FYI

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I have always liked learning and the newspaper has been my preferred source of information. From my earliest days, my morning venture to get the newspaper
marked the beginning of a curious. sometimes useful fact finding day, particularly if baseball stats are considered useful. A good forty years of almost daily paper reading has passed and objectively speaking, it’s hard to say how much it has enhanced my life. Yes I do have a fairly decent sized database of  eopardy worthy information, not to mention troves of unfinished crossword puzzles. And yes I can make small talk with quite a few people from various walks of intellectual and professional life.
But recently I’ve sadly wondered if the newspaper still matters. Most people don’t read it and perhaps they are the wiser subgroup. In my case, since I don’t really follow sports that closely any more, does it really make a difference whether I read the paper?

Let’s take todays paper. A quick look at today’s headline articles of interest
include in the spirit of going back to school an increased variety of school offerings (a worthy story), the updated story about the police shooting aftermath in Ferguson, Mo. (a story that has become way overblown) and a few completely shocking, note the tongue in cheek reference, tales of corruption in state politics. Somewhere further into the news section I’m sure there are some good articles to read but my attention span inhibits my desire to scan..

I find all of these articles interesting. But I can’t help but question what is the enduriing value of being in the know. At the end of the day, if I am not going to affect the outcome, what is the point of following the stories? Am I reading just to pass the time? Is it simply food for thought? A habit that is hard to break? Aren’t I better off just immersing myself in my fields of interest instead of trying to cover so many bases?

My sense is that those who are out of the loop tend to carry a little less mental weight. No one is quizzing them on the completion date of the Port of Miami tunnel or how much we should intervene with the ISIS terrorists in Iraq.

I suppose in getting to the paper each morning, there is still the excitement of discovering the unknown.. That’s the fun part. But the bigger issue of what I do with the information lingers and I don’t really have a good retort
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Perhaps it is to just keep convincing myself that it matters and maybe get lucky in one day qualifying for Jeopardy. And thank God there are still cartoons, the  perfect fit for my dwindling reading level

 

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Really?

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I officially turned “old” on Tuesday. Now age is relative and I’m fairly sure that aging is somewhat more a case of perception than reality but I can’t escape the feeling of being “old”. Even when I’m denial, my back and loss of short term memory remind me.

There’s something about the 40’s that gets people thinking about their lives with more scrutiny. I sort of put it off (despite some heavy journaling) for the first part of  my 40’s. But now I don’t really seem to have much of a choice. Otherwise I will be fifty and still tempted to watch tennis,  eat doritos & inhale ice cream all day.

To inspire some maturation, I decided to make a few birthday resolutions. Aside from the obvious one of being perfect, there are others which I feel compelled to adopt.

The first is to be a little more rude. Not so much in the Larry David or high strung New Yorker way, but willing to violate a few social norms. Let me explain:

For as long as I can remember (aging alert) I have responded to almost every text and email as if I were being graded. I follow proper syntax, stress over the punctuation and aim to make it the digital snippet of the five paragraph essay. This takes an inordinate amount of time and thought. I also happen to respond to some messages which frankly I have no interest in. So now that I am more aware of the finite nature of time, I am going to be a little “rude” at times by responding more efficiently and/or not at all in certain unimportant cases.

This resolution should last about a week 🙂

Birthday resolution#2:

Pretend that the birthday hasn’t ended. The older I get, the more I need to pretend I’m special to make up for monotony and sometimes invisibility of the other days.

Resolution#3:  Accept the inevitability of sleep deprivation. Pretty much every successful person must compromise on sleep so even if I am not all that successful, at least it wont fall short because I took my sweet ass time in getting out of bed.

Resolution#4:  Pretend even more

Sometimes this means pretending I’m not at least half way through life and still push myself through exercise. And at times pretend that I am my age and do the things that normal, almost middle aged people do like paying bills in advance, doing yoga and getting better at golf

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Resolution#5: Get the hell out of my car

I always knew that I spent more time in my car than I wanted to. Not that I would mind being a cab driver but for whatever reason, I feel like I am, in the words of Chuck Berry,  always “driving alone in my automobile…..with no particular place to go”. This form of entrapment only seems to get worse with time and in a city where it’s almost impossible to use public transportation. Even at the expense of doing nothing, I’d rather not drive more.

Resolution# 6: Get my attention span back….. This resolution will also last about a week or two depending on how much I enjoy being distracted.

Resolution 7, ,ray and enjoy life because we are never guaranteed another birthday. unless of course we have very little to do and lots of bills to pay. Then we should live indefinitely.

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Resolution#8: Count the hours, minutes and seconds until our son is born in October.

 

This seems like a good laundry list. I had intended to write more but by the time I was on the site, I had forgotten them. In part, this must be connected to all the birthday partying and yoga I’m doing 🙂