL Canadians. It is looking more like we will end up with an American health care system, forced that way because financially our government simply could not keep up with the ever-increasing and unnecessary demands placed on it by healthcare addicts such as these four greedy individuals. Couple that with their increasing usage and enjoyment of government pension plans to which I have had to contribute, but will likely never get to enjoy, and you wind up with a very bitter, cynical and jaded follow-up generation of people who have paid all their lives through employment deductions for services which will never be enjoyed by them, while the previous generation drains it dry and leaves it not only bleeding, but in a terminal state.

To the Baby Boomer Generation I have only this to say: GROW UP AND FOR ONCE DEAL WITH THE MESS YOU CREATED!

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Think.

They hold more, and they don't collapse in the back of your vehicle spilling their contents everywhere.

They hold more, and they don’t collapse in the back of your vehicle spilling their contents everywhere.

 

I went to junior high and high school in the 80s.  Prior to and during those years, I and my fellow classmates were inundated with such cheerful information as you’d better act now otherwise your planet’s going to die and nuclear energy is tantamount to nuclear war, and who wants that? and don’t wear fur, it’s murder!

This information was conveyed to us en masse in assembly auditoriums by such reputable and surviving organizations as World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Oxfam and Ploughshares Youth.  While these organizations share different mandates, they do share at least one common thread: make the world a better place.

Or, to paraphrase Gandhi, you must be the change you wish to see in the world.

All our music and media also reinforced this mantra.  We were essentially brainwashed, but is it brainwashing if the information being pounded into your head is actually true, awful as it may be?  After all, what is the point in living in denial about your own reality?

By today’s fluffy standards, that sort of information seems pretty harsh.  However, it was realistic.  Not to mention, helpful.  It spurred most of us into panicky high gear and we became desperately involved and interested in finding ways of trying to ensure that the bad things we were being shown would not continue.  In other words, WE would make the difference and fix our parents’ mistakes.  We would be the ones to effect change.

For awhile, we were really gaining ground.  Many of us became zealots for the recycling cause, the anti-fur campaign and human rights cause.  Many of us joined these organizations and participated in such things as shoreline cleanups and attended rallies.  We were making our voices heard, and were even the more energetic when faced with opposing groups who did not wish to hear what we had to say, so we said it even louder.  We made them pay attention, even if they tried not to.

But I look around now and wonder despairingly where it all went.  Mostly, I wonder when people evidently stopped caring.  I see people flicking their cigarette butts out the window on a dry, summer day and then stare around in utter amazement at the fires consuming our grasslands and forests.  I have seen people walk within inches of a recycle bin and toss their garbage ON. THE. GROUND.

I see people wearing fur on everything they can affix it to, including hair accessories.  They argue, baselessly, that the animal does not go to waste.  They are completely and willingly unaware that these animals are raised in horrible conditions, tortured, and their meat goes mostly into the garbage.  This topic alone will likely spur a complete other blog post but suffice it say for now that despite what you hear, the animals go to waste aside from their pelts.  After all, when was the last time anyone told you they had a lovely and delicious meal of mink?

I have to point out that it takes an incredibly Herculean effort on my part to not give in to my baser urges to throttle these individuals.  You’re welcome.

But I do wonder sometimes if my own efforts are worth it, given the apparent apathy of the people around me.  Whenever I do get those discouraging feelings, I try to take stock and so far I have been able to convince myself that if nothing else, I will have done MY part and if I should ever have to answer to anyone or anything at the end of my days, I can at least answer for that much.  So I continue my efforts, fruitless as they may turn out to be.

I often get asked WHY I care.  Generally, this question comes from people who fall into the Baby Boomer age category, or from people who are the offspring of the Baby Boomers.  Coincidence?  Not a chance.

