Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Turn Down Day"

Now, how many remember that song? No guesses?
It was sung by The Cyrcle a two-hit wonder from the late 60's - a band of Lafayette College (not University then) students who named themselves after the Circle in Easton.

My Google Calender said "you have no events for today." Thank Goddess. When I woke up I had to think about what day it is. Sunday - "a turn down day, nothin' on my mind...and I dig it..." (yeah, late 60's).

The past few weeks have gone by in a blur of sinus infection, prednisone, antibiotics, covering Renee's buildings (she's acting DON at one of her buildings, so I'm the Regional Nurse for the rest), PADONA conference (nursing), PLRW workshop (writing) and GLVWG conference (writing). I'm sure there was a lot of other stuff in there, too, but the brain has deleted the files.

I was going to my Gettysburg next weekend but canceled - don't think I want a relapse of sinus infection - walking the Battlefield in early April - no, not a good thing.

So today is my "Turn Down Day" with nothing on my mind - well, maybe some reading and watching a Miss Marple DVD...and looking over my query letter and synopsis for Elizabeth Peacock and the Body on Abbey Road...and going back to "the wolf book" or "Moonstone Magic" or....

I guess there's no "Turn Down Day" for a writer.

And I MUST buy cat food.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Autopsy Pictures...

No there will be none on this blog, but I did see pictures of an autopsy in my CSI class.
She was a 47 year old woman who worked at a large center in New York City and collapsed at work. I don't know her name but the pictures showed how an autopsy progresses and that her likely cause of death was heart failure.

At the end of viewing the pictures and the class discussion, I quietly touched my heart and blessed her. I didn't know who she was. Did she have her own family? Who grieved for her? What did she leave behind aside from these pictures? Pictures of her as a child, graduating from high school, college, wedding pictures?

I'm glad I didn't know the answer to those questions. It would have made it more difficult to see her autopsy photos.

But I wonder, now, what I will leave behind.
I know I've guided one child to adulthood - someone I am very proud of.
That will be enough.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sixty, the new Forty?

Gads! I hope NOT!.

At 40, I was supporting my teenage daughter alone; I was in love with a man who was destined to die. I was poor.

I love being 60 - my daughter is successful; I have great friends; I love writing; I've advanced in my profession.

The only reason that "they" want us to think that 60 is the new 40 is to get us to work another twenty years.

I want the next 20 years to be MY years - to write, to read, to travel, to make new friends. I don't want to go back, even to be 40.

I just want to move forward.

"It's the Econonmy, stupid...."

How did we get into this mess?
How did we become a debtor nation? How did being in debt become the norm?

First we became more materialistic. Television began to show us commercials of things we could not do without. Many families did not have the cash to pay for these “necessities” but stores offered “easy” credit. And we were off on the rocky road of own it now without saving for it. Remember the slogan “Fly Now, Pay Later.” That became the American mantra.

Consumer/materialism was ramped up with the “need” to have designer-everything. If your jeans didn’t say “Gloria Vanderbilt” on them, then you weren’t part of the “in crowd” – and every teen “needed” to be part of the in crowd, so parents gave in – more credit cards use.

Consumerism/materialism was great for this country as long as most products were made in this country. Buying products made in this country provided manufacturing jobs – usually high paying jobs. So the cycle was a good one…until…

Companies, in order to make more money, decided to outsource manufacturing jobs to other countries with cheaper labor.

Now our children could no longer have that good paying job in manufacturing. In order to have a job/profession that would give you a decent (non-MacDonald’s) wage, you needed to go to college.

However, college tuition increased to the point where a year’s tuition was more than most families’ yearly income. That was when we made it normal for our children to be debtors in order to have a college degree.

After they got out of college and high-paying jobs were not that plentiful, they still “needed” the big house and the two SUVs – that was what society was telling them meant success. So many of them signed for interest-only mortgages– after all they had watched the TV shows and commercials that showed them everything that was “needed” to be part if the “in crowd” - to be a real American success.

I am so glad I’m not part of the “in crowd” – I have what I need: my family, my cats, my friends, my books, my job.

And no credit card – even when the store says that I can get another 10% off if I apply. “No, thanks” is my favorite phrase.