middle age

Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold by William Shakespeare | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see’st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west; Which by and by…

via Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold by William Shakespeare | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor — The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

So why ARE we so angry?

As anyone who knows me is well aware, I get confused very easily. So the other afternoon when I was using the drive-up ATM near my favorite grocery store, I somehow managed to make a wrong turn, thereby exiting the parking lot through an entrance lane. Before I could drive off, a woman in a […]

via Why Are We So Angry? — Muddling Through My Middle Age


A beautiful expression by another blogger, “Another Old Guy”, of what Mother’s Day can mean to us middle-aged people going through the normal, but challenging, transitions of this stage of life:

A tribute to my Mom, as she deals with the impending death of Dad.

Source: Mom

Galanthus and gall

This is a hilarious account of misplaced middle-aged rage, prompted by a scarcity of snowdrop tour tickets!


I have spent the last 5 years working in the health and social care sector, during which time I’ve met people living in the most challenging of circumstances, dealing with money worries, illness, disability, loneliness, addiction, depression and myriad other issues. Despite their situations I have been impressed with the resilience and optimism many of these families display and have met some amazing people who have taught me a great deal. Better still, I have never been harangued or threatened by any of them, which is in marked contrast to my time spent working for the National Trust, which you would expect to offer an altogether more civilised perspective on the world.

The reason this is on my mind is down to the time of year. As I drove to work the other morning my eye was drawn to the drifts of snowdrops blanketing the grounds as I left the estate. It was impossible…

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The Weekly Vent: “Too Poor to Retire and Too Young to Die”

A sobering article from the Los Angeles Times: Too Poor to Retire and Too Young to Die. My spouse and I have diligently worked and saved our whole married life, to provide for our own retirement and our kids’ educations. Our parents did the same, but had more of a safety net, such as company-funded retirement benefits. Those seem to have gone the way of the Dodo.

I don’t think our country has any real idea of the crisis that’s going to hit when that demographic phenomenon known as the Baby Boom hits its 70s, which starts this year, seventy years after the Baby Boom began in 1946. We’ve allowed a generation’s worth of unprecedented wealth creation to become concentrated in the hands of billionaires and corporations since 1980. We’ve allowed infrastructure and basic public services to crumble. And if we don’t get our act together and reclaim some of that undertaxed wealth through revised estate taxes for these mega-fortunes, we risk permanently entrenching this concentration of money and power.

The billionaires distract us by linking their situation to that of people like my family: middle-class people who worked and saved in the hope of being independent and comfortable, not obscenely rich, in our old age. Basically, they are asserting that if they get taxed, savers like us will also lose what we’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Baloney. There’s a huge difference between the size of their estates and ours. We need to stop getting distracted by the political gibberings of the likes of Donald Trump. While we react to his outrageous “campaign”, he is laughing all the way to the bank.

What I want you to know about losing your parent as an adult

I have been somewhat AWOL in recent weeks partly because I am in the process of losing my surviving parent. And I am sad. But this is a beautiful piece, so I’m sharing it.

Source: What I want you to know about losing your parent as an adult

I am exhausted… (A somewhat random post.)


Impromptu Promptlings


Or at least I was when I washed and hung shower curtains three weeks ago. How do I know? The bloomin’ things are backwards! The ruffle is on the inside, not the out. Just noticed it this morning. You know the sad thing? Either no one else here noticed, or they just didn’t give a hoot! (Or, and this is Fim whispering in my ear, they just didn’t want to embarrass you… But if THAT’S the case, Fim, why didn’t they fix the cotton pickin’ things? ❓ ) (These are exactly like mine, different color. But now that I see the green… hm…)

Well I didn’t drop what I was doing (folding towels) and fix them right then. So maybe I’m still pooped out enough to not give a hoot either! And I think that must be the case because I followed a reblog on Quantum Hermit this morning and…

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The Weekly Vent: Heckling, Hate and Halloween

The viral news of this week — leaving aside the serious issues of war and peace in the Middle East, ongoing genocide in Africa, incursions into international waters by China, etc. — was the reaction of undergraduates at Yale College to two emails sent to them by various faculty and administrators. The first, send by a group concerned with Intercultural Affairs, reminded students to avoid racially and ethnically offensive Halloween costumes.  The second, sent to students in one of the residential colleges by its Associate Master, criticized the first message and questioned whether it was appropriate for Yale to manage expression by its students or if it would be preferable for Yale students to monitor each other and — gasp! — have thoughtful, respectful conversations about their disagreements.

So far, just another tempest in an academic teapot. But when an advocacy group called FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) got hold of the story, and its president recorded and aired a video showing a confrontation between some students and the Master of Silliman College (who is married to the Associate Master), the story went viral. Lines were drawn in the sand and loud voices at both extremes of the political spectrum have been raised. Score one for FIRE! Free publicity!

Here is my take on it, in part. Continue reading

The Weekly Vent: Death Among the Middle-Aged

For those of you who may not read The New York Times, here’s a sobering piece of news: Death Rates Rising for Middle-Aged White Americans. Basically, so many white Americans with less than a college education are dying prematurely from things like suicide and substance abuse that they are causing a statistical anomaly. This came to researchers’ attention when they realized that “unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.” So they started digging into the details of that data. ” [P]oorly educated American whites … are dying at such a high rate that they are increasing the death rate for the entire group of middle-aged white Americans, Dr. Deaton and Dr. Case found.” Dr. Angus Deaton, by the way, is a 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Economics.

Furthermore, the impact of this sudden increase in death rates in a specific age group is so dramatic, “Dr. Deaton had but one parallel. ‘Only H.I.V./AIDS in contemporary times has done anything like this,’ he said.” Continue reading