Some mornings I just don’t have it in me … the words, the thoughts, the column.
That last piece makes me chuckle, as often times more than not I say to myself, “Self, who out there really cares about your two cents on this life that we’re living?”
Without fail I always seem to cross someone who shares that value they see in my random thoughts. Majority of times they are long time readers, community members whose paths I’ve crossed many a time during my tenure. Rarely are they younger than me and that’s no surprise. Just as my mom used to share with me, I’m now coming to learn; the young have it all figured out.
That also makes me chuckle.
Yet as I sit here typing, no clue where this will lead I can’t help but reflect and acknowledge that indeed my first half of this life is now behind me. Some might say I have less than that, but I’d beg to differ.
To live to a hundred was something I set my sights on just before having children. Late to the parenting game, I recognized my life path would need to be a bit different than most as I desired to do more than watch my children graduate from college or marry the love of their life.
I want to hold grand babies, see my children thrive in their chosen careers and live life as fully as they possibly can.
I also don’t want them to be in a hurry for any of these things as there is much life to live both pre-baby, as well as post.
Yes, I know it is very possible that they may not marry or opt to not have children. Just as I may not live to a hundred, but this is my dream so if you don’t mind (naysayers) I’m going to continue dreaming it for just a bit longer.
So many changes in this world, society and humanity since first sitting at this desk close to 20 years ago, I can’t help but wonder what life will look like in two more decades.
Heck, I don’t even need to sit at a desk any longer to do what I do. Case in point, as I type this it’s six in the morning on a rainy Tuesday. I’m perched in my living room, alongside my partner, a cup of coffee and a few dogs at my feet.
Isn’t life amazing?
I wonder if the younger generation sees that as much as us “older” people do. Their lives have been so different than the simple times when we grew up it’s almost impossible to compare. One thing however (I believe) regardless of change should remain the same. The simplicity of morals and respect are just as important today as ever.
I thought about this most recently as I attended an Oakdale Joint Unified School District board meeting. Listening to adults yell from their seats, openly chastise elected officials and talk as others were speaking. It was also fascinating to see how many of the number in attendance were more interested in their phones than the topics at hand.
Not to be misunderstood, this isn’t being penned as a defense of the board, there is however process in place for organized meetings and somehow in our society some have decided this doesn’t apply to them.
What struck me just as much was the fact that we were at a school board meeting and my assumption would be these are parents of students.
If the parent is yelling out during meetings what are they modeling for their students? Oh yes, I hear the people in the back now, it is important for our children to speak up for themselves and know their rights.
I could not agree more. It’s also important for children to learn that there are processes in place for a reason. To be taught that not everything will go their way and to approach others with respect and grace regardless of differences.
Somehow as a society we’ve lost a great bit of that. We’ve seen it unfolding for several years now, worsened in my opinion by the isolation of COVID-19. Keyboard warriors have now taken their on-line chat to a verbal stance and it’s not becoming.
You see there was once this thing called listening and replying, somehow we’ve forgotten that. When we’re in live conversation with another it’s not appropriate to interject while they’re still speaking. It’s different than typing a comment on a social media post or replying to a text e-mail as it’s sent.
Some prefer this way of communication and maybe that’s part of the problem, I’m honestly not sure.
What I do know for sure and simply landing the plane if you will, is that when I live to 100 I hope to be in a world of respecting elders, kindness and love, because the way things are headed - we’re in need of a earth shattering shift.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 209-847-3021.