Fantasyland and Pragmatism…..

I am always continually amazed by our ability to dream. Yesterday I was surrounded by munchkins in the person of four of my seven grandchildren. Padge refused to let them watch TV so they played, dreaming up this scenario or that. Climbing trees or making a box of simple things come alive with meaning that could not have been in the mind of the creators. Very cool.

I am always torn by the concepts of dreaming and pragmatism. I love to think about possibilities of all sorts giving full vent to ideas without the strong arm of the law saying you can or cannot do that. But then the conservative in me says we have to have limits or even better yet it’s okay to cook up this or that but not all the time.

I guess I really wonder if our world is in any way realistic. We keep pushing envelopes with regard to housing, cars, medicine and entertainment. We had friends visiting who live in a three bedroom two bath house. It’s just them and an occasional visitor. They said they really want to add a third bath and I said why? Well because every bedroom should have its own bath, dummy.

I am always on my medical kick. I work in hospice as you know and every time I go there the moment of passing for some soul is imminent. As I walked by a room last week I joined the nurse for the last few moments of this woman’s life. She passed at 3:33 PM with no incident.

I couldn’t help but think of ICU’s and operating rooms everywhere trying to save this person or that at all cost. Pull out this part and put in a new one. Let’s try one more ultra blast of radiation or chemo to rid you of that cancer only to die from something else because your body is so beat up. Why would you ever want to go without a fight? Maybe because it is time.
Movies, games, resorts and wedding have all taken on this air of “Can you top this?” We are totally absorbed by the concept of I am just going to sit here and you must entertain me. I don’t think this is old fart as much as saying when is enough, enough. Sooner or later you can’t go bigger, better, faster or can you?

There was a bride to be who lived in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Santa Barbara, CA. They had the bachelorette party in Vegas, the bachelor party in New Orleans and the wedding in Mexico. Of course there was a luncheon for the bridesmaids, a rehearsal dinner, and an after wedding brunch tacked on. Partay on but to what end. I would hate to be the poor schlep who had to follow that act. Now is all of this looking at reality or just going farther and farther into make believe? Don’t be a Scrooge TTG.

For a moment think that our nation is reflected by its politics. Forget about left or right. We have become a nation that is putting off hard decisions. We can’t solve, immigration, infrastructure, tax reform, and medical coverage because we “kick the can down the road”(I really hate that phrase). Is this the deliberative process or a bunch of men and women who can’t seem to face up to what’s happening now?

I know it is the dog days of summer. August is when most people take off and all of this will probably fall on deaf ears. I am not opting for a puritan society but shouldn’t there be some limits? And that’s where I have my problem. I am incredibly optimistic and positive. I truly feel like I am in my early forties as far as mental acuity and even physically somewhat. Actually I was more of mess when I was forty. But that nagging voice in me says let’s look at things in black and white. Have fun but also get the joke.

Maybe it is generational? Not in the way you think. The 50-60 million Boomers who are on the back nine grew up in a crazy time, the 70’s. Make peace not war. Free love. Let’s do a few doobies and life will be grand. Enter Timothy Leary and the wonders of LSD. Woodstock was the birthplace of more than one thing. The whole gig was drugs, sex and rock and roll. Don’t worry. Be happy. Life will work out somehow.

Today we have a whole strata of retirees who have amassed an average of $25,000 in their nest egg. They have beat up their bodies pretty well and now are demanding we fix them. The other day I read with medical advances people might be able to live until they are 120. Now that is an exciting prospect. We are looking for Mommy and Daddy to rescue us and they are personified in a guy called Uncle Sam. Bad news for the next generations.

I guess my whole point is we need a little sobriety. I know some of you have been hurt by the downturn but for the most part we as a country want to keep rolling with the next frontier being an outpost on the moon or Mars. Great. Dream the dream but also figure out how we are going to pay for it. Wait a minute. Why can’t that be our new fantasy? Now that’s a clever idea TTG but let’s not get carried away.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids:
The average wedding today costs about $30,000. The most expensive one was $78 million and the lovely Vanisha Mittal of India. Don’t know her but she invited 1,000 guests for 5 days. The Donald only spent $1 million. He didn’t want to do anything over the top.

The 70’s brought protest, disdain for authority, wild clothes, crazy hairdos, streaking, lava lamps, Pet Rocks, environmentalism, women’s liberation, the civil rights movement and the early advent of microcomputers.

For the next twenty years there will be 10,000 people each and every day who reach the age of 65. There will be a significant drop in the number of working people (16-64 years of age) to support what will grow to be a population of 85 million retirees.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46% of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement and 29% of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

The life expectancy in the US is 78.3 years young. The HEALTHY life expectancy is around 71 years.

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