As tough as life seems to get for us, it isn’t nearly as tough as life gets for others. If you’re reading this, it means that you either own your own computer or have access to some else’s computer.
It also means that you’re MOST PROBABLY indoors. And probably at home or at someone else’s home. Or you can be at an Internet Café or a public library, or in a school of some sorts.
It is also possible that you’re reading this while at work.
Either way, by reading this EDITORIAL, you’re telling me, that for you, it isn’t as bad as it can get.
Sometimes we feel that the whole weight of the world is upon our shoulders. The bills are adding up faster than the revenue. Your doctor just gave you some bad news about yourself, or you’ve just heard something bad about someone close to you.
I’m 53 years old, and I look at younger people from their late teens till their 40’s, and I finally understand what my father meant when he used to tell me that I will only appreciate my youth when I am no longer young. Or too old to enjoy it.
I look at “kids” doing goofy stuff thinking that they’re all the rage. And I find it hard to remember when I did goofy stuff.
I guess I spend my time thinking more about how I’m going to grow older more graciously while wondering whether I should be going quietly into the night when the time comes. Or kicking and screaming like a man possessed.
It seems that when I was younger, growing older and dealing with adult problems was an issue that would never come. I was wrong.
Every now and then, when I‘m being more introspective than usual, like now, I think about how much stress and pressure I’ve endured during my 53 years. And then I think about how good life has been to me as well.
I take pills for a bunch of not very serious things; such as moderate high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. I take Nexium every other night to control terrible heartburn. It really works. And every morning I take an 81 milligram coated Aspirin and a multi-vitamin tablet. The first pill to keep me alive. The second to make living worthwhile. At least that’s what the advertising says.
I think about when I was a younger man, when I needed no medication other than something delicious to eat. Calories, fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol were words from a foreign language. But I’m no longer a younger man. I’m 53. Not that I’m old. But 53 isn’t young either.
I don’t care about watching sports any longer. I couldn’t give a damn who wins a hockey game, a football game (except of course during the lead-up to, and including the Super Bowl), a baseball game or any other game. I used to be a REAL fan. Now I don’t care.
There are more important and interesting things to occupy my mind.
I see a lot more movies today than I did in years gone-by. And I have developed a passion to make things grow. Especially trees. I LOVE trees. There’s a certain strength, dignity and permanence to them.
I am a voracious reader. Mostly of books on politics, history, biographies and NEWS. I love consuming the news.
I used to only want to read the sports pages in the local newspaper, and books of fiction. But now, I find real life to be far more interesting and exciting than books of fiction.
I guess I’m being a bit melancholy because I visited my dad on Fathers’ Day at his grave-site in Montreal, where he and my mother lie side by side. I remember many of the things he wanted out of life, and probably a whole bunch of things I didn’t even know. And never will.
I saw him grow old before my eyes, even though he wasn’t all that old when his life ended at 76. He died from emphysema, from a lifelong habit of smoking. I never really felt the empathy I should have for my father as I was growing up. I never thought about him being frightened about tomorrow, or about growing old.
But I know now, that he was just as scared as the rest of us.
I have a VERY good life. Anne and I have been married for over 30 years. We’re both relatively healthy. We live in a beautiful house on a beautiful 10 acre piece of land with our two horses, our dog Scot and our two wonderful cats. In every way, we are indeed a blessed family.
I started this piece off by saying: As tough as life seems to get for us, it isn’t nearly as tough as life gets for others. And that’s true.
In Israel and the Palestinian territories bodies are counted in the Dozens and more. In much of the Islamic world, people live in the cultural dark ages while women are treated like chattel. And maybe not as well.
In Africa, it isn’t even an outrage to hear about the people of entire villages being hacked to death in tribal disputes. In China, and much of South East Asia, people work for near slave wages. And freedom is only a concept.
I look at people within my own community who have so little, that just about anything more, regardless of how little that more might be, is in itself a vast improvement. And then I look at myself. And I realize that I have very little to complain about.
I see people who have absolutely no regard for others. The way they drive. The way they speak out loud or in amplified whispers during movies. The way they push into line. And the way they don’t say thank you, or even nod their heads in appreciation when you hold a door open for them.
I worry about the ephemerality of life. You know; here today, gone tomorrow. Life was great and then out of nowhere I felt a lump. That sort of thing. We’ve all heard the stories.
I worry about: what if I can’t keep on earning what I need to keep the wheel turning? What happens then?
I worry about all of the things everyone worries about, whether rich or poor, middle aged or beyond. Things that are far too often way far removed from our control, which makes them even more worrisome.
I think I should consider taking a vacation from thinking. Perhaps I should do a little less news watching and reading, and maybe start paying more attention to sports.
Maybe the Israelis and the Palestinians will be able to carry-on and settle their differences if I didn’t go to bed focused on the Road Map to Peace. And then wake up with my first thoughts of how many Israelis were massacred during the night?
I would do far better screaming for a team to stay put at the tax payers’ expense, than screaming for a politician to hit the road instead. And maybe a real nice work of fiction would give me less to think about before I go to bed. And less to think about when I wake up, than the true life political analysis I consume.
And maybe there should be no more GALGANOV DOT COM.
I’ve really got to think about all of this. Life is too short.