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Dementia Preparation

February 10, 2015 2 Comments

let your light shine

let your light shine

My friend and neighbor asked me recently about my views on aging and dementia. She asked me if I would want to continue to live if I knew I would become demented like both of parents before me. I told her that not only would I want to live, but am actively taking steps to prepare for a care free and easy loss of memory. I am not even a tiny bit attached to most of the things that I know (or think I know).  I can easily do without many of the facts I have collected in life. After all, today we can ask the internet to file all of our important information, freeing us to do more creative work.  I embrace all the minutia that is now stored safely in the cloud, and the apps that give us access to it.  I don’t need all this in the hard drive of my computer, and I certainly have no use for major data storage in my precious brain’s memory.  My parents struggled with memory loss and confusion that made the end of life difficult for them. They had big control issues about being infallible and accurate long after they had the ability to understand what was happening around them.  I believe their problems were exacerbated by trying too hard to appear to be competent when it became impossible.

My neighbor says she plans to write a list of facts about herself and hide the list in her house. When she is unable to recognize the facts she said she will know she has lost her mind.  The irony in the plan is that the list itself would be lost as the first sign of trouble.  I have no such thoughts.  I think I will be able to adapt to memory loss because I have planned carefully to shift responsibility to reliable parties I already trust.  I have a professional accountant who advises me on tax issues and helps me navigate them intelligently.  Most of my investments are handled by my fiduciary who has a proven track record as well as a legal obligation to serve my financial best interests.  I have placed my assets in trust to simplify and secure the management of them.  We can’t foresee the future, but we can do our best to establish systems that will function well even when we may not be. We need to face the fact that our bodily health and mental skills are not eternal. We too will pass.  While I am still able I am investing in the only true wealth, my health.  My deposits into the health bank include:

  • mobility and flexibility- I keep my range of motion by using it daily for walking, gardening, water exercise, and weight lifting.
  • mental agility- I listen to poetry and have started creative writing for fun.
  • social satisfaction-I enjoy a wide range of social contacts, in my community, at my health club, and on the internet.
  • transportation- I live on the number one bus line, offering a straight shot to downtown or the U of A Poetry Center.  Seniors are given reduced rates on the bus lines. I can bike to my health club, and walk to the corner health food store. The recent addition of a Middle Eastern fast food restaurant on the corner is another walkable destination I enjoy.

Have you ever considered how you will stay secure if you loose some of your mental agility? Have you taken steps to make sure your own best interests are served if you can no longer make good decisions for yourself?  I believe that we can be happy and productive in new creative ways if we embrace rather than struggle against aging.  I fully expect to become a prolific poet, and I already don’t care who likes my poetry.  I think with the right attitude forgetting can be gloriously liberating.


March 29, 2013 3 Comments

Andrew Carnegie wrote an essay he called  The Gospel of Wealth.  This idea came to him after Carnegie had become the wealthiest man in the world.  As we check the biblical Gospel for Easter, we should check the reality gospel that is practiced in our nations and neighborhoods. The most disgraceful have been hogging the assets of society, and ultimately of the planet. Symbols of power and politics today are all about over consumption. It does not matter which one— fraud, health care scandals, or useless government busy work are the source of the waste. The point is that our wealth is being used to destroy the general good of the entire society. Our assets are spent to promote shameless partisan destruction of our best interests. We are going morally broke. In 1889 Carnegie wrote:

Thus is the problem of Rich and Poor to be solved. The laws of accumulation will be left free ; the laws of distribution free. Individualism will continue, but the millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor; intrusted for a season with a great part of the increased wealth of the community, but administering it for the community far better than it could or would have done for itself. The best minds will thus have reached a stage in the development of the race in which it is clearly seen that there is no mode of disposing of surplus wealth creditable to thoughtful and earnest men into whose hands it flows save by using it year by year for the general good. This day already dawns. But a little while, and although, without incurring the pity of their fellows, men may die sharers in great business enterprises from which their capital cannot be or has not been withdrawn, and is left chiefly at death for public uses, yet the man who dies leaving behind many millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away ” unwept, unhonored, and unsung,” no matter to what uses he leaves the dross which he cannot take with him. Of such as these the public verdict will then be : “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” ~Andrew Carnegie

Health of our Wealth

March 7, 2013 8 Comments

If you ask a group of Americans to raise their hands if they consider themselves to be middle class, almost all of them will raise them.  The economic sophistication of our citizens is not adequate to survive.   Lingering debt, choking all hopes of prosperity, is a driving force in most households in the United States, and yet concern is focused on government debt and misconduct. There are some fundamentals that are not at all understood, such as how money works and where it goes.  If we were better educated I wonder if we would have a different outcome. The rose colored glasses are much rosier than we previously believed.

Fortuna, Roman Goddess of Abundance

January 17, 2013 1 Comment

The Romans had a pantheon similar to the Greeks. Fortuna represents wealth, commercial success, and abundance of all kinds. She is intimate with the infinite source of wealth, and acts as a conduit, bringing it to life on earth. Lakshmi is busy doing the same thing for the Hindu pantheon. In America, unfortunately, the Puritans have directly linked wealth to purity of behavior (as described by them). This narrow view of abundance is a vicious cycle of a bummer drag. They arrived in Plymouth Colony and were greeted by sophisticated and generous souls. Since the hospitable tribes did not read the Bible the Puritan fathers decided it would be fine to totally rip them off for everything they had. Things have gone downhill from that point.

As a priestess of Fortuna, you are required to make friends with money. She is the power behind all propitious events. It is possible to procure her guidance through meditation. You can ask questions with your dominant hand doing the writing, then pass the pen to Fortuna in your non dominant hand and let her answer. The handwriting may be very bad, but let it go. You are the only one who will read and interpret it. If you really wonder about your fate, your fortune, your lot in life, ask. Ask deeply, and you will find the answer. Oracles did some gas inhaling at you will not need in this exercise, but the concept is the same. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will open. Same deal. Don’t allow some Puritan nerd from the past to rob you of your right to know. Be still, know. The truth will set you free….a whole lot freer than Salem during the witch trials, anyhow. Speak to Fortuna. She has something to tell you.

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