See, when you are raised by people who regard everything as their RIGHT, and therefore at their DISPOSAL to do with as they please, then following that “logic” it must follow that whatever is at your disposal is, in fact, DISPOSABLE.  But where do you draw the line with this methodology?  Garbage?  Simply dispose or separate into recyclables?  Cars?  Do you maintain them, or do you instead replace them every year with attractive new lease and financing rates?  Where do you suppose those cars end up?  Houses?  Bigger and better seems to be the expected evolution from the first house you purchase to the last.  Pets?  Certainly disposable because, after all, if they don’t fit into your lifestyle, then get rid of them, right?  Never mind that they are also living, thinking, breathing, emotional creatures in their own right.  They’re not one of YOU, so who cares?!?

The troubling evolution of this mindset is that you see also that relationships and people become disposable as well.  Statistically it is said that half of ALL marriages in the western world end in divorce.  This may be because people don’t want to bother putting the time and energy into their relationships, i.e. riding out the storms which occur in every marriage, or perhaps it is because they didn’t put enough time and energy into their relationship before entering into marriage.  Either way, you end up with the same disastrous result: broken hearts and sometimes, tragically, damaged children.

What I’m getting at here, and thank you for bearing with me to this point, is this: if we do not care first about our own circumstances enough to ensure the survival of the planet on which we live, how can we be expected to care about anything else?  The basic needs in life are food and shelter.  If we can take care of our planet, we will be better equipped and more inclined to take care of everything else we need, i.e. companionship, love, children, et cetera.  At some point, you will have to take the good with the bad in equal measure.  Facing unpleasantness means that we learn how to deal with it, and hopefully put a stop to it to that we do not repeat the same behaviours.  By not facing the less pleasant aspects of life, you are simply turning a blind eye and denying the problem and therefore yourself.

Chew on that while you carelessly toss your plastics in the garbage can instead of the recycle bin. If you would rather be a part of the solution, instead of the growing problem, please visit http://www.wwf.ca/.

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For better or for worse.

A couple months ago, I thought life was going pretty status quo (hey, that rhymed!).  “Status quo” meaning things were, I thought, the way they always were: not better, not worse, just the same.  I had come to realize that it was about as good as it was ever going to get, so I had made peace with that and accepted it.  It was Labour Day weekend and I had accommodated others, at their request, and made the best of it and proceeded afterward to wonder why I bothered.  Like I said, STATUS QUO.  A couple of days later, I received via email some pretty harsh criticisms on my personal appearance which were upsetting enough to leave me vomiting in the bathroom sink.  Needless to say, I was devastated on pretty much every level a person can be.

True, I know I’m overweight.  True, I should be doing more about it.  However, I get the same measly 24 hours in a day that everyone else gets and honestly, I do what I can and ensure that I try to keep my life as balanced as possible given the day-to-day stresses each of us face.  I don’t think everyone gets it exactly right, but personally, I thought I was doing pretty damn good, all things considered, right up until some other people took it upon themselves to burst my bubble and point out everything I’m apparently doing wrong, or wrong according to their own specifications.  God forbid they should turn the mirror on themselves, after all.  Even worse, they had the audacity to play the victim after attacking me, citing reasons such as if I had lived my life according to what they thought was best, they wouldn’t have to tell me at all and put THEM through this kind of pain!

My husband, who happened to be out of town for work that day, has been my biggest supporter and proved once again that he has always been and always will be my very best friend.  He talked me off the proverbial ledge, and made it clear that he still finds me attractive, loves me more than I can know, and will be there for me no matter what.  On top of that, my friends S, C and T (we call ourselves The Fab Four for good reason) listened patiently and sympathetically while I ranted and vented about this horrendous outrage.  Friends who are only a tiny bit beyond that circle also offered their support more fully than I would ever have expected, you know who you are, H and R (again with the rhyming!).  I sought not only their shoulders on which to lean, but also to determine if they, too, saw me the way these other people apparently do.  Given that I have a rather clinical, scientific mind, they didn’t regard this as strange at all, knowing my lust for data and information.  They also know that I can not only take their honesty, however brutal, but also appreciate it beyond measure.  So, I asked each and every one of these people, along with my siblings, how to best approach this ridiculous situation.  And whether I was as grotesque as I was being made out to be.

