Eating and Shopping? Something Else to Think About on Thanksgiving

Today is the day Americans imitate a Roman orgy without the sex or the vomiting. Mostly we hope to embrace the ones we love, keep from assaulting family members we can barely tolerate, and jam down as much good food as our bodies allow. This is a symbolic repetition of a meal among Pilgrim immigrants and Native Americans in the early 17th century. We give thanks for the bounty, dear relationships, and any good fortune that comes to mind.

Then Americans watch football. That is, if we don’t fall asleep because of this “epic in bloat” (to quote Oscar Levant).

Thanksgiving is a lazy day except for the hostess or host, who work themselves to a nub preparing the feast. Ah, but the effort will be equalized when the slackers get up early tomorrow to shop for discounted merchandise. The day is called “Black Friday” because the merchants operating at a loss for the year “go into the black” (meaning they make enough money to turn a profit). Somewhere in all this there must be a comment on American values, but I’m already too tired to think about it.

So, if you are a layabout and don’t wish to get into anything heavy (since you’ll feel heavy enough), I have just the thing to pass the rest of your post-meal day.

Want to know what kind of music young adults are listening to? Check out the video above. Be sure to stick around for the punch line.

And “have a nice day.” Really.

 

On Being Pursued for Affection

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I suppose every young man, at least in his dreams, imagines being chased by a throng of attractive admirers. Like most, however, I live in relative anonymity. If there were ever any mobs in hot pursuit of me, they must have been invisible and remarkably quiet.

Until recently, that is.

No, I haven’t become a rock star. Indeed, if crowds were to gather around me, I might have expected the attention in the heady days of my early life — back when I was a “stud-muffin.” Since you will not necessarily take the latter description on faith, you can see the proof in this detailed, antique photo. The young woman has asked that I not reveal her name:

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In any case, the pursuit I shall describe began in August. A little background is required. Stick with me.

I live in the 10th Congressional District of the State of Illinois. My representative is Republican Robert Dold. In the last Congressional election he defeated incumbent Democrat Brad Schneider. Congressman Schneider wants to take another crack at the seat he lost. The contest will be close, probably less than 5000 votes separating the winner and loser. The candidates are battling for every one of them.

That’s where I come in.

Several weeks back I wrote Mr. Schneider about a policy position on which he and I disagreed. I mentioned my past support of him and present doubts. Within a day or two, I was surprised to get a response from one of his staffers. Not the boilerplate, “form letter” email one usually gets from elected representatives, but one crafted only for me. He wrote to tell me Mr. Schneider wanted to talk to me.

Within days my wife and I had a phone conversation with the former congressman about the issue in question. “Brad,” as he asked me to call him, was a good listener, very bright, and made his case. No one changed positions, but I appreciated the 20-minutes of his time. I thought it would be a “one-off” — something not to be repeated.

Wrong.

This past week, Twitter sent an email informing me of a new “follower” (see below). No, not Mr. Schneider, but his opponent, Congressman Dold. Since I never use Twitter except to announce a new blog post, his “following” can mean only one of two things:

  1. My representative wants to read future blogs or
  2. One of his staffers is making an effort to flatter me and, I suspect, every blogger in the 10th Illinois Congressional District expected to vote.

I am not so full of myself to think Mr. Dold wishes to read my blog or even knows of its existence. I do believe, however, his staff is doing everything to garner votes, as one would expect, even to the point of dressing their candidate in the uniform of the Chicago Cubs (again, see below), a baseball team that last won a World Series in 1908, but with a large fan base in our district.

I now feel foolish for never having thought to wear a Cubs uniform in order to increase the size of my therapy practice.

Earlier I failed to mention a third player in the race. Mr. Schneider is opposed in the Democratic Party primary election by Ms. Nancy Rotering, the Mayor of Highland Park, IL. I must say, however, I’m a bit disappointed not to have been contacted by her. Doesn’t she value my vote just as much as Schneider and Dold? Who does she think she is?

What’s more, she is the only female candidate. While my wife and I are happily married, my fantasy didn’t involve being pursued by men. Moreover, I never hoped to be wanted for my vote, but for something more tangible.

The proverb tells us “everything comes to him who waits.”

Well, almost everything.

