Monthly Archives: September 2016

Baby Boomers; the Good Life and it’s Excesses — by fred peatross




America has some serious long-term fiscal problems. Problems that were mostly created by my generation. It certainly doesn’t make me feel good to step outside of my life circle and attempt to see what my generation has created for the next generation

We boomers are healthy and living way past average life expectancy

We’ve got a defined benefit pension plan from a large company or the government that was created years ago when people didn’t understand how horribly things can be when these plans can go wrong (trouble meeting liabilities, yada, yada), but heck, we don’t care as long as we get our check. And then there’s that social security check. We once hated the government. We smoked pot and protested against Vietnam and President Nixon. That was a long, long time ago

Life has been good for me. I’m a baby boomer. And so are you if you were born between 1946 and the early 1960’s

  • We had Woodstock and the Stones in the ’60s, discos and coke in the ’70s
  • Wall Street in the ’80s
  • Bill Clinton in the ’90s
  • And now we give you two of our oldest boomers–Hillary and The Donald. Enjoy
We’re A Narcissistic Bunch

And now many of us are retired living in Arizona and Florida on the backs of our stressed-out kids whose own children stay at home with them into their 20s because they have no jobs. Tom Brokaw once wrote a book about the greatest generation, those brave people who survived the depression and fought in World War II. Unfortunately that great generation spawned a generation of narcissists: the baby boomers

Boomers don’t like to talk about fiscal responsibility or living within their means. We like our credit cards and government secured mortgages on overvalued properties. We enjoy the malls we built and the cars and our big-ass homes. Heck as long as someone’s willing to lend us the money to buy this stuff we don’t seem to care much about how it will be paid off. We still represent an enormous voting block and we have no intention of have our lifestyle threatened. This is the real reason Washington can’t create a long-term deficit reduction plan. We boomers love our safety nets

One of the major reasons our national debt is so high is because 40% of our government’s spending goes to some type of insurance: social insurance, retirement, health benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These systems are bankrupt. But they’re needed to pay for us boomers’ healthcare and pension plans. People that were born after 1965 are working hard to make sure that the boomer generation gets their retirement and disability paid for by the government. But it’s still not enough. So our government has to borrow and print money. And our debts balloon. Who will pay these debts? Ah, who cares says the boomers. Not my problem

The Good News

The good news is that we’re quickly getting older. Thousands of boomers are retiring every day. The generation behind us would probably like to ship us all off to an island. From my perspective, I’m glad they can’t. But I’m hoping that the next generation of leaders will not make the same mistakes we did. Maybe they’ll fix the problems we boomers created

So hold on. Be patient. You’ll soon be able to bid farewell to my generation; they call us the baby boomers

The Messy in Relationships

messy-relationships-300x264When I was a manager I use to think the last person I hired was the best person I ever hired. Maybe you think that new neighbor is the best neighbor ever. Or that new boyfriend is the best find ever. All of those examples may be true – but let’s face it. Relationships are messy. But understanding the process of a relationship helped me tremendously

  • The honeymoon stage is the one we begin with. At this point we usually have an unrealistic view of the relationship. And the excitement of finding someone who meets a need tends to temporarily blind us to their negative traits
  • Specific irritation is the stage where we begin to discover the things we don’t like. Here we develop a memory bank of these negative traits
  • General discomfort should cause us to deal with the specific irritations that have piled up in our memory bank

Most often if a relationship is going to succeed it happens before the next stage

  • Try harder is a stage of development where we raise our energy level to make a success of the relationship
  • Exhaustion often leads to problems in a relationship because we have grown tired at this point. At this point we often give up

How Do You Feel About Yourself Today?

Do you want to feel good about yourself? So do I. But it’s hard work

We have to take care of ourselves. And one of the ways we do that is by talking things over with ourselves

Feel Good About YouI have to watch my self-talk because I can be demanding of myself.  But I’m slowly learning to feel good about myself by listening to the messages my life is sending me. It’s not an easy transition to take those messages and find the positive in them. But it’s the pathway to better understand what it takes to feel good about being me

Your life is constantly trying to get your attention. The key is listening to the signals

Feeling Loved

Do you feel loved?

Who loves you?

Who do you love?

We need to know others love us. A human being who does not feel loved is a wounded human being

More than anything else, loving and being loved makes us feel worthy

Feeling Understood

Do you feel like there is anyone who understands you? Being understood is a transforming experience. I saw a picture yesterday that showed two tiny human figures separated by a long flight of stairs. Meet someone halfway. Communication is the beginning of understanding

Feeling Good About Yourself?

It depends on the picture you take

The simplest camera in the world — your imagination. There’s not even one button to push. Imagination is existence itself.

