|To borrow from John Lennon—and so this is New Year’s and what have you done? |
Another year over, a new one just begun.
I remember writing my ‘end of decade’ blog post ten years ago and remarking on what a lousy decade it was from 2000-2010. 9/11? The Great Recession? Basically, the Oughts or whatever they were called, sucked.
Things were much better over the past ten years. The economy got rock solid, the stock market soared, unemployment fell and wages (yes, even for low-income workers) went up. And if you tell me you’re not affected by the stock market, I say look at your 401K; if you’re doing a halfway decent job, it went up over the past ten years.
The scary thing is that it seems like I wrote that ten-year-old blog item yesterday.
But alas, as time goes on, I’m aware that I’m not going to live forever. Quite a revelation! My friends and I once asked each other, “Where are you working now?” That’s been replaced by “Are you retired yet?” I can’t tell you how many people ask if I’m still working. The answer is yes, happily.
While time is an issue, the truth is that, day to day, I have more than enough time to do whatever I feel like. Why? I’m convinced one reason is that I never watch cable TV news. I can’t think of a bigger waste of time.
I’m old enough to remember when CNN covered actual news from around the country and the world. Now it’s all speculation about politics and I don’t care about speculation. So, if you want more time in your life, don’t get caught up in the pernicious minute-by-minute meaninglessness of politics. If you do, you’re playing into Trump’s hands, not to mention the cable news stations which want to keep you hooked every bit as much as Facebook or Twitter.
I want to control my own time, my own life. To paraphrase Walter White: “I want to be the one who knocks.”
I decided to take up guitar about 4 years ago. That was a great decision. One of the happiest times of the week is when I’m sitting around with a few other players strumming and singing to some song or another from the old days. I don’t look at it as living in the past. To me, trying to hit the right chord at the right time is living in the moment. No work, no demands, just a B minor chord.
The Beatles were fond of this chord. It’s in “Eight Days a Week,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and many of their other songs. It’s a sweet chord and we all need sweet chords in our lives.