The Present Moment Does Not Linger

Summertime, and the living is easy.

Unless you live and work at the beach. Then it’s a busy and sometimes stressful time. Work, sleep, eat, repeat.

If you’re a farmer, you might say, “Make hay while the sun shines.”

If you’re a baseball player, you might say, “It’s a long season, and you’ve got to trust it.”

I suppose we all might say, along with ‘Crash’ Davis, the perennial minor league slugger in “Bull Durham:”

“Some days you win, some days you lose, and some days it  rains.”

Or, as the part-owner of a boardwalk 5-and-10-cent store told me more than 30 years ago: “You can make money in Ocean City, if you know what you’re doing.” Not that I paid much attention to making money, then or now.

These photos of a lifeguard stand on the beach catch the sunlight fading into dusk, along with the cloud shapes in the sky, which never remain the same for more than a minute. Let the record show that the photos were shot four days after the Solstice, in the Sixth Month of the Twelfth Year in the First Century of the Third Millennium, AD. Not that it matters.

In June of 2012, I began my 65th year, Continue reading

Life And Blogging: So Much To Do

Let me humbly acknowledge: I have been shamefully neglecting “Life After 60,” the blog. This is because I’m too busy LIVING life after 60, the life.

Here are a few of the things I’ve been busy with:

  • Covering a three-day Nor’easter, worst storm in my neighborhood since 1998, for my other blog.
  • Applying for Unemployment Compensation. (Application accepted)
  • Applying for at least two jobs per week, as required by Unemployment Comp.
  • Attending classes to learn how to be a volunteer adult literacy tutor.
  • Doing homework for above classes. (Found out I’ve forgotten how to study with any discipline.)
  • Rearranging furniture in my efficiency apartment to make better use of the small space. (I’m not finished.)
  • Laundry, at least once every two weeks. Cleaning the bathroom, once every two weeks, whether it needs it or not. Running the dishwasher once every two days.
  • Getting a colonoscopy once every decade, whether I need it or not. (My decade ran out last year. I’m thinking about making an appointment, which is the crucial first step.)
  • I have not yet motivated myself to make the Recession Vegetable Soup, but I have assembled the ingredients and the necessary cookware.
  • Treating my Seasonal Affective Disorder by taking naps. (I don’t know if this is a medically approved course of treatment, but it has the advantage of being free, whether you have health insurance or not.
  • I’m still paying my monthly COBRA bill to keep the good health insurance I’ve got for a few more months. And then there’s the rent, the credit cards, food, gas . . .

Most recently, visited the Christmas Bazaar at my church, near the end of the second day of the event. They had marked everything down to half price. I bought two ancient commemorative tin wall hangings, one with a picture of JFK, the other with a picture of Jackie. They still have the original Hecht Co. price tags. Hecht Co. sold the plates for $1 each in 1977. I bought the pair for $1 at the church bazaar. What do you suppose they would fetch on eBay? (They’re not for sale at any price.)

Jack and Jackie and Hecht Co. have all passed on to their rewards. I am delighted to be living life, with my memory and my health still in good working order.

— John Hayden

America’s Past, America’s Future

Authentic Americana:  There used to be a drive-in movie theater right here. The rusted roadside sign remains. AUTHENTIC AMERICANA:  There used to be a drive-in movie theater right here. People sat in their cars, or in lawn chairs on the back of pickup trucks, and enjoyed movies under the stars.  The rusted roadside sign is a reminder of a simpler past.

By definition, the “past” is over, and the “future” is waiting to be born. The place where we live is the present moment. We breathe, work, build, learn, change, love and forgive, right now, in this present moment.

As my years fly by, I am coming more to value the present moment. So much of my life was future-oriented, striving to get an education, a job, a mate. Waiting for the right time. Chasing success. Postponing gratification. I often missed the opportunity to live and love in the moment, to enjoy life in the moment, and those moments are gone.

Both success and failure are illusions, I suppose. These days I try to live simply and frugally in the present moment. And what of our larger society?

FUTURE ON HOLD: There's a bright new sign in front of the wreckage of the old drive-in movie sign. The 14 acres where folks once enjoyed movies outdoors on summer evenings, that real estate is still here.

FUTURE ON HOLD: There's a bright new sign in front of the wreckage of the old drive-in movie sign. And the 14 acres where folks enjoyed movies outdoors on summer evenings -- that real estate is idle.

America, and the American economy, also live in the present moment. But at present our industrial base is hollowed out by years of deindustrialization. Too many of America’s leaders put their faith in finance, not factories. Factories mean work; finance means fast money.

The fate of the old drive-in movie theater is instructive. Someone could still make a living showing outdoor movies, is what I think. But the land is  too valuable for that simple use. More money could be made by a more complicated use. In the future.

The irony is that under prevailing economic conditions, no investor can risk buying the land and building something grander.

As a result, in the present moment, the value of the 14 acres is being wasted.