THE ART OF AGING – PART XVI: Adult Friends. . . A Tough Find!

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Sculpture by Ju Ming

riendless in a crowded city? Feeling lonely in spite of the myriad of activities available in the bustle that surrounds you? Surprised at how lonely life is now that you’re ‘all growed up’, especially since your younger self had no problem making friends? Is it harder and harder to get together with the pals you do have and enjoy a really good time like you used to?

Many things get better as we age… but one thing that gets progressively worse is our ability to make new friends. *

Perhaps we thought that. . .

… Having spouses/children/colleagues would fill the friendship slot. Not always—the companion who works long hours six days a week, or who travels many months of the year, or whose vacation ‘away from it all’ includes slipping in time each morning to answer emails and respond to a phone call or two, or the partner who’s too tired at the end of a 75-hour workweek to want to do anything but watch TV and eat snacks…

… The pandemic didn’t help matters! Working from home meant/means no office mates to confab with over lunch about the number of files yet to be resolved, or to enjoy the bumpy ride home with from the oilfield in the boss’ old Cessna, or to bellyache to about how your little tyke kept you awake all night…

Yet, making friends is a problem that predates the Covid pandemic!

In 2012, Vancouver’s mayor launched a task force to combat loneliness in the city. . .

In 2017, the U.S. Surgeon General declared a loneliness epidemic. . .

In 2018, the U.K. appointed the world’s first Loneliness Minister. *

Marion Rose (1955-2011)
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THE ART OF AGING – Part XV: Sacrifice in a World of Me

We must examine the nature of actions, namely how we ought to do them; for these determine also the nature of the states of character that are produced.Aristotle

acrifice… not a word we hear often except perhaps at Remembrance Day, that unique time each year when the word pops up here and there as older adults try to impress upon the young how important it is to remember why we enjoy the freedoms we do in our land of democracy.

Even then, honouring our war heroes isn’t such a big deal anymore. Remembrance Day events are shorter each year, and those who sacrificed for our freedoms are now but legends kept alive by a loved one or two. A private ceremony, a plaque on the wall, a medal of valour… if we do want to really ‘go all out to remember’ those sacrificial war veterans, we watch a movie about some courageous feat.

Cambridge Dictionary defines sacrifice as giving up something that is valuable to you in order to help another person. Of course, the definition also includes to kill an animal or a person and offer them to a god or gods, a definition what we tend to think of more commonly when we hear or use the word ‘sacrifice’.

So, why is it that the word ‘sacrifice’ is seldom used today? Political correctness? Our need to avoid ugly thoughts such as killing a baby for a deity? Or better yet, our consumption of self to the point where we can’t imagine giving up something we value for the sake of another?

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Inspired to Learn? Not!

hatting with a college instructor recently, it was disappointing to hear that the Covid pandemic has dramatically disrupted student learning, and apparently the subsequent outcome of this disruption is problematic! Just how is/was student learning disrupted?

Schools were closed due to public safety laws, leaving students subjected to online classes given by teachers mostly unfamiliar with that style of scholastic delivery. The problem? Students didn’t like the new mode of learning. The result?

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THE ART OF AGING – Part XIV: Life balance. . . You’re kidding, right?

ife Balance… we’ve all heard how we’re supposed to balance our daily involvements so they don’t go out of whack, and that maintaining balance in all we do creates harmony in our being, and harmony in our being brings good health, happiness…


I’ve lived long enough now to know from experience, both personal and otherwise, that experiencing life balance from one day to the next is almost impossible. If it isn’t the kids home from school with chicken pox which means your mounting files at work are abandoned for a few days, or the aging parent falling and thus requiring hip surgery, or the internet failing which brings an abrupt halt to your online business, or relatives invading your life unexpectedly, or the sudden argument with your loved one… daily life balance is skewed indeed.

Who hasn’t been subjected to seminars by well-meaning facilitators who show diagrams of how our daily lives are supposed to be managed! What we learn in those seminars is that typically, work/job/career is the Number 1 culprit for offsetting life balance!

Before moving forward with this topic, if you’re wondering whether or not this discussion applies to you, check out 11 Signs You Lack Work-Life Balance. If you’re a millennial, apparently there are only 9 Signs You Have No Work-Life Balance.

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uppies are cute, energetic, entertaining, troublesome, and EXPENSIVE! 

“Expensive?” you say. “We got our puppy for free from a friend.”

Whether pup was free or $5,000, pups cost hard earned cash! And, they keep on costing!


(Song to a film clip from Lady and the Tramp)

$3,724 is what Canadian pet owners paid on average for doggy care in 2021. Highest expenses included food, pet insurance, and dental care. Source  Dog owners can easily expect to pay $1,500 to $9,900 per year.

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