Priorities

Today’s post comes from tim.

I watched a lot of Turner classic movies over memorial day weekend about World War II issues

when my dad was alive I used to wonder how he could sit and watch all that army stuff and cowboy stuff and get amazes me how today I love the cowboy stop in the army stuff

simple storyline and the bottom line solution to the issue of how to deal with the challenge seems to be the reoccurring theme that is the attraction

I think today about how different the kids in high school are that they were when I was in high school and I remember my dad thinking how different the kids were in high school that they were when he was in high school also

Tom Brokaw wrote the book the greatest generation and I read and enjoyed it but didn’t fully appreciate the big picture

today’s 80 and 90 something are from the pre-television era when you had to find a way to amuse yourself and occupy your brain

what a person came up with was all you needed to know about that person
engineer brain, artist? go tinker with stuff in the workshop? read a book and write a book
the way a chosen lifestyle came into being was different dad that it is today.
or is it?

and it was pointed out to me once that baby boomers  like to talk on the phone,generation X likes to work by email and the youngsters today like to work by text

my dad’s dad used to get the car and drive over to someone’s house and sit and have coffee with them

My dad booked someone for lunch every day to enjoy conversation I’m talking about life.
those mornings breakfast groups at the coffee shop with the old codgers solving the problems of the world were his greatest joy as his world came to an end.

the greatest generation is almost gone . 5 more years will whittle em down 10 more will finish it

each group has its own style. clyde and steve and margeret are between the greatest and the boomers

boomers are of course the best then they are followed by xyz millennial and my youngest daughters group who will be here for 2020 as young adults

the world had interesting as part of the deal going back a while but now feels different

do they really not get it?
can’t they see my way is right?
if you do you only had 48 hours to live how would you wrap it up?
what is the set of priorities that’s important to you?

40 thoughts on “Priorities”

  1. Woooo! Renee connected with her inner tim to write this one. I’m gonna do a BiR and think about it. And maybe I’ll figure out what “the cowboy stop in the army stuff” means.

    Incidentally, demographers say I belong to the Silent Generation, a group that “worked hard and kept quiet.” That makes me a generational misfit.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    tim, you are on a philosophical bent this morning. I do seem to be thinking the thought, “can’t they see my way is right?” a lot more of late, especially where politics are concerned. However, I remember my grandfather assuming he was right, browbeating everyone around him, and alienating them. I don’t want to do that. Estrangement, ideological or otherwise, seems a lonely way to go through the later years.

    So then what?. If I have 48 hours to go, I think I will take my dogs to the dog park, say good-bye to family members and friends I actually like, ignore the ones I do not like, have a great meal, including dessert, then head off into the sunset. I would love to get on a horse to head off into the sunset, but at this point in life, I don’t think I could actually get on the horse.

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  3. My biggest priority right now is making it through the next 33 months at work so I can retire with my pension. I also want to be mindful to continue to do a job until I retire.

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  4. I never read The Greatest Generation. By the title, it struck me as an unwarranted hagiography and I’m skeptical about generalizations about generations. That generation that grew up during the depression and volunteered or was compelled or volunteered to avoid being compelled to fight in the Second World War was also the generation that met the civil rights demonstrators with batons and dogs and guns and bombs and met the Vietnam protesters with water cannons and batons and guns and prison. Still in their ascendancy, they defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. Every generation is both great and terrible.

    Generations are not a monolith. I am a caucasian male baby boomer. I have nothing at all in common with Trump voters, with evangelicals, with wealthy conservatives seeking to curtail social services. Who is the prototypical baby boomer? How you would characterize my generation has everything to do with which group you selected as representative and nothing at all to do with me as an individual, with what I believe or the choices I make. I think that’s true of the individuals of every generation. They may have experiences in common as presented by the times they live through, but what they do with that experience is only limited by their imagination and their subsequent opportunities.

    I think if I were down to my last 48 hours, I would spend a lot of it saying goodbye, but otherwise would go on as usual. I don’t at this point have any apologies to make, any unfinished business, any regrets.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. If you are feeling low about not having regrets, Bill, I could sure help you. I’ve got more than enough.

    I was born just a year too early to be a Boomer, but have never identified with that bunch. At times I think of myself as a “Vietnam baby,” since that war had so much impact on me. At other times I think of myself as a “1968 refugee” since that terrible, turbulent year was when I got married and when much of my character was molded.

    My inability to identify with a generation is one of the reasons my identity as a Minnesotan means so much to me.

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  6. Hi–
    Born in ’64 I’m at the tail end of the boomers I don’t feel like them, but I’m also not far enough into the next. That’s OK: I’ll blaze my own trail.

    I love old movies. The dialogue is *generally* so much better. Not always; seen some bad old movies too. But it’s often better than modern movies and doesn’t involve so much frantic editing nor car chases.

    I recently read a book about the ‘Mighty 8th Air Force’.
    It included many personal stories written by the men in the airplanes. It gave me renewed respect for what they went through.
    Which is just as much as any soldier in modern battles has gone through.
    But those old un-pressurized airplanes and the cold and the flack and fighter planes… wow. Too willingly climb into one of those planes and fly over Germany day after day.
    Amazing.

    48 hours.
    I’d sit and appreciate the view and hold my loved ones.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Strange. My dad survived being on two different merchant marine ships in the Atlantic that were torpedoed during WWII. It wasn’t until he was staring death in the face a few months before his face that he actually spoke about it, and with quite some passion. A lot of pent up anger and sheet terror that surfaced at that point, as if he wanted me to understand some of what had shaped his life- and not for the better.

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  7. Sometimes I sits and think, and sometimes I just sits. tim was thinking this morning, and, so, now am I.

    First I want to point our that Cynthia, Crystal Bay, and Jim – although he no longer visits on the blog – also belong in the age cohort on the cusp of the Boomer generation. That said, I share Bill’s skepticism with regard to generalizing about generations. I most certainly have never thought of myself as representative or typical of the Silent Generation. I’ve made my share of noise in my day, and eventually, it actually made a difference.

    As I mentioned back in March, my brother-in-law and his partner committed suicide on March 1 of this year. This was something they had planned for years in anticipation of the day when they could no longer take care of each other and a move to a nursing home seemed inevitable. To them the nursing home was not an acceptable end, so they prepared for their final exit on their terms. They planned everything, down to the tiniest detail, and on their final day mailed the letters and cards to their loved ones announcing that the time had come. We all knew what receipt of that letter meant. As it turned out, of course, we were told over the phone. Jens’ stepson, who lives in Hamburg, had received his letter a full five days before ours arrived, so he called us.

    I had hoped that that final letter would have contained some insight, some words of wisdom to hold on to, perhaps to soften the blow. Instead it was a chatty, mundane and deeply disappointing letter.

    So, yes, I have actually thought about how I’d like to spend my final days, but I hope they don’t come anytime soon as I have yet to come up with a satisfying plan. Likewise, my obituary remains unwritten, and any decisions about my memorial service are still very much in a state of flux. I am considering offering door prizes to those who attend, but haven’t decided what they might be. I’ll keep you posted.

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    1. On that same cusp. Born 12/44. Everyone of my years stands up as a proud veteran and demands our respect. They stood at no risk. Grew up. Learned a trade. Etc. fine. But we so easily lump ea h other and ourselves into generalizations. I honor those who served at risk and died five I know who died so uselessly in Vietnam Nam, a war beloved by the greatest generation. They were a complex group. We are all complicated. As per Bill, hate generation labels. Glad I fit between generation as my. SilGen way. I once said as a speaker at a Memorial Day program that wars are seldom fought by hero’s but by ordinary men caught in unordinary circumstances who stand and take it as needed and do the desperate thing as needed. Few applauded me. Several war vets said that was about how it was. I salute the men and women who stood at risk. I avoid other labels. My brother served in a role of great stress and isolation during the Cold War at age 19 to 22. His life was at no risk of bullets. Just carrying a heavy burden of secrecy and stress at so tender an age. It broke him. He has never quite recovered. He avoided declaring himself a vet until recently. Now he does to declare himself a Trump-eteer. So see where it can take one.

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  8. I agree with above sentiments about sweeping generalizations, but it does seem that, as tim pointed out, each generation has its own mode of communication based on the evolution of global communcations: “baby boomers like to talk on the phone,generation X likes to work by email and the youngsters today like to work by text”.

    48 hours? Probably make a lot of phone calls, a few visits. Might read through a box of special letters I’ve kept over the years. And put on clean clothes.

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  9. Facing an approaching known end? Get back to me in 11 days.
    I cannot imagine any changing priorities except to start trashing my junk. I would like to visit, hear from, communicate with many former students about their lives, but I would like that any way. But to intrude seems either rude or self serving.
    I expect few at my service but why would I care.
    I sat in McDonald’s, sad to say, last night. A father and 2 small kids, a mother and two small kids, mother and father with three small kids. None of the parents had a cell phone out. All were in full presence with their kids. All kids were behaved, but talkative, and full of joy and a bit of the dickens. May any final days I may have to live near the end be filled with such sights.

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  10. Call my mom and all my close friends, fondue, chocolate cake, sit in my garden with my daughter, cats, dogs, good book.

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    1. The sit in your garden bit tells me that you don’t want your demise to be during the winter. I don’t either, winter funerals are extra gloomy, I think.

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  11. So five big cats broke out of a zoo in Germany. Did they carve a gun from soap and shoe polish? did they have a moll working on the outside? Bribe a keeper? Crawl through nearly half a mile of sewage?

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    1. Apparently, the whole area was flooded, and the flood waters damaged their cages (shiver at the thought that these big cats are living in cages). They have all been safely recaptured.

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  12. Sorta related: A Pablo Neruda poem

    Die slowly

    He who becomes the slave of habit,
    who follows the same routes every day,
    who never changes pace,
    who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
    who does not speak and does not experience,
    dies slowly.

    He or she who shuns passion,
    who prefers black on white,
    dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
    that turn a yawn into a smile,
    that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
    dies slowly.

    He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
    who is unhappy at work,
    who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
    to thus follow a dream,
    those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
    die slowly.

    He who does not travel, who does not read,
    who does not listen to music,
    who does not find grace in himself,
    she who does not find grace in herself,
    dies slowly.

    He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
    who does not allow himself to be helped,
    who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
    dies slowly.

    He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
    die slowly.

    Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
    reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

    Only a burning patience will lead
    to the attainment of a splendid happiness.”

    Liked by 3 people

  13. If I knew I had only 48 hours, I suppose the first thing I’d try to do is find someone to take my cats. Make hasty funeral arrangements. And hire someone to manage an estate sale at my home.

    After that, I have no idea. I have so much more I’d like to do in life that to try to compress it into 48 hours would be overwhelming. I expect I’d alternate between anger and resignation.

    Liked by 1 person

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