Monday Morning Musings

Posted on March 9, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with one comment

This polar bear left quite an impression


“When is the ideal age to retire?”

Never, according to a neuroscientist.

Last week I received an article from one of my sisters about retirement and good health. The author suggests that one of the keys to living a long satisfying life is to stay busy. This can hardly be construed as groundbreaking news. Many of us in the third period of our lives are busier and more engaged than ever. He suggests that keeping busy with just activity is not enough. “Too much time spent with no purpose is associated with unhappiness. Stay busy but not with busy work or trivial pursuits, but with meaningful activities. Another key component is social engagement.”

Not all my readers are old fogies and retired. Many of you are still very much in the trenches working and raising families. I can hear you saying that you have bigger fish to fry than worrying about how to spend your retirement years.

As a matter of fact, another relative was recently laid off from work which poses an entirely different set of challenges. She shared an interesting article entitled “5 Lessons I’ve Learned From Being Laid Off.” I have been one of the lucky ones to have been born during the baby boom. There never seemed to be a lack of jobs. I started work in my early teens and here I am on the cusp of 70 still gainfully employed. In the aforementioned article, I was particularly interested in lesson #5: Keep Your Sense of Humour”. The author suggested that if she didn’t keep laughing, she’d soon be crying.

I admit that finding contentment is an elusive target. We seem to be perpetually trying to find balance in our lives. I know a handful of people who seem to have their shit together, but I suspect if you dug into their lives a bit, scratching just below the surface, you would find that no one is completely happy.

I think the key is to keep striving for happiness. Having purpose in one’s life might just be the key. Ultreia.

I still haven’t found my walking mojo. I do a 40-minute walk before school each day and put in thousands of steps running up and down hallways, but that doesn’t really count. I so want to go on long walks on the weekend, but this just isn’t possible. One of the teachers told me about an 8 km route which goes out past the giant inukshuk to the town dump and circles around by the airport. The route is very hilly which suits me just fine. After walking North Mountain on the Cabot Trail, anything would seem easy.

The problem is that polar bears like to scavenge in the dump, and some have been seen in the area recently. My colleague suggested that it might not be safe to walk alone unless I was carrying a gun. Well, I don’t have a rifle and to get one, I would have to take a course. Last weekend, several of our students went on a weekend outing. They were accompanied by professional guides. When they returned, they posted several pictures including the one at the top of the page. After seeing this enormous polar bear footprint, I will curb my enthusiasm to go on a solitary walk past the dump. Becoming the entrée for a polar bear holds little appeal.

Like everyone else, I am watching the corona virus situation closely. I’m not terribly concerned that it will find its way up to the Arctic but it’s hard not to be engaged in what’s going on around the world. I remember back in 2003, I was a chaperone on a high school band trip to Toronto during the apex of the SARS crisis. The organizing committee, parents, students, and school officials agonized over what to do. We eventually decided to go, and it was a wonderful trip.

My own travel plans for the Spring break could very well be impacted depending on how things unfold. With the deluge of information coming out, it’s hard to know whether the science behind this disease warrants the panic including the mad dash to Costco for impending Armageddon. There are tens of thousands of people dying every day around the world from a host of diseases. I’m not minimizing the apparent risks and dangers of a possible pandemic, but it seems the media are feasting on this outbreak, whipping people into a frenzy.

“Life is a highway, I will ride it all night long.”

Have a great week.

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