|Illusional | Amy Cochrane | Flickr|
So do you know this question::…
what is the definition of insanity?
Have you ever heard the answer followed immediately thereafter?
Do you know the answer?
IT IS: The definition of insanity: doing things over and over again expecting different results.
To me, insanity has typically aligned with something else OR someone else.
I’ve used the term fairly often as a sales managing coaching her reps. I have been employed, up until now, in predominately male-dominated industries such as digital printing, document management, fleet management, office services, outsourcing, infrastructure project management. To name a few too many I’m sure. After all this time, until I placed fingers on a keyboard, alternating the right with a mouse, I discovered that the quote is attributed to Albert Einstein. Huh! I didn’t know that. I do know that I seem to gravitate towards his quotes, more than any other singular person. Followed closely by Mother Teresa:
Do you ever get to the level that you feel yourself physically tense up or completely let go and sob while you cry your eyes out? You’re exceptionally lucky if you haven’t, or insane being so unrealistic or void of any reaction to anything. Therein the definition resources sits “narcissism” nestled along with all the other deranged words like madness, lunacy and derangement.
|Illusion Art by Rob Gonsalves illusion art …|
Excuse me dictionary people. I did take exception to “dementia” being thrown in, like any innocent victim thrown in with the lions. I hardly think that a medical condition that surfaces with advanced aging can in any way say that the person is “insane”. Forgetful, lost touch with reality, where everyone becomes a stranger.
|Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.|
Risk & Prevention
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptomsassociated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:
People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.
Well that certainly throws curve balls at anyone over the age of 50, one can only imagine. I think back to when I was in my 20s, if asked: “what is your greatest fear?” I may have answered: fire or a tornadoe (living in the Province of southern Alberta, it isn’t something we often have to concern ourselves with, even though we have seen funnel clouds).
Once you hit your 50s you do a major inventory on your life. Not anything like the mild TO DOs by the time you hit your 30s. It is a massive awakening. A self-reflection and a dreaded comparison.
Whatever the predictors are saying. If they are saying that my generation (born in the 1960s) had a tougher life than my parents did. They would be right.
If you look at building a graph on life benchmarks, there would be a really steady climb for baby boomers and war babies on a ladder of steps.
However, if you take the typical 1960s baby, there would be no steady, even flowed climb. It would look more like something out of radical dips and arrows.
Nothing is predictable. Yet we uphold the belief that our world will return to sanity once again. There were so many things that one could take for granted at one time, that it seems so lucky when someone born in the era of optimism on the one hand destroyed by fear and pending possibility of war.
Then you sail through the innocence in comparison of the times going through upheaval and major changes, that made such large registration on our radar.
We somehow hung on to our innocence during the corruption of the early 70s and disruptions caused by war. In both scenarios, we were hardly old enough to typically have it in our sphere of influence yet we became intuitive to the moods of our elders, parents, teachers and any other authority figures we were polite, well mannered and respectful to.
About now, many of us into our 50s are wondering or writing or saying out loud: “stop the insanity”. Yet it continues to circle around us.
We tend to be dissatisfied because of the infrequency of peaceful surroundings, vibes, events in our lives if I were to hazard to guess. We seem to be more comfortable in chaos than in solitude or quietness.
We strive for mindfulness, as in being only concerned with the present moment … and this moment … and this moment. Failing miserably at avoiding the major pitfall of not looking at the future, never mind in the pit of continual worry about what tomorrow will bring.
A person can be warming their car up outside while they are putting the finishing touches on their thermos of dark roast french-pressed Italian coffee and the telephone rings. That isn’t really that unusual, just so different than when we were growing up.
People riding their 50s grew up at a time when there were minimal phones around. I almost giggle when I recall, how great my parents were at installing our one central phone in the kitchen with an extra long cord so that we could sneak around the corner to have a “private conversation”.
My father, like many fathers, had a big important job and came home to a hot dinner with his family, who were waiting by the set table for his arrival home so we could eat (the peanut butter and jam sandwich when we got home at 3 o’clock didn’t seem to ever tide us over in satisfaction). From that moment on, among dinner chatter with my 3 siblings and parents, the phone answering was always my dad.
My dad would almost grin in pleasure when there was no answer. He was happiest when he knew he had scared off any boys calling for one of us girls. If I wasn’t around and the phone was off its cradle, my sister Diana had a fondness for picking up the phone and taking the call as though it were me. Where was I? Waiting outside the door to the one bathroom in our house that six people shared for one of brothers to exit in a fume of normal bodily function that would seriously disarm and impair the next innocent victim of their own bladder. We didn’t have bathroom fans.
My dad would reign on the couch for the rest of the evening. If we were allowed to go out past dark, when we returned home we were required to give our father a kiss on the cheek before retiring to bed. He was able to swiftly take a whiff like a hound dog of our breath, on the ever-ready mode to pounce if we would (hardly) have been stupid enough to take a sip of alcohol on the way home or stumbling home from a party. I can never reason, nor did I ever ask him (that, I do regret) HOW WILD was he growing up? That time when he was growing up and young men were signing up to go to World War II. He would have been too young, yet as soon as he turned 18, he did sign up. I guess that was the influences he had.
We have to stop comparing our lives to our parents lives or how fortunate in some ways we seem to have had it than our own children do now.
It wasn’t a question of affording to go to university as much as when. There was no grand scheme of childhood education funds or anything much other than a good savings nest egg.
So why in our lives, in the age of 50 plus, are we striving so hard to have the same lives