After reviewing the email and the content of my telephone conversations (C was unfortunately more than a little privy to one of these conversations – she didn’t run away, which would have been completely understandable, but simply took a seat and waited it out.  Our C never leaves a friend behind.), they assured me it was clear that this was some kind of psychosis not on my part, but on the part of my attackers.  What a relief!  Even the moreso since I can trust each and every one of these people to have set me straight if they thought I was out of order.  Like I said, I can trust THESE people.

I have decided to refuse to apologize for my appearance.  I realize it’s not perfect by whatever entity defines “perfect.”  But you know what, given what I have to work with, I do the best that I can.  I have my good days and bad days as everyone else does, and sometimes I hit the mark and other times I miss it by more than a mile.  These are all the things that make me “Me” and honestly, I will not trade or change them for anything.  It is unfortunate and I regret letting what can only be described as outright bullying get to me, but it happened on an “off” day and therefore caught me off-guard.  Sorry for being human, if that’s something to apologize for at all.

Anyway…after a few months of putting up with continued harrassment and demanding phone calls, emails, and voicemails, I have decided to put a stop to this as best I can once and for all.  Given that I don’t get a word in edgewise in conversation, I was forced to send an email back finally stating how devastated I was in the rare hope that they might appreciate or understand the effect their bullying words had on me (I am not holding my breath).  I also stated that in order to preserve my own sanity by halting contact with them until (again not holding my breath) they understand that what they did was wrong and hurtful.  Bottom line, at least I said what I had to say.  At least I got it off my chest and can grow from it.  I no longer concern myself with whether they will accept it, since it is entirely likely they will not.  But for my own edification, I feel better having done it and I can rest easy knowing that up till this point, I have gone out of my way to accommodate the needs and wants of these people.  Regardless of whether they recognize it, I am comfortable in knowing I’ve done every possible thing I can to ensure their happiness and comfort.  After this, it’s up to them.  I accept no further responsibility in this matter.  They will undoubtedly be hurt by some of the things I’ve said, and while that is regrettable, I think those things NEEDED to be said.  I am prepared for whatever the outcome might be, whether they eliminate me from their lives altogether (or vice versa), or whether they actually come around and admit that it was wrong.

Either way, I’m good.

I can only say this for certain: I may not get the kind of support that I should be getting from people who should be offering it freely, but at least I know that I have a safety net in my husband, siblings and friends.  I owe you all so much, and value you more than you can know.  Thank you for being part of my life.  You’re the best!  I will try to return the favour as best I can to each of you as the need arises.

Categories: Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies? | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Deadbeats

http://www.sooeveningnews.com/newsnow/x2020322614/Recovery-threatened-by-runaway-student-loan-debt

After reading the above link, a couple of things should become glaringly obvious.  First, the United States will be in their recession for quite some time yet.  Second, and more importantly, maybe they should have been more diligent about collecting on student loans back in the day.  The article mentions a large majority of the student loan debt crisis is because of people who are now 60 years of age or more, putting them in the prime birth years for Baby Boomers, never paid back their student loans.  So, not only have they been sucking dry the health care, the savings and loans, the properties and investment markets, they’ve also been, unsurprisingly, renegging on their obligations.

Their typical attitude of “do as I say and NOT as I do” is evidenced by their apparent unwillingness to pay back their debts.  It was not because they could not pay back their obligations, but they simply did not want to, nor were they pushed or forced to do so.  So, in the end, they have no one to blame for their financial “crisis” but themselves.

Perhaps if they’d spent a little more time on the books and not at Woodstock, they’d have been able to make this connection on their own.  As it is, they will whine and cry about their poor financial situations as they progress into retirement and, ONCE AGAIN, they will have to be bailed out like the Big Babies the rest of us have come to know they are.

Thanks a million.  We not only get to pay back OUR student loans because we won’t possibly get away with it like your generation, but we’ll also have to bail you out on top of it, sending our generation further into the hole because unlike yours, our generation actually does have a global conscience.

Categories: Baby Boomers or simply Big Babies? | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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