Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday musings 6/1/14

Sunday musingsā€¦

1) Triple Crown. Admit it, you really want to see one won next week.

2) Black Hole. Games.CrossFit.com. Seriously. Where did yesterday go?

3) False dichotomy. Kinda like a forced-choice testing paradigm where you’re always wrong.

4) Rich. “The rich are different from the rest of us.” F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps. But what I find fascinating, time and again, is how much the rich and the not-so-rich have in common.

Just take away some something that is truly meaningful that can’t be bought. We’re all the same, then.

5) Impending. I am 54 years old, Mrs. bingo soon to be 53. We are as in the middle as we could possibly be, the filling in the so-called “sandwich generation”. It’s the opposite of what my sage friend Hari once told me about turning 50, that the first 50 years of my life were about preparing and the next 50 were about me. And Mrs. bingo. Yet here we sit, squarely in the middle of lives in “launch” mode, and lives at the limit. So which is it? All about us, or squeezed in the sandwich from both ends of the life line?

Now THAT’S a dichotomy, false or otherwise.

You know, the bingo progeny are going to do just fine. My left-brain knows that; the right-brain angst is probably just separation anxiety. “The Heir”, “Lovely Daughter”, and “Lil’bingo” are all launched, and what their trajectories may be is largely (and appropriately) mostly out of our control, angst be damned. We may have lost the pleasure of their physical company at the dinner table, but we’ve hardly lost them otherwise. The cyber-kitchen table easily extends to each of their abodes.

The real loss to come, the loss of our own parents, is really what makes the “sandwich” so difficult. This stage has always been a participatory sport, and the final score is always the same. It may not even be any different from generations past other than the fact that we have a catchy name for our part now, “sandwich generation”. Most of us do not have our parents in our homes, so the decline we observe is all the more jarring because we see it in “jumps” rather than as a slow slide. As Baby Boomers we probably spend much more time thinking about how this all impacts US than prior generations–we could be called the “Navel-Gazing Generation, after all. In a funny way this actually gives our own parents one more opportunity to parent us by disabusing us of that rather selfish notion.

Memory is the issue for both parent and child. Happy memories bring joy and sadness, pulled to the front of our consciousness as both balm for the pain of loss and fuel for the work it takes to get through a day. Memory fades from the middle out, again for both parent and child. The toil of mid-life and the tyranny of teenagers fades as all that remains is the memory of the simplicity of early childhood joy, and the simple joy of remembering lunch.

We are in the middle of the Long Goodbye. We know not exactly when it began, and we know not how long is will last. We cling to our memories of life before as we fight not to remember life now. Mother’s Day is just past. Another Father’s Day is nigh. We steel ourselves for the time when they will be just another day, one on which we have nothing to visit but memories.

It seems that we are preparing, still, now and always.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at June 1, 2014 6:53 AM