Gerald M. Stein,
You have a new follower on Twitter.
Gerald M. Stein
Rep. Robert J. Dold
@RepDold
Proudly representing the 10th District of Illinois. Follow me on Facebook & Instagram: facebook.com/RepDold | instagram.com/RepDold
Illinois Tenth District · https://dold.house.gov

The “stud muffin” poster is the work of Lauren Eldridge-Murray and can be purchased at http://www.redbubble.com/people/retrocharm/works/6008982-hi-cupcake-hi-stud-muffin?c=109437-funny/ If you mention my name, you will receive no discount. In fact, the poster might cost you a bit more.

The Lighter Side of Freud

0084Therapy is such a grim business. At least it is stereotyped that way.

Thus, in the interest of a different look at the couch, here is something to consider. I cannot vouch that this therapeutic aid will work as advertised, but I leave it for your consideration: http://www.philosophersguild.com/After-Therapy-Mints.html/

Or, if you are more of a coffee person, this might be just the thing for you: http://www.philosophersguild.com/Freudian-Sips-Mug.html/ Take a close look at Dr. Freud’s comment on the top cup, above. Click on the image if you can’t make it out.

I assure you I’m not on the payroll of the Unemployed Philosophers Guild and do not profit from your purchase of their products. Simply consider this a public service announcement.

Shopping for Confidence

512px-Trashy_Smart_Bag

I found myself in a sketchy part of town, although the people were handsomely dressed. No idea how I arrived. The unsavory, but well-groomed types walking the streets triggered my instinct for self-protection. I stepped into a store of a strange kind. Indeed, all the other businesses were full of commodities and people, but felt empty. This one was empty, yet the atmosphere was different.

“Ah, you found us!” said the middle-aged manager, looking pleased. “You seem troubled, but you needn’t be.”

“I was only trying to escape the — uh — neighborhood, if you get what I mean,” I responded hesitantly.

“Oh, they never come in here. We don’t sell what they want. They all want stuff. Everybody wants stuff. Fools.”

“What do you offer?” I replied. I’d not even looked at the sign in the window before I entered, and there was nothing inside to give away the nature of the store’s wares. No shelves, no showcases; plain powder blue walls, unadorned; furniture consisting of a chair, a table, and a sofa. Oh, yes, there was a large book on the table: The Discourses, by Epictetus.

“I sell confidence and I can tell you need some, young man.” Indeed, I was a naïve 20-year old. How did I become twenty again?

The manager had enough self-assurance for a small army. He stood as straight as a military officer at attention, with a bit of gray in his wavy hair, and the square jaw of a GQ model.

“Confidence? How can you tell I need such a thing?”

“You’re here, aren’t you? The doors don’t open unless you require our help. We had special sensors installed. Cost us a fortune.”

I decided not to ask about the technicalities. He was right of course. I did need fistfuls of bravado. I was doubtful about my future, had no clear idea what being a psychologist might entail, and was uncertain with the ladies. My mother was always reminding me I lacked the good-natured qualities of my younger brothers and my buddies. I offered no rejoinder to her comments about Ed and Jack, but when she brought up my friends I’d reply, “Yeah, easy for them: they don’t live with you.”

“OK,” said the manager. “What kind of confidence would you like?”

“You offer different kinds?”

“Yes. For example, you might enjoy some slightly used self-assurance, only utilized by a little old widow at church on Sundays. We can let you have it for a song. Can you sing?”

“No.”

“Well, then. We market a babe magnet variety which we call BMBM makes you appear taller and better looking. This is our best seller. Or perhaps you’d like political confidence. You know, the kind statesmen use to send young men into ill-conceived wars. Actually, we’re not supposed to sell the product any more because it got a bad name during the first George W. Bush administration. For you, though, I’ll make an exception.”

“How about some general confidence. Something all-purpose, to help me say no, stand up for myself, worry less, make phone calls, give speeches, not care about what people think of me. What do you say?

“Oh, that’s very expensive. Too pricey for you, for sure.”

“How much?”

“Well, first off, you must understand what we are selling. We offer only the appearance of things. So, you’ll still be troubled by uncertainty and anxiety, but nobody will recognize what you are feeling. We call the package fake it to make it confidence.

“What would the real thing cost?”

