Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wellness, Travel, and Accounts Unknown

Two things struck me today as I read the morning papers.  

1.  People are hungry for "mindfulness" apps.

2.  The vaccinated over 65 crowd is now traveling.  

One of these things effects me more than the other.  I'm readier than ever to get out of my own zip code.  Seems, however, that I will be traveling with a certain crowd.  
“There’s a lot of pent-up desire among seniors, and a sense of life running out,” said Jeff Galak, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “There’s a theory called mortality salience: When your own mortality is brought to mind, behaviors change. We’re going to see upgrades to better cabins on cruise ships, and booking of better hotels.”

Yes, I have become aware of my own mortality, and I can tell you, it sucks.  I preferred the youthful worries about getting old and dying when you abstractly knew it would happen and pretended you knew what it meant in story and song.  But a first year of retirement spent in lockdown gets you thinking about things like the big hourglass of time.  I keep thinking of the one set for Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz."  

 Which brings me to Mindfulness.  I had friends at the factory who were student/teachers of the art.  They used to do demonstrations at work seminars.  I was always dismissive.  I mean, I'd been through this once already as a hippie.  This seemed to me to be a capitalistic redo.  I told them that masturbation provided the same benefit as sitting in a chair trying to think of nothing.  Studies showed, I said, that kids who masturbated before an exam did markedly better.  Their responses were as expected.  

Corporate wellness programs emerged in the 1950s to help workers cope with alcoholism and mental-health issues and encourage them to lead more healthful lives — in order to increase productivity and cut back on the ballooning costs of medical plans and the number of days people took off from work.

The factory was all for Wellness as long as it didn't involve masturbation.  

Don't get me wrong.  I am not against Mindfulness or masturbation, and as a matter of fact, I meditate as often as I can.  We will be appropriately delicate in speaking of the other.   We won't.  But as good as either of them are, there is nothing like the romantic possibilities of travel to cheer you up and make you better.  

Still, the Ministry of Information is warning us that there are more mutants out there than previously thought, and their numbers are growing.  Now is not the time to let down our guard.  Now is not the time to travel.  

I'm still waiting to see my new phrase in the N.Y. Times--Covid Lockdown Syndrome.  Will I ever be secure enough to step outside my zip code, or will I need to download the app?  

I know what all my friends will recommend.  

I am being dramatic, of course, because I am putting together a narrative that needs some conflict if there is to be any artistic tension.  Rising action and all of that.  

What I am really looking forward to is for my stars to realign.  I mean, the astrologer told me that things will start to look up as the year goes along.  And maybe this has already begun.  First, the plumber, then. . . and dare I confess this?  Yesterday I found an unknown source of wealth.  In pulling together my tax information, I found an account that I did not know existed.  You are aghast?  Not nearly as much as I.  In truth, it caused me nightmares.  I do not like money, do not like to think about it, make it, lose it. . . . but I am good at losing it.  I truly am.  I need an adult around to look after things.  I have accounts that I do not know how to access, but this is the first one about which I was completely unaware.  How I bumble through life is a real mystery.  

I should note, however, that it is a most sincerely wonderful thing that I do not know how to access my accounts.  Put that one on the left hand side of the ledger.  

Wait.  Is that side for benefits or deficits?  Pros or cons?  

Whatever.  You know what I mean.  

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