Even late adapting tech skeptics like me dig an occasional app. My fav triumvirate these days: Waze, Evernote, and Wunderlist.
The Good Wife is a serial list writer, always has been, always will be, but she’s even later adapting than me meaning she puts “the old” in “school” meaning paper and pencil. If she dips her toes any further into the digital waters, Wunderlist might prove transformative.
My dearest sissy is the “Queen of Apps”, but she doesn’t dare post on her brother’s or anyone’s blog, so if we’re lucky, she’ll email me with her current favs.
Yesterday, while traveling from San Jose to Seattle, it suddenly dawned on me that I’m an air travel “Have Not”. Which is probably a good thing since everywhere else I’m a “Have”.
Air travel “Haves” zip through special “pre-TSA screening” security checks; wait with other “Haves” in special “members only” lounges that are probably decked out with soft frozen yogurt machines; and board way before you and me.
Alaska Airlines employs an especially detailed caste system for boarding passengers.
2nd—Families with babies.
4th—Gold platinum members.
5th—MVP Elite members.
6th—Those people who can pronounce Ta-Nehisi Coates correctly.
Emily Oster’s findings in the fitness essay I included in the previous post rest on the following premise—people exercise to lengthen their lives. I run, swim, and cycle quite a bit further and faster than the research says I should because I enjoy pushing myself. And as far as I know the research doesn’t answer this question: Are the costs of more extreme fitness habits lessened when one increases the volume and intensity of their activities over many years? My gut tells me yes. My gut also tells me cross training lessens the costs.
But I’m okay being wrong because I don’t care if I live to 100. The more familiar I get with the 80’s and 90’s, the more inclined I am to trade quality of life for quantity. Which leads to how to age.
There are two approaches, but I don’t know which is better. The first is to remind oneself on a daily basis that you’ll never be younger than you are at this very instance. Meaning carpe diem. Live with urgency. Do the iron-distance triathlon now because it’s going to be even harder in a few years. Travel the world now because it’s going to be harder in a few years. Hike the Wonderland Trail or the Camino de Santiago before hiking to the mailbox is all you can manage.
The alternative is to accept the inevitability of physical decline and embrace life’s limits. Reject “Bucket List” mania. Live more simply. Slow down, travel less, invest more in friendships. Find joy in daily routines. Watch nature. Enjoy coffee, food, and drink. Go gently into the future.
1. Given Kathryn Schulz’s prodigious talent, the New Yorker’s future is bright. As frightening and superbly written as anything I’ve read in a long time. The Really Big One. Subtitle—An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when. Made me want to buy in Bend, Oregon.
“If we take this research at face value, we learn a few things. First, some exercise reduces your risk of death. Second, the optimal walking/jogging exercise is light to moderate jogging. The optimal speed is between 5 and 7 mph, and if you do 25 minutes about three times a week, you’re all set. Nothing in the data suggests that running more — farther, or faster — will do more to lower your risk of death.”
I’ve shortened a recent email message I received and summarized the response you should have to each paragraph in bold.
In the fall of 2015 the “W” Housing Authority will be launching a new Children’s Savings Account Program that will serve students who live in the “X” Community. We will launch the program with a cohort of entering kindergarteners who attend “Y” Elementary School, which is located in the middle of “Y”, and a cohort of 6th grade students who attend neighboring “Z” Middle School. —cool
By way of brief background, Children’s Savings Accounts (CSA’s) are long-term asset-building accounts for children. These accounts can be opened for children as early as birth, and are often used to pay for students’ education after high school. You can find examples of CSA programs in cities across the country and CSA program models vary from school-based initiatives to citywide efforts funded through public-private partnerships. —cool
When students enroll in the elementary school stage of the CSA WHA will open a savings account in their name. WHA will then make an initial $50 deposit into the account. WHA will then match up to $400 per year that families deposit into their student’s account through the 5th grade. —cool
When students reach 6th grade the savings match stops. Instead of matching family’s savings, WHA will give students an opportunity to earn incentive payments by reaching certain goals. These goals may include earning a certain grade point average, maintaining a certain attendance record and participating in extracurricular activities. As students meet these goals, WHA will deposit up to $700 per year in their savings account until they graduate from high school.—wish extrinsic rewards weren’t necessary, but I’ll roll with it
When a student enrolls in a postsecondary program they can then use the money in their CSA to help pay for tuition and other related costs of attendance.—cool if we’re talking vocational education too
I am reaching out to you because as part of the CSA, WHA will offer students and their families an opportunity to participate in financial education classes. We have identified the Junior Achievement curriculum for use with our students and the staff at “Y” Elementary School has decided to try and imbed the JA program across all of their kindergarten classrooms in the spring of 2016.—what the hell, did you say kindergarten?
Quick turn to the electronic dictionary reveals that Junior Achievement “works with local businesses and organizations to deliver experiential programs on the topics of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to students in kindergarten through high school.
Anyone that wants kindergarteners learning about financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship should have their head and heart examined.
Is there a more convincing example that utilitarian purposes of schooling have trounced humanitarian ones? We’ve completely lost our minds. Heaven help us.
In a former life it seems now, my bethrothed and I watched our pre-teen daughter play a soccer double header. In the rain, temp in the mid 30’s fahrenheit, my down jacket losing the battle with the elements. More accurately and problematically, we watched her teammates play a double header. She saw a few token minutes of action. I wasn’t happy, but Mom was HOT. Desperately wanted to talk to the coach. I counseled not doing anything, and for once in our 28 year history, my advice proved wise.
Partly because it wasn’t as upsetting to her. More importantly, by not doing anything we created space for her teammates, who were also upset that she didn’t get more playing time, to rally around her. They worked it out. Hard feelings dissolved. She ended up a little more resilient, independent, ready for more consequential hardships to come.
I don’t know. It’s been almost four months since my mom died. And this week, another gut punch via telephone. This time it was news that my wife’s former campus pastor who through three decades of friendship became a second, spiritual father of sorts to her, had died.
We are especially fortunate to have a foundation of friendship at times like this. After listening to and empathizing with my wife, she asked how I was adjusting to my mom’s death.
I told her I’m failing miserably at striking any kind of balance because it seems like I can either regularly stop and think about the permanence of my loss and be overcome with sadness or succumb to avoidance by filling my day with activities that distract me from thinking about her passing almost entirely. There has to be a large middle ground, I just haven’t found it.
Meanwhile, last Wednesday night I was sitting alone at an outside table at Vic’s Pizza while my wife went to the bathroom and gathered silverware and napkins. A three year-old boy at the table right next to me sized me up and then pointed right at me and said to his mom, “Does he have a mommy?” “Don’t point,” she curtly replied. When my wife joined me a few minutes later, he said to his mom, “He does have a mommy.”
Carol Byrnes and JSwanson would’ve laughed heartily at that and I love the image of them laughing together even though they didn’t know each other.
Besides a lighthearted story, I have one grief-related insight to share. More accurately, I have one end-of-life-related insight from Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upward: a Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. “Death,” Rohr writes, “is largely a threat to those who have not yet lived their life.”
Carol Byrnes and JSwanson lived full lives. May you and I do the same.