“Years of your time. You’d have to fail a lot. A lot. Over and over, until you succeed. Courage, too, which we can’t give you. The law doesn’t permit us to sell strength of character. Taking on new things would be required of you. Truth telling is necessary — not trying to fool people. Repressing fake smiles is one of the hardest tasks, along with looking into the eyes of those you talk to. So is recognizing that others are much more preoccupied with their own lives than they are with yours. Maybe the most awful thing of all is realizing you don’t matter in the big picture. People don’t want to think someday they’ll die, leaving ‘not a rack behind,’ as Bill Shakespeare used to remind me. Like I said, though, we don’t sell what you’re looking for.”

“I understand. But are you suggesting if I did all the things you enumerated, took risks, got shot down, perhaps found a cognitive-behavior therapist, fell and picked myself up, looked hard into the mirror, and recognized the shortness of life — if I did all those things, I’d eventually find real confidence — perfect confidence?”

Now, for the first time, the manager frowned. Indeed, he no longer resembled the man I thought he was, a stud-meister of complete self-possession. After another moment’s silence, he spoke.

“Oh, no. Gee. Perfect confidence, what a novel idea. I never considered the possibility. But, no, even after all the labor I mentioned, you can’t attain such a lofty state.”

“Why?”

“Simple. Nothing in life is perfect.”

The top photo is a shopping bag made from recycled materials by Trashy Bags, in Accra, Ghana and sourced from Wikimedia Commons. And, a tip of the hat to Rosaliene Bacchus, a much devoted protector of the environment: https://rosalienebacchus.wordpress.com/

 

 

On Receiving Recognition: Is Attention a Good Thing?

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If you’ve ever wanted attention, this post is for you. Receiving recognition as an adult is meaningless but important. A contradiction, you say? Perhaps not. The wish for the spotlight is like a dry sponge inside of us hungering for a drenching. There are more noble human qualities. Still, attention is intoxicating and addictive. Almost everyone wants acknowledgment, except the master meditators and the Stoics.

The desire for status leads us to do awful things. Other people are used as stepping-stones on the way to greater height.  Accolades have no real value, yet we suffer in their absence. In the latter sense only — the manner in which they capture us — resides their importance. Recognition and prestige are significant on a personal level, but are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Fame benefits one person and only one; and — the joke goes — lasts 15 minutes. Not much bang for the buck.

The philosophers tell us we are misled if we seek applause, potentially even corrupted by our desire. Better, they say, to be honorable, courageous, and kind than to be well-known. Here is what Marcus Aurelius wrote:

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.

I now care less about getting good notices than in my youth, but not to the point of total indifference. Should I ever reach full maturity, my ego will be effaced and applause won’t matter at all. Like when I’m 400 years old.

I raise the issue since I am newly honored by receiving the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. I will admit, I was pleased and amused. I know it was offered sincerely by the wonderful blogger Spacefreedomlove. I am tickled because it is one of the fun things bloggers do to entertain themselves, say thanks, increase their readership, and bring a smile. Over analysis of this writers’ chain letter? Perhaps. I am simply grateful for a small tip of the cap from someone I appreciate, as she does me, from our writings and commentary and an ability to make each other laugh and think. She is a peach.

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WordPress reminded me, a few days before, that my blog is six years old. Toilet trained, vaccinated, and ready to start first grade. Earlier in this “career” I received the Beautiful Blogger Award. 

Despite the doubtful evidence of the photo in the top right corner, I was once absolutely beautiful. Way back, I was known everywhere as a stud muffin, trailing crowds of admirers behind me. I had to fend off women with an electric cattle prod. Then I woke up.

Gorgeous or not, I’m sure one of my reasons for blogging is to get attention. Not the only reason, however. I began with the clear idea of leaving a piece of myself (or at least a few electronic footprints) for my children and potential grandchildren. I never had the talent or grandiosity to believe I would transform the world or deposit a permanent mark on the planet. Talent often fuels grandiosity, leading to a vain pursuit of a satisfying level of recognition. Vain because, like money, there are always people with more of it, leaving the seeker bummed out.

I’ve been modest in my aims, in part because I had an early awareness of my limitations, which helped me to accept some things in life. To paraphrase Arthur Miller, we all try to scratch our name on a block of ice during a sweltering mid-summer day. Unlike his Death of a  Salesman character, Willy Loman, however, I don’t care that the autograph is not inscribed in stone.

My grandiosity does extend, nonetheless, to the pleasure I get in giving an occasional speech. The neat thing about oratory is you receive immediate feedback. Even before the applause, you sense whether you quieted the crowd and won their focus. Laughter tells you about the quality of your humor. Tears report back if the heart has been touched.

Blog post feedback, however, says less and does so later. Even if you get lots of “likes” and comments, average “readers” are said to spend 96 seconds attending to a blog post. I’ve had sneezes that lasted longer. A discouraging statistic, for sure. Inner necessity drives me, but I am not indifferent to being read. I suspect I would not journal forever were the words a secret.

Back to the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. The conditions of the honor required me to post the picture of it up top, nominate a few bloggers to receive the same distinction, and answer the seven questions below. First to a couple of bloggers who inspire me:

Three Worlds One Vision. Rosaliene Bacchus is a fierce defender of the dispossessed and disadvantaged, not to mention our fragile planet. She has lived in three countries on two continents and experienced more than her measure of hardship. She will not make you laugh as a rule, but may motivate you to march in the name of something good.

The Empress and the Fool. I might be the only man who reads about this teacher’s journey through the medical and emotional trial of trying to produce a baby. Her writing is lovely and she is on her way to an offspring. No newborn has ever been more loved ahead of its vault into the daylight.

Now to the seven questions I must answer:

Who is your favorite public figure? This was a tough one. I don’t admire many public figures. That said, I will give you two.

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren. A super bright, bold, sincere woman who seems to say what she believes. Should she make herself a candidate for President, I will reconsider, since that would suggest she isn’t smart enough to refrain from putting her hand in the ultimate political meat grinder. Running for President pretty much guarantees your judgment is poor.
  • Jonathan Kimble “J. K.” Simmons, the big, bad, band guy in Whiplash. He can play any role, from comic to kind to cruel. He is getting his due, at last. However meaningless, it would be difficult for him (or any of us in the same spot) not to care.

What do I like most? After removing love from the picture, classical orchestral music. Brahms, Beethoven, Mahler, Mozart and many others are on this lover’s list.

Do you follow trends?  I had to look up the 2014 list of trends. Only numbers two, four, and 10 rang a bell. I was afraid to find out what #6 was. I guess that answers the question.

1. Bae
2. Benedict Cumberbatch
3. Turnt up
4. The booty
5. Yik Yak
6. Man buns
7. Kimye
8. Normcore
9. “Frozen” mania
10. Ice Bucket Challenge

What do you do when someone gets angry?
If I’m on my game, I wait. As I ponder, I’m trying to decide what part of the rageful message I can agree with, thereby getting on the other person’s metaphorical side of the table. Confrontation is out. I slow things down and make sure my emotions are in check. If none of this helps, it is best to suspend the discussion for another time or walk away.

What have you loved most?
Without question, my children and my wife, as unlike as those loves are. How remarkable that a thing named love takes such different forms as the love of a spouse and of a child.

Do you have causes?
The Zeolite Scholarship Fund, a college scholarship program I began with seven of my high school buddies in the year 2000. We are in the process of closing down. Everything has a beginning and an end.

What quality do you admire most.
I learn more from those who are honest, critical, and direct with me than those who are kind. Honesty — including honesty with oneself — takes courage and risks disapproval and the loss of recognition. Many self-interested souls get plaudits, but the honest whistle-blower gets forgotten if he is lucky, despised if he is not. Truth-telling integrity is a thing more important than the status I mentioned at the start. So let us finish where we began, although I hope the topic still resonates after you read this. The words are those of T.S. Elliot:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Where and When to Look at the Female Body: Some Guidance for Men from Women

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How should a man admire a woman with his gaze? When do you look, where do you look, how long do you look, at whom do you look? Should you look at all? I have done an unscientific survey by asking advice of several women. They ranged in age from the late 20s to the upper 60s.

The question: “What do you expect a man to do with his eyes when you wear revealing clothing?”

I received unanimous though not precise guidelines. Should your opinion differ, I’d be interested. Here goes:

1. You are expected to look. The gaze of a man is welcome. It affirms one’s attractiveness.

2. You are not supposed to stare. You are not supposed to drool. You are not supposed to exclaim, proclaim, yell, scream, holler or whistle. A personal disclosure: my father almost always was demonstrative as we watched the Miss America competition. This had a pronounced and deforming impact on my little psyche! As an especially curvaceous contestant sashayed across the stage in her swimsuit, dad would blurt out, “Holy Criminy, hung to the gills!” in a half-humorous hoot that never occurred at any other time. I gathered he wasn’t referring to fishing.

You don’t hear that reference to a woman’s bosom these days. Perhaps dad invented the comment, as he was an avid angler. On the street or in a crowd, however, I never saw my father even look at another woman. He was crazy about my mom.

3. In the company of a lady, no matter your relationship with her, you should not admire other women. Verboten is a twist of the neck or movement of the eyes unless required to avoid oncoming traffic. This rule applies whether you are with your mother, grandmother, significant other, aunt, cousin, sister, daughter, professor, boss, co-worker, senator, or any other female.

4. A psychologically mature woman dresses fashionably. She intends that which is revealed as an enticement, not a spectacle. She wants appreciation, not a proposition.

A few thoughts connected to the title question before I list more guidelines. I offer these considerations so you recognize with whom you are dealing. Think again about the early deformation of my personality as you read this!

In the home of my childhood, only occasional allusions were made to things suggestive of throbbing physical attraction.

Fifth grade brought my eyes in contact with a girl’s legs. Figuratively speaking. One girl in particular. “What is this about?” I asked myself. I found it illogical. Those female underpinnings no longer seemed a simple necessity designed to maintain locomotion and height. The newly acquired attention to a distaff body part was involuntary, not to say alarming. This was the first sign my body was taking possession of my brain. Adult women understand this masculine flaw, but as a kid I had no idea.

The point here is that men have an innate predilection to “look.” Women do it as well, if perhaps less obviously. Nonetheless, revealing display is done with the knowledge of men’s tendencies and how to manage them.

A young man’s attempt at sexual subtlety is undermined (the key focus here being “under”) by the involuntary arousal of a certain body part that makes his interest obvious. There are, however, alternative uses of the same anatomical attachment. An 18-year-old male probably could raise a tent if he lay on his back, hands behind his head, while occupied with salacious thoughts. Alternatively, he might substitute for the English Pointer, a dog breed used in bird hunting. British slang, in fact, refers to young women as birds. The hunt for a mate, the pointy thing … well, you get the idea.

None of this suggests leering is proper or excusable. The mating game, however, does need two players.

Back to guidance, particularly on a date:

5. Do not fondle your smartphone or find its ravishing screen irresistible. No self-respecting woman wishes to compete with inanimate objects.

6. Do gaze into your date’s eyes. This tells her you are paying attention to her speech and her person, not just her equipment. She knows you know there is more to see lower down, but the two of you have an unspoken agreement, at least at first, to pretend otherwise. Besides, the eyes tell you much, including whether life resides inside — a brain, a sparkle, a twinkle, a heart, a laugh, and someone you can love. She will tell as much about you — and in just the same way.

7. Another unspoken truth has to do with whether, when not in this woman’s presence, you spend any amount of time looking at other beauties. Of course you do! Your heart is beating, isn’t it? Never, however, should a wandering eye be admitted, lest you want one blackened. As the very old song says, “I Only Have Eyes For You.”

8. Time changes both form and physiognomy, but your mind’s eye will recall the youthful bloom of your lover. Be hungry in love, first to last. Once out of the public square and past the “first dance,” devour your lover with your eyes. All of her. Beauty is fleeting. She was made to be seen and remembered.

The photo is an untitled creative wallpaper design from http://www.zastavki.com/ The video segment of the 1934 film, Dames, is quite remarkable for the elaborately choreographed scene above, characteristic of the work of Busby Berkeley. The song, I Only Have Eyes for You, was written for this movie by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. The couple in love are Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler.

 

Don’t Pass Your “Use by” Date: The Optimal Calendar of Life

Expiration date

You reach for a product in the grocery. Say, orange juice. You read the label. “Best if used by  ______.” Fill in any imaginary future date you wish.

All of us are a bit like those products. We too have our “use by” dates. No point in trying out for the local football team at age 55. Your skills are past their official, time-stamped point of expiration.

Let’s look at a few others.

Here’s one you probably care about. A man’s hair is optimal at around age 20, for women 25. About 70% of males and 40% of females will suffer some hair loss. The good news here is a South Korean study suggesting such men are rated higher in social maturity than those without this problem. Or maybe it is just the glow from their balding pates that makes others think they have composure and sophistication.

Check out the guy in the upper right corner for an example of the glare and, perhaps, what social maturity is supposed to look like. I’m confident about the former, but suffer occasional doubts about the latter.

Grip strength peaks between 26 and 35 for men, remaining close to the peak through the early 40s. Women achieve optimal performance from 18 to 25, but also retain much of their power into their early 40s. In other words, folks, you can arm wrestle effectively into middle age.

The average man’s hair begins to gray around 30, five years later for women. For what it is worth, I remember finding white hairs when I was 12, so don’t take any of these numbers to heart. We are talking about people in general, not you in particular.

The best time to acquire a second language is arguable. Some say 11 to 13, unless you’d like perfect pronunciation, in which case you need a faster start.

Want to run a Marathon? Twenty-five to 35 seems to be the interval of best performance for those who make a long distance career. Only up for a mile? Then 31 or younger is likely to be the sweet spot. Aerobic capacity declines, as runners and trumpet players are aware.

If you hope for a life in ballet, the experts recommend study beginning in the 7 to 11 range. Injuries shorten careers. Most who reach the stage retire in their 30s.

A baseball player has been thought to peak around 27, although newer research suggests 29, with a gradual falling off in performance.

Bad news, men: the fastest and firmest erections are evolution’s gift to 18 year olds, who are either impressed or embarrassed, the latter when the expansion arrives spring-loaded, instantaneously, and evident with your trousers on in public. I’ve seen surveys saying a woman’s sexual prime is around 28, while others locate the years from 30 to 35 as the all-around ideal.  If, however, you ask females in their 50s or 60s when they had the best sex, one study identifies the average answer as 46. A woman’s comfort with her own body appears to be an important variable in sexual satisfaction. A mate’s proper attention is still another.

How about the fertility question? After 30, research points to a three to five percent annual decline in a female’s capacity.

The historical data on hearing problems is compromised by the increasing city background noise exposure and the unthinking action of too many who listen to loud music, “live” or by inserting tiny speakers in their ears.

Should you go to symphony concerts, you might see clear plastic shields on stage to minimize the auditory damage to the musicians themselves, especially those seated near brass and percussion instruments. A number of players wear ear plugs at peak volume moments. Twenty percent of all Americans report hearing loss, with some decline beginning at about 18. By age 65, one-third of Americans are afflicted.

A personal anecdote: When I was in fifth or sixth grade I was paired with a clever girl in a game of “spin the bottle.” She began our session alone by asking a question:

Gerry, did you know the most beautiful girl in the world is deaf?

No.

What did you say?

Back to the list. Google describes collagen as “the main structural protein found in animal connective tissue.” The gradual loss of this temporally diminishing substance produces facial wrinkles, reduced skin suppleness, and sagging (jowls). From the mid-twenties we lose about 1% to 1.7% of collagen per year.

Musical training (not specific instrumental instruction) is recommended to begin before age 9. Actual practice on an instrument, if you are to be a performing artist, should start between six and nine.

Famous neuropsychologist, Ralph Reitan, has said anything intellectually challenging is best done before 40. Of course, he was talking about the decline of higher order brain capability.

You can take all of this in several ways. Yes, life is short and some abilities are shorter still, at least if you intend to compete with the champions. We don’t all age in the same way and a few football players remain near the top of their game into their late 30s, despite the notoriously short careers of most of their counterparts.

Many people also defy the averages by learning what might be called “the tricks of the trade.” In other words, we become wise about life, relationships, and career skills. Many discover we can work around shortfalls with our remaining talents. Gratitude for the life we have makes an enormous difference. We generally think less about losses as time passes and happiness depends on what we are thinking about.

Medicine extends certain capacities, pun intended. Botox smooths things out. Creams to increase collagen are available.

I suppose the best advice is to “go for it,” whatever “it” might mean to you, when relative youth is on your side. Recall, though, symphony conductors don’t stop performing until they drop and are considered newbies in their 30s. A good many are terrific into their 80s.

If I’ve spurred you to act with urgency, do remember one thing: make haste slowly. In Aesop’s famous race the tortoise beat the hare.

The top image is the symbol for pharmaceutical product expiration date 7.2011. The author is Politikaner and it is sourced from Wikimedia Commons.