Sunday, February 7, 2016

When Everything Becomes a Contest....

Who really is a winner?  When did everything become a race to the finish line?  Solve a puzzle online?  They'll tell you how faster you are and how many folks are faster.

I do the NYT crossword everyday.  I am a terrible typist.  That means that even if I immediately know the answer to the clue I am very likely to type it incorrectly and into the wrong spaces.  But if you look at the 'scores', there are folks who completed the Sunday puzzle in 'three minutes nine seconds'.  Really?  This is just a typing contest and who gives a ----?

And even if you are doing the puzzle without seeing how fast you can enter the answers, why is being the fastest so important?  Why can't we just enjoy sitting with a cup of coffee and taking our time?

At yoga class a few weeks ago we were reminded that yoga is not a contest to see who can get the asana (pose) exactly right.  One instructor always reminds us to 'mind our own mat'.  Being mindful of our bodies is very important.  How many of us (not me anymore) try to jump out of bed in the morning and race to start our day?  Me?  I do some movement and poses, like cobbler's pose, before I even get out of the bed.  Once on the side of the bed, I take my time getting up and am aware of my body as I do so.  Believe me when I say you are much less likely to fall if you take your time and pay attention to what you are doing.

When I worked in the hospital one of my friends was complaining that she had worked a weekend shift with a med tech from the South.  She said that she could crawl faster than the woman could walk.  But if the work is getting done and is distributed fairly, why is it so important to do it in a hurry?   As I get older I kinda like that laid-back Southern style (even though friends complain that I walk too fast, lol).

More and more I have learned to just appreciate enjoying life.  Watching the flowers bloom.  Taking a nap if I am tired.  Not worrying if the windows are spotless or that I missed some dust on a table.  I don't want to be that obsessive 'everything has to be perfect' person.

This is my life and I am not in a race to the finish line.  Think about it.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Reliving my Life Through Television

Well, I am still coughing, so instead of being at yoga class I am sitting here in front of my computer screen.  Lucky you.  Not so happy me.

OTOH, I read four books this week and watched a lot of television in the evening  (children's shows during the day do not count as my TV hours).  Among my viewing this week were two docudramas, one harking back to the 1990's, the other more recent.

The more recent drama was about Bernie Madoff.  I admit that I did not follow events concerning Madoff as they were occurring with much interest.  I did follow what was happening in the markets at that time.  I still remember being at a conference in September, 2008 when one of my brokers came up to me and reported that AIG was in deep trouble.  I was holding a lot of AIG commercial paper in the Township investment accounts that the broker had sold to me.  Paper that was rated AAA.  If I couldn't rely on the rating agencies, who could I rely on?  As the program on Madoff showed, folks also couldn't rely on the SEC.  Fortunately, we never lost any money on the investment.

The sobering fact that came across in a one-hour special after the movie was the statement that there are other Ponzi schemes out there being investigated.  Big ones.  Billion dollar ones, not the small stuff as reported in today's local papers.  Who do you trust to handle your money?

The other program was the first part of a ten-part series on O.J. Simpson.   I told myself I probably would not enjoy the program, but would at least try the first episode.  Well, I am hooked.  If this first episode is any indicator, this is a very well-written and well-acted drama.

I still remember being glued to the TV screen watching the Ford Bronco navigate the freeways.  And in the end, I remember exactly where I was when the verdict came down.  I was in Port Huron at a meeting.  It was lunch time and they turned on the TV sets in the dining room and broadcast the verdict.  "We interrupt your lunch for this important announcement..."

My thoughts after the first episode were that here is some famous guy who gets away with abusing his wife just because he is some 'famous guy'.  The police were called to his home how many times? And then his attorney's actions when it came time to surrender to the police made me want to puke. Actually, as good as the dramatization was, I felt like I needed a shower when it was over.

So here we have two people trading on their name and reputation.  Now they both sit in prison, where they belong, even if OJ isn't sitting there for murder.

If only the system had worked as it should have, when it should have, some suffering could have been eliminated.  No murders, no suicides, no ruined families.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Health Matters

I had planned to spend my week writing blog posts for A to Z.  Instead, I have spent it coughing and wheezing.

I finally went into the doctor's office yesterday and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis and asthma. I actually had to have an asthma treatment and came home with four different medications.

I have had asthma for most of my life.  Over the years I've learned how to deal with it and haven't used an inhaler in over ten years.  My wheezing was so bad yesterday that the nurse said I needed a treatment as soon as I walked in the door.

What really makes me angry about this is that I am pretty sure I picked up whatever germ I inhaled at my grandson's gym group.  We all went on a Thursday night and one little girl walked in coughing up a lung.  Her mother followed her around with Kleenex.  Another little boy was so tired he couldn't even get himself up off the floor.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE MOTHERS???

There is a sign when you walk into the gym (if folks bother to read it) that asks you not to  bring a child who is exhibiting symptoms of illness.  One mother actually had the nerve to say 'Oh, I think my daughter is coming down with something'.  I'd like to come down with a hammer on the mother's head.

I have always said that I live in a community where too many folks walk around thinking they are more important than anyone else and that ordinary rules of common decency and behavior (especially when driving a car) do not apply to them.  When I was working for the township, I would send an employee home if they were coughing and tell them to come back with a doctor's note saying they were OK to work.  One actually had pneumonia and insisted she was fine.

My son missed an entire week of work, my grandson and daughter-in-law were both ill, and for what?  Because a couple of selfish parents did not want to miss a gym session that had been paid for in advance?  How about they pay my doctor bills?

OK.  Venting felt good.  Now back to our regularly, though infrequent, blogging schedule.