Posted in Education, Relationships, Writing

Who Can Afford a Mid-Life Crisis?

Citizens registered as an Independent, Democra...
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As an entrepreneurial minded person, I have always enjoyed observing different environments and assessing what could be done to make things better, more efficient, more pleasurable and rewarding.  So much of my adult life has been a path of least resistance trek…settling some might say.  I have decided to finally fulfill my motto for this year, “Passion with Purpose!”  But man, what a time in life to be engaging in such tumultuous choices!  Nevertheless, if you want different results, you have to make different choices….so, next month I finally begin to finish what I started YEARS ago!  That’s right, when I should be having a mid-life crisis–I’m sharpening pencils, buying new lined notebooks, making sure my laptop and printer are ready to support me in the role of student!  I’m going to finish my bachelors degree in Business Analysis and Management through an accelerated program at Bellevue University!

We have twin daughters who will be needing braces soon, will start driving and going to college; a house that we’re pulling off the market to rent out until the housing outlook improves; and aging in-laws with health issues.  Our elected officials seem bent on allowing the economy to tank while arguing the correctness of standing proudly on party principle.  I don’t even bother to turn on the news anymore.  Election campaigns are spinning up and nobody has anything nice to say about anyone else.  My party is more correct than your party–this party holds the monopoly on perfection–please, we do not allow our children to behave that way!  Is responsibility and stewardship forgotten after being appointed to Congress or the Senate?  That may seem a rather harsh or unfair question, but from the “common folks” perspective, seriously, how are we supposed to believe that common sense is being applied?

I do not for one minute think that only Republicans are capable of appropriate size and responsible stewardship of the government, nor do I believe that Democrats are the only people who care about social programs or topics that fall into the pro-choice bucket.   The Tea Party (a loosely leaderless group) is also not the only sect of people who would like to distance themselves from the Republicans and Democrats.  Its hard not to feel lost and disenfranchised by these cliques that truly no longer represent me or my views/ideals.

I’m reading a book titled “Not Quite Adults”  by Richard Settersten, Ph.D., and Barbara E. Ray.  My wife has already read it and recommended it to me.  Its an eye-opening look at the harsh reality of why our youth of today and the country are in the situation you see when you look around.  How many children have moved back in with mom and dad because they can’t afford to buy into the American Dream?  How many retired couples are having to return to work because their nest eggs have dwindled to nothing since the recession of 2008?  In order to get ahead, many go into debt to achieve the higher level degrees required to earn the income necessary to support all their obligations and subsidize their children’s successful launch into adulthood.

Where does it end?  Where did we go wrong?  But more importantly, how do we stop the insanity and get on a path to health?  The other book I’m reading right now is “Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain” by Ryan Blair with Don Yaeger.  A very interesting story about a young kid from a troubled childhood who found himself in juvenile detention centers, but with the help of a few good mentors, managed to turn his life around and rise to the top.  His book challenges you to be persistently looking for ways to turn unfortunate circumstances into opportunities for success.

As for me, I’m starting to consciously plan for a new direction in life–one with more options…starting with going back to school!  I’m also starting to think that there’s got to be a better way for preparing for retirement/future than Wall Street.  Something is majorly wrong when bad news on the other side of the world can cause your stock value in an American company to plummet!  Is it just me?  Am I alone in feeling discombobulated?

 

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Posted in Relationships, SocialMedia, Uncategorized, Writing

Love of Clubs ~ The Social Cure

Colored Bullseye
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Power to the people!  A review of Wikipedia and Meriam-Webster on  the definition of a “club” boils down to this:  An association of people with common interests and purpose.  Members generally make some form of commitment to the group in the way of participation at meetings and also contribute their time, ideas and resources.

Clubs are basically a womb for people with similar passions to give life to activities, products, and ideas.  Being a member of a club provides affirmation that you are a writer, a fisherman, a reader, a farmer, a skater or gymnast, a ham radio operator, a hot air balloonist…the list goes on!

While driving down the road today I realized that there are few clubs/groups where members come together with the intention of becoming more depressed, mad, frustrated, unhappy or despised.  What a revelation! Granted, after thinking about it a while, its obvious, but maybe so obvious that we may not realize the significance of this fact.  The protests that are sweeping through dictatorships across the Middle East are an example, just as a members of a book club, Christmas in April, Girl Scouts, Knitting & Quilting Guilds are examples of people uniting for a purpose and affirmation of their desires, hopes, and beliefs to satisfy their need to belong and be identified as “one of them.”

With all the positivity generated by those within clubs, perhaps some of the answers to our social failures and political ambitions are to be found in increased recruitment or the creation of more clubs? Is it possible to influence and reinvigorate an economy, a political party, improve environmental conditions, revamp a social benefits program or an education system through the activities and participation in a club?  My hunch is yes, people united in purpose can change the world.  A quick review of history and current events proves  it!

The key to transformation by your group or club is transparency, social exposure of the charter or intent of your group, followed by active recruitment and participation by all members.  Social media is one of the fastest ways to promote your club.  I found a very interesting link to Social Media Clubs with a full index (by city) for the United States as well as other countries.  For all who are searching for a place to start or regain momentum with a hobby or passion, I say jump on the bandwagon and find a group or club near you.  We only live once, and time waits for nobody!

Cheers!