Friday, October 21, 2016

facebook meaning question

I'm thinking of writing an article about "making meaning in your life." I haven't gotten very far-- just taking notes-- but I was wondering-- what does "meaning" even mean? And what is meaningful? I'm thinking both long-term projects ("I learned to play the piano over the last two years") and moments ("My younger kids were singing a Beatle song together last night as we drove home.")--

Do you have any examples in your own life? What would you say was a meaningful thing that happened to you or you did recently or in the past? What experience would you say was memorably meaningful, and why? I know about the big ones-- birth of children, weddings-- but what about less "life-heavy" things?


long term/ short term


magic moment

Forget success-- make meaning

When we're younger, we might plan for success-- we want to be rich and famous, or do great things.

But at some point, most of us don't. And we see people who have achieved what is popularly called "success", and we think maybe it seems shallow and trite-- a real estate developer with a young trophy wife and a billion dollars, ....

Success in that big worldly form-- winning elections, making a fortune, getting awards-- might not be achievable, if you haven't spent decades being lucky and building a particular foundation. Most of us didn't live like that-- we just lived.

Make meaning instead. Meaning-- define--
more about meaning
Why it will work?

The meaning is... meaning

The hardest realization humans face is-- we know we're going to die.
And in some ways, that seems to destroy all our meaning. What does it matter if I do this or that, achieve this or that, if I'm just going to die anyway?
This is easy enough to ignore-- it might even be a spur to achievement-- when you have decades yet to go. After all, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy your achievement and reap the rewards.

But mortality isn't a distant existential anxiety at this point. It's a reality. We've had parents die, even siblings. We've tried to help friends through dread diseases, seen them fight and struggle, only to lose in the end. We've seen older people linger, their bodies going on long after their minds have deteriorated.
We know what the end might look like.
And we know that what we do now, we might not have decades to enjoy.

Do it now....

What? What would give meaning when it seems sort of meaningless?

Helping others
Leaving a legacy
Doing what you want to do
Discovering new aspects of the world and you
Getting over some personal flaw that has always bothered you

Boomer alert-- routine and affiliation

Something many Boomers didn't like much were routines and joining.
"Keep your options open" -- moving around, moving on. Even if you stayed in the same town, you probably aren't in the same groups. You probably don't do the same thing every Tuesday.

Far easier to break a good habit than a bad one! Sleep in one morning rather than going to swim laps at the pool, and you might as well have quit, right? The discipline is broken.
Routine is hard....


Point of this decade is... making meaning.

Older generation affiliated-- Masons, Moose Lodge. Jeff talking about the BR "boys night out" group-- meet every week for decades. (Older)

We are more likely to join for a while, then move on when it's no longer useful. (RWA)
More into new experiences, new sensations.

But there's usefulness and meaning in familiarity, in making the time to do the same thing.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Quotes about age and stuff

Bruce Springsteen: “A good song gathers the years in. It’s why you can sing it with such conviction 40 years after it’s been written. A good song takes on more meaning as the years pass by.”

grandma's wisdom

I found myself washing a baggie (in my defense, it was a ZIPLOC!), and thought, I have become my grandmother (who would wash bread bags and use them). Of course, it's quite environmental, but also a bit.... compulsive.
Anyone else do something like their grandma?
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Mary Ann Clark Guilty of washing Ziplocs. And sometimes reusing alum foil. My nana did wash and reuse alum pie plates, but I rarely have those. She also "saved" the "good dishes" and "good towels" in case she had company, while I prefer to use and enjoy things in the present.
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Alicia Rasley I save the "Good china" for special occasions, then forget to use it!
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Mary Watson I wash and reuse large Ziploc bags if they've held something that isn't terribly messy. Not if they've held raw meat. I also rinse off sheets of aluminum foil and reuse. I tear old t-shirts into rags for cleaning and polishing (nice and soft, don't scratch). Cut buttons off shirts before they go to the recycle center. I'm crocheting a rug from old jeans torn into strips (so far I've used 5 pairs, and need to go to the thrift shop for more as I've run out of jeans). But I grew up recycling. My mother did out out of necessity. I still wear jeans my younger son (now 43) had in 8th grade. 
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Alicia Rasley Mary, that's pretty impressive! My grandmother used to make rag rugs-- braided, I think.
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Cassandra Curtis Grandmum used to say two cups from one tea bag is the rule, and then save the old tea bags for use in drawing down swelling. If refrigerated correctly, they'll keep for an extra week before the have to get tossed. Even then, she'd place the old used up...See More
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Alicia Rasley Cassandra, I remember teabags refrigerated and put on the under-eye area reduces puffiness. 
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Mary Strand Like both my grandmas, I like a nice cocktail. 
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Alicia Rasley What kind of cocktail? A "highball"? (Whiskey and ginger ale. :))
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Theresa Stevens Just don't let me catch you wrapping sandwiches in old newspapers. There are some depression-era behaviors that we can let die out!
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Alicia Rasley The newsprint would transfer to the bread!