Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Excuse me...did I really say that?

I have been posting my opinions and thoughts on this blog for what seems like a very long time. Discussions, trends and rants have come and gone. There have been elections and best sellers and, of course, a lot of stupidity (some of it others and some of it mine). I often go back and read what I have said about one thing or another to only wonder "Did I really say that?"

Here are a few examples:

Paper know, news that is printed on a piece of paper. I thought in my stupidity that no one would care about the paper newspaper after they had experienced the delights of reading their news online. Boy was I wrong about that one. The things to miss are many and the way it has played out surprises me.

I miss the newspaper a lot even though I did not read the front page (it always made me mad). I loved the style section, the comics and best of all sitting beside my husband sharing a crossword puzzle. I also loved that fact that I could line the garbage can with it or do a small painting project using the newspaper as a drop cloth.

We have a friend that put a large screen TV over the hutch in the dining room because he missed the morning newspaper so much. The dining room will never be the same and I really don't think the TV has solved the empty feeling the man has while he is drinking his morning coffee.

You should have seen the comments I received on an article I wrote referring to Apartment Therapy's suggestion that we get rid of all the paper in our houses. It was hilarious. It all started like this:
Re-nest over at Apartment Therapy posted an article called 10 Ways to Kick the Paper Habit. The suggestions were for those of you that are drowning in a sea of files gone wild and articles about a trip you planned on taking 20 years ago. (The rest of the story here.)
The truth is I want our paper newspaper back.

Elections rants...Honestly, I believed that our political leaders were open minded enough to at least talk to each other. I voted just like everyone else but I did not fear that a party would hold me hostage for almost 8 years just in order to prove that they were right. I talked about being nice and believing in the system. I think I was wrong, wrong, wrong. That one is hard.
But those reasonableeducated and experienced men and women in the political arena usually meet each other and debate with civility. I think there was a time when they could even sit down and compromise. I often wondered how they did that. Could it be that they had gone past tolerance to acceptance? Maybe they can discuss, disagree and know that the other person will give a little but will not change their mind. (from How Tolerant Are You, 2012)
New authors...I have often talked about there being too many books and too little time. I limited myself to prize winners and challenging books. I wrote about it A LOT! What a mistake that turned out to be. 

Several years ago an author approached me about reading his book. It was called Scafell and was written by a Brit named Matthew Pink. Pink had written the book, edited it on his own and then published it on Amazon in a ebook format. I bought the book and read it. While dusting off my speed reading skills, I also found a wonderful story with some breathtaking words. I thought book needed some polishing but it gave me the experience of reading a talented writer before they became famous. There were no prizes but the book was a wonderful read. That was lesson one.

Then I joined a group of women online and on Facebook that were mid-life professionals and boomers. Among those women were some accomplished published writers. Kathleen O'Donnell The Last Day for Rob Rhino) and Clair Cook (Best Staged Plans, Seven Year Itch + several more) came to my attention and I learned to love a good "beach read" again. I laughed and cried with their characters. I pictured the stories made into movies. My reading life came back to me and I had to admit I was wrong. Not every book has to be a big scholarly book. Sometimes I am allowed to read just for fun.

Motherhood/mother-in-laws/children...I am just a big bag of wind sometimes. Okay, I said it. If I was EVER right, which I doubt very much, I am grateful.  I do like this one though. 10 Ways To Be a Good Mother-in-law (2010) talked about the hard truths. It's too bad that all that wisdom came much too late for me. I still like that blog post.

Looking young...One thing I did say recently that I think is probably right...there is no cream or exercise that can halt the passing of time. I know I am getting old and there it is.

But I have been know to talk about neck exercises and plastic surgery and even laser treatments...none of which I actually did. I probably should have kept my big mouth shut but being a Cliff Claven is hard. I have no idea if I was right or wrong about that stuff...probably not. Here is a quote from Aging: Does the Back of Your Head Match Your Face?
Many of the boomer blogs have sections devoted to "anti-aging formulas" and foods to make them look younger. If it were possible, and we could actually turning back the clock, our faces would always match our hair. 
Retirement...Now this is a subject I can talk about with authority because I have lived the life for many, many years. I know that you need to be happy with what you have, smart about money and keep your mind working even when your body can't. I WAS NOT WRONG about any of that. However, if I ever said that it was all going to be fun and games or that living this stage of a life is easy, I was very, very wrong. I love my life but retirement is not for everyone. 

When I first started this part of my life journey, I could not understand why people didn't like being retired. I scoffed at them (in private). I was wrong, wrong, wrong! Now I know that many people are just not cut out for finding their own way. They need the purpose that work or big volunteering jobs brings to their life.

When was I right? Well, I still think that exercise is better than a sleeping pill, a short fast walk is better than no walk at all, a social life is very important to mental health and that a person should be nice even when they don't feel like it. I still love big hefty books with lots of pages and deep reading required. I will always believe that everyone could benefit from reading books like Cleopatra: A Lifethat requires a sharp mind and a dictionary. Hobbies are important. My garden is my refuge and one of my favorite hobbies. And the list goes on.

Stick with me. The fun has only birthday is next week and I will be 73 years old. If is don't turn up one day, don't worry...I am only out shopping. :)



  1. Looking forward to a conversation with you in Tucson!

    1. We will be down after Thankgiving this year. I am about ready to fly away!

  2. Am just starting this retirement stage of my life. Glad I found your blog. keep it coming! and happy early birthday,

    1. Mary Ann.

      Thank you for stopping by. I am sure you will love this stage of your life as much as I have enjoyed it.

  3. We still get the weekend paper, and it's fun to leaf through it and browse on those lazy Sat. and Sun. afternoons. But who has time during the week? The great benefit of the online version, I've found, is that you can look up something and very quickly get the answer. As for retirement ... who doesn't like retirement?!?

    1. I think I miss the weekend paper the most of all.

      Who doesn't like turns out a lot of people are bored and miss work a lot. I think they pulled the plug before they were actually ready. It could be they wouldn't be happy no matter what they did. I have know both. The last thought is that people are impatient and do not give themselves a chance to work it out and adjust to a totally different life.



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