Monday, August 14, 2023

Happy Birthday Social Security!

     Today 88 years ago in 1935, the Social Security act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Coincidentally 1935 is the year of my birth.  Fortunately for my parents, they were able to retire with dignity by the time they reached 65.    I, too, am grateful for this act since Social Security now supplements my income from other retirements awards and allows me and my wife to live comfortably into my late eighties and hopefully for a few more years as well.   

As a reminder, our contributions over the years to this fund is part of the social contract, where we are sharing in the responsibility for our well being as a partner with our government.  I am thankful that a stable government honoring the needs of our people gives us a security we would not otherwise have.

    I'll bet many geezer skiers will join me in congratulating the visionaries that enabled elevating people of this country from the curse of poverty in old age.   And for some, maybe the Social Security income finances their season pass!

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Life Well Lived

    A couple of days ago I happened upon the following quote from the author Andre Dubus.   "We don't have to live great lives, we just have to understand and survive the ones we've got."

    It struck me that there is a lot of wisdom in this quote.    This comes from a writer who suffered many tragedies in his life but still soldiered on in spite of the setbacks.  I think that most of us at one time or another, or even continually,  want to live great lives.   Often our hope is to achieve at levels that exceed our contemporaries.  We want to be known for greatness that will stand the test of time.  

     However, life has a way of throwing us curves.  Author Dubus had a daughter who was raped and caused him to continually fear for the safety of his loved ones.   He was also tragically injured in an auto accident which crushed both legs.  Ultimately he suffered amputation of one of his legs.    I am sure he continually struggled to understand these events.   And so it is for all of us.   We encounter the good and the bad.   Beyond that, we survive and deal with our fate, whatever  it may be,  and hopefully we live a good life in harmony with our family, our friends, and our society.  In spite of it all, I am personally happy to say I find joy in  many things that far outweighs the unexpected events of life.

    As a note from a geezer skier, I am grateful that I can anticipate another ski season with my long time companions.   I am not a great skier but I am happy with what skills I have.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Reflections on Rituals

    Almost every day I following the same morning ritual of rising at a particular time followed by a standard breakfast of toast and two cups of hot water.  Later in the morning around nine o'clock I am on my recumbent bike in our sun room,  for an hour of moderate exercise.  I have a panoramic view through the many windows of the street past our home.  The view gives me an observation post regarding the activities of my neighbors.  Just as I am into a routine, I notice that several of my neighbors are faithful with their morning exercise.   

    My view gives me a window on ritual practices by my neighbors.  I can almost set my watch by one lady who enhances her walk by swinging the weights she has in each hand.   She walks clockwise around our block.  Another  neighbor in his walk rotates the block in the opposite direction.  While this is going on eventually I see the neighbor in the residence across the street raise his garage door for an apparent ritual morning excursion.   Obviously, we humans, often become ritualistic creatures of habit.

    Beyond these morning rituals I have observed there are the dog walkers.   One woman walks her dog multiple times around the block until he becomes tired and then she continues solo for a few more turns.   Another gentleman has a very senior dog!  Their pace is painfully slow.  I am not sure how long their ritual dog walk will last, but I will be watching what happens.  

    Probably many people observe me and notice my rituals.  I am alright with that.  Thank God that with my advanced years I am both comfortable with my rituals of daily life and occasionally willing to break out of the routine if necessary.  Visitations by family and to family have a way of changing my rituals.  I tolerate that for a time but I am happy to return to my order of the day.   I am not one to continually live in chaos.   Perhaps that comes from a German ancestry that adheres to the statement:  Alles ist in Ordnung.