One More Year!

A number one lit up in the dark.

â™¥ï¸ â€No one is so old as to think that he cannot live one more year.†~ Cicero

I ran across that quote the other day and I completely agree with it. The exception would be for someone that is very sick, or very unhappy. Many of us have gone thru traumatic periods in our lives that prompted us to wish it would end swiftly. I was in my mid-forties when it happened to me. My two children were grown and out on their own, and their mother and I were empty nesters. She was struggling with some serious psychological problems. I was unhappy at work, and life just seemed to crash down on top of me. Suicide never crossed my mind, but I remember thinking that if I were killed instantly in a car wreck, I wouldn’t be unhappy with the results. Of course, if you’re dead, there’s a good possibility you will not have those thoughts.

Fortunately, I was spared, and within 5-6 years, my life changed dramatically, and I seldom look back. The problem was that I was insistent on fixing the broken aspects of my life and unwilling to admit defeat.

One of my core beliefs is that if you try hard enough, most problems can be resolved, and that theory still hides deep within me. But I finally realized that some things are so broken they can never be put back together again. It happens in about every aspect of our life and it’s important that we understand when the time comes to stop trying. If the vase has a chip or two, then we can repair it, but if it’s broken into tiny pieces, then possibly we need to sweep it into the dustpan and move on.

What I am certain of is that life will continue to present me with problems, and I’m expected to produce solutions. I believe I have gotten better at determining what’s fixable. At least, that’s the theory I’m toying with now. I think old Georg was right when he said:

“Death is like an arrow that is already in flight, and your life lasts only until it reaches you.†~ Georg Hermes

â™¥ï¸ I have this app on my smartphone called “Marco Polo†that allows me to exchange videos with my three granddaughters scattered all over the place. It also allows me to stay connected with my two teenage great-granddaughters. I’ve been using its free version and recently decided to upgrade to the paid version ($10/month). That upgrade also allowed me to add five additional members to my plan, free of charge. So, I included my five Great/Granddaughters. With the features I have now, I can create a “Group,†and make a video, and send it to all of them. How cool is that?

With this app, you cannot talk to each other in real time. You create a video and send it, then they create another video and send it back. I guess you’re wondering why I’m so excited when we can’t talk live. Well, the way I look at this is it’s texting on steroids. They (my grands) get to see me talking to them. You, of course, remember the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.†Well, this is exactly what I’m doing. When you love someone as much as I love them, seeing them in a video just warms my heart. Now, I want you to tell me where you can go to get your heart warmed for $10 bucks?

You’re wondering how much Marco is paying me to talk about them? Just a minute… let me look in my pocket…. hmmm, still empty! Yup, just wanted to tell you about this wonderful way I’ve found to stay in touch with the people I love and care about. The free version works fine if you don’t want to pay for the Plus version. I’m hoping my friends will put it on their phone and we can exchange videos. I have some old high school buddies that I stay in touch with, and it would be a lot of fun to do that with them, especially with this Covid thing putting a damper on visits.

C. S. Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gives value to survival.â€

â™¥ï¸ I drove by our former home of 25 years the other day to see if it had changed very much and it looked much the same as when we departed back in late April of this year. It’s probably not a good idea to go over there very much, mainly because it was hard to give up our life there. My wife seems to have little interest in making that visit, primarily I suspect, because it would hurt some. Most assuredly, our current home isn’t as comfortable as the one we left, but neither does it require the upkeep.

Looking back over my life of many years, I have made several more momentous changes and most of them worked out pretty well, so there’s good reason to believe this change will as well. I think the hardest decision was giving up on my 32 years of marriage to the mother of my children and the easiest was marrying the woman that accompanies me thru the life I live now. 

All of us encounter forks in the road at various times in our life, and we can always look back and speculate about what would happen had we made a different decision. The important thing to remember is that we made the best decision we could at that time in our life. Golfers often get one “Mulliganâ€, a chance to hit an errant ball again without penalty, in a game with friends. Life never gives us that opportunity. We have to live with our decisions and actions and suffer their consequences and rewards. Douglas Adams said, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.†That sounds about right for me. 

â™¥ï¸ My wife and I want to wish all of you, dear friends, a healthy and happy Thanksgiving. We have invited several members of our family to join us for Thanksgiving dinner and, given the restrictions of the past 20 months, it will be a joyous occasion. I read an article today that said 80% of all Americans are vaccinated, and that is really great news. Now, if we can convince the remaining 20% to be immunized, we can start treating Covid as we treat the flu. Happy Thanksgiving to all!