You behave according to your self-image. And your self-image is based on the picture your imagination has been taking of you

Aging with Hillary Clinton and The Donald

I’m in the same age bracket as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Mrs Clinton’s bobbling collapse reminds me again that I’m at the age where stuff can happen. I often push that thought off to the side because I’m in good health and in good shape. And unlike Trump & Clinton I don’t carry a lot of extra weight (that can make a difference)

hillary_donald_caricaturesI can tell that my energy level is less than what it use to be. I never felt the difference in my work years. But I can now

I worked for over 3 decades and I have no desire to return to the work force. None. Zero. I have been asked more than once if I would want to do volunteer work but I turn that down every time because I don’t want to be chained to a start time and quit time. Which brings me to a question

With health issues at 68 years old and a campaign that is physically exhausting, no matter one’s age, why would Hillary Clinton want to pursue the rigors of a job that could jeopardize her health even further? Is she so desperate for control and power that she cannot give up the pursuit? What makes her push her body when she could step away from public life and live her final years with family, in peace,comfort and prosperity?

Maybe Hillary Clinton is analogous to a meth head. The difference being in her elixir of choice — power

I hear power can make you drunk

Respect, Protest and the NFL

American FlagWhen you have a knowledge of history and an experiential understanding of what was required of the generations that went before us it instills an understanding and respect for the sacrifices made to protect this country’s freedom

Us stupid old people have dads who fought and died for this country. We have beliefs & convictions dissimilar to yours but just as important to us as yours are to you (speaking to the young NFL players & those of the millienal generation). We also have feelings like you

The National Anthem is a treasure to me; it often brings tears to my eyes

I think where we differ is in our understanding of protest and respect. I honor my father and the sacrifices he made for this country each time the Anthem is sung; no matter what I’m pissed about. Sorry I’m so old fashion

I really wish you would find other ways to protest. But hey, I’ll accept your right to sit. So sit if u want

I hope you respect my decision (and right), and the 1000s of other fans, when we quit watching. It’s coming you know

I love college football

Bye bye

My Love of Photography

I was 18 years old when I bought my first camera. I remember looking through a catalog, page after page, of cool-looking cameras decorated with buttons and knobs. I have to admit, it wasn’t photography I was thinking about as much as it was this cool looking object I wanted to own


Photo by Emily Lucarz

Since then I have owned dozens of cameras. I lived through and experienced the shift from analog to digital. Even with this dramatic change the important concepts of photography have remained the same

My eyes have always been opened but with a camera it felt like I was truly seeing for the first time. Photographic gifts were out there, everywhere, in unlimited supply and free for the taking

I had stumbled upon something I’ve never grown tired of. And it helped a shy kid from West Virginia to communicate and share his personal vision with the world

on Being Right

on Being Right Hang out on Facebook for a few minutes and it becomes obvious that (almost) everyone has an opinion and they’re all right even though there can be dramatically different perspectives

Yea, I’ve been guilty too. That’s why I write this

I’m going to attempt to gracefully sidestepping the dichotomy of right/wrong, and the zero sum game that goes with it. Rather, I’m going to ask…

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” or stated another way. “Do you want to be right or do you want to be in a good relationship?”

The next time you’re so sure about your ideas, ideology or theology ask yourself —-

  • Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?
  • Which is more important?
  • Which is healthier?
  • Which brings you closer to those you love and care about?
  • Which moves you toward the person you are meant to be—your true self?

Maybe by looking at the two options through this lens (on being right or being in a good relationship) can make the choice very simple

Tuesday Sadness

SadnessToday is a sad day. I’m thankful today will not last forever. And I’m thankful that the difficult days don’t define me

I don’t have to have it all together all the time. Or even some of the time

I will live honestly with myself and give others the space to do the same

I will not fake it to make it today

I’m letting go of what I think life should be like. Instead, I will accept life as it is

Old White Men

Old White MenWhy do I feel a little dirty for being a white man? Heck, sometimes I feel like I’m a punching bag  

In the past it was women and minorities who bore the negative. But today, it seems the one group who it’s socially acceptable to stereotype and criticize en masse is white men

If I swapped out “white men” and replaced it with the name of pretty much any minority group it would be politically incorrect, at best. But it’s okay to talk about me – an ‘old white man’ this way?

Funny how white men are prefaced these days with ‘old’ white men. I guess that’s because there are so many of us. But you know what? A lot of old white men have done some really great things! Ben Franklin was an old white man. Bill Clinton is an old white man. A lot of my friends are old white men

In a vacuum, being a white male shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. And yet I cannot help but feel ashamed when I talk with my liberal friends. And if you believe all the liberal writers we “white male” are little more than a badge of shame, I guess something I should feel bad about

But no one should be ashamed of their color, race, or ethnic heritage, but at the same time, it’s not something to be proud of either. You didn’t choose to be born white, black, Hispanic, Lithuanian, Iranian, or whatever. It reflects no moral credit on you, nor moral discredit

No one should have to feel this way about who they are. Not blacks, not Hispanics, not even historically privileged white males