Bouncing Back From Adversity


I do surf the web — I do not do so aimlessly.

I was impressed by an article published by AARP on things people should not do after 50.  Despite the fact that I absolutely abhor anyone telling me “laws” about what to do or not to do, I checked it out.

I decided most of them were so stupid they should never be done by anybody.

For instance, a Frenchman told me many years ago that nobody should ever drink champagne out of a woman’s slipper, mainly because it tastes rotten.

My guess is that it tastes something like butyric acid, the compound I would mostly blame for making feet smelly.

What bothered me more was that I had never heard of “parkour,” the first thing on the list.

As far as i can figure, it is a misspelling of the French, “parcours,” which means “making a path,” which people do in a way that reminds me of what military folks do in their obstacle courses; details are available on many sites and there are lots of videos.  I probably never could have done the steeplechase-like sport, but I know many over 50’s, most of them marijuana patients, who could.

But the author who came up with this list of “No-Nos” wrote Oprah’s first book club choice and sounds as if she was pretty well to do until an unscrupulous financial advisor took all her money.

As someone who has frequently reinvented herself for multiple career moves (and lays claim to the world’s most supportive husband) I have been to similar places, transcended, and risen again.

I found this woman’s counsel uncommonly pithy and honest and even helpful.  We are not wealthy in friends, so I don’t have to endure the interpersonal things she did.  I do recall from my own life and that of others, there is a tendency to regard those who have financial difficulties as stupid, which she obviously is not and which I am not.  It can happen to anybody.  Life is not transparent, so if you are any kind of a risk-taker, it can and will happen.

Her “whatever it takes” philosophy is necessary.  This best-selling writer has written even “warning labels” for a living.  I have certainly done the medical equivalent in terms of rotten temp psychiatric jobs.

She cites loss of revenue as ubiquitous in America over the past several years.  From what my patients tell me, such is truly the case.  It is not unusual for my assessment to include suggestions on nailing more revenues.

The same way I advise patients who have work stressors that “your work is not who you are but what you do,”  I advise those out of work that the status of being out of work is not who they are.

She says, “nothing will ever be the same,” and that is true.  Nothing will be taken for granted, and that may actually be a gift.

I like her quote from Betty Smith in the latter’s novel “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:”

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

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