I know, it should be “Let the Good Times Roll,” but that isn’t the way it is right now. I have to stop listening to public radio, my poison of choice. Every newscast is just filled with depressing news about the economy, the weather, crime, the Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine issues and so on. As a person with a Masters degree in television-radio from one of the great universities with a top rated school of public communications, I’m totally disillusioned about the state of our radio and TV industry. Frankly, I no longer listen to commercial radio, I watch as little commercial TV as possible, but still enjoy a some public television, have traditionally loved public radio, but now I’m getting burned out by the constant pummeling we get of depressing news breaks and feature stories. I gave up newspapers at least 7 or 8 years ago - and I see a trend in that direction as newspapers are facing declining circulation and revenues from advertising. Basically, we are a nation existing on negative news input. And, as we go, so, it seems, goes the rest of the world. Is it because they blindly follow our lead?
Well, I have to admit, all this depressing news is having an impact on me. I don’t exactly know what is causing my malaise, but I do know that becoming emancipated on November 1, 2008 afforded me feelings of great elation. But, now that I’ve passed the ¼ year mark, while I’m still feeling freer then I’ve ever felt in my adult life and happy to be free, I also feel that I’m either being held back or holding myself back from making great strides forward. Now, to be honest, I’m also reaching the phase of life where I have had to reevaluate my dreams and aspirations and start to let go of a lot of them that no longer mean as much to me, may no longer be valid due to the changes and advances in society and technology or there just isn’t enough time left in my lifetime to keep them high on the priority list.
There is a fourth Issue I’ve started to explore, too. My physical body (and my mental and emotional faculties) are showing their age. Now, believe me, I’m not quite 64 years old and I’ve already outlived both of my parents - so, I’m ahead of the game there. But, I just applied for and will start receiving Social Security benefits and in just over a year I will be on Medicare. I, honestly, never thought I’d reach the point of collecting or taking advantage of these government provided entitlements. It wasn’t that I expected to die young. It’s that I just never thought I’d be part of the people collecting these benefits. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Mostly, I don’t think old and I do focus on thinking young. And, by today’s standards, I’m not considered old, rather I’m considered middle-aged. My father was middle-aged when he died at 42 in 1967. As they say, 60 is the new 40.
But, I’ve dealt with one bout of cancer. I‘m a six year survivor. I’m being treated for hypertension - high blood pressure, if you will, and high cholesterol and triglycerides. The latter two are finally back in zone - AGAIN. But, the blood pressure, while not wildly out of control, is still not where I want it and where it should be. And, like much of our population, and especially prone are those in upper middle age and beyond, I’m carrying around too much protoplasm - well, the more common word would be weight. I see my internist regularly and she also feels that there are aging forces at work here that can be counteracted since I should still have a lot more energy, enthusiasm, motivation, etc. So, we’re looking for the root cause.
Living and working free are great, but they require that you have the physical, mental, emotional and even fiscal faculties to make it all work for a happy and fulfilling lifestyle. I am not unhappy. But, I do seem to lack the energy, enthusiasm, creativity, motivation and physical stamina that I should have at the tender age of 63. I still had most of this just a few years ago, but the decline has been subtle (maybe even a bit insidious). Now, it is apparent enough for me to realize it. It’s time to take action to grab my life back from apathy and malaise and start doing something that gives me joy and fulfillment and has some kind of positive impact on the world. My cup is still half full and I want it running over again. If you’re dealing with any of these kinds of feelings, thoughts or issues, let me know. As I find things that help me, I’ll pass them on to you.