Ups and Downs

As retired persons, we often have to deal with the serious issues of life and death. This week I received some very inspiring news. My good friend Lee has not only returned home after several months in the hospital and numerous surgeries, he is now getting around and tending to his website. Without all the gory details, he fought hard to battle life threatening circumstances and is looking forward to resumption of his busy life. I could not be more inspired and value the example both he and his wife have set. This news was a big “up” for me.

On the flip side, when writing our book on retired life, my wife  Trisha and I suggested retired folks keep life simple. In all fairness, we had purchased income property prior to writing the book. Without boring you with the details of our experience, let me further recommend you keep your retired life simple by never, never, never, never, never, ever become a landlord. Can you make money on your investment? Yes, if you are smart about it. But the hassle is just too much when there are so many other ways to spend your precious time. For me, it’s a big “down.” 

Another “up” this week was the launch of the space shuttle Discovery. Trisha and I were able to watch the launch with my mother Marty. It was a beautiful Florida day and the launch was spectacular. It was our fifth launch, and mom’s second. While the launches are still a big deal in Florida, I get the impression from the lack of news coverage, most people are not all that interested. It’s a shame. I think every school child, and for that matter,  every adult should have the experience of viewing a live launch at least once. I once heard a television pundit proclaim a shuttle launch as mankind’s greatest scientific accomplishment. I agree, and gave it a big “up.”

While the news stations this week found little time to report on the space shuttle, they did find time for the Academy Awards and Charlie Sheen. When they passed out the gene for being interested in celebrities and award shows, I must have been absent. While I know I run the risk of offending some folks, even in my old age I still can’t figure out why anyone cares who “wins” one of these many made-up award shows. Years ago, I happened to personally know a couple who were actually honored with their children at the White House for being the “Parents of the Year.” Ironically, what the President, and most other people involved in the award did not know was –  these folks had never bothered to get married. True story. I’m also reminded of the L. A. disc jockey who each year would call up people named Heisman, Nobel, etc., and ask them to send him a signed “award.” And poor old Charlie Sheen. It’s truly like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Big “downs” for me.

Back to the upside of life, while I hadn’t had the opportunity to go fishing for some time, last week my friend John (aka Capt. Sky) took me out on his new fishing boat. It was a beautiful day and while we had no trouble hooking fish, getting them on board was another story. The good news is we did accomplish our task and it was fish for dinner. Many thanks to the good Captain for a great day out on the Florida Straits. A definite huge “up.”

Life is definitely a collection of ups and downs. When you reach retirement age, it becomes even more important to pursue as many “up” days and experiences as you can. Make tomorrow an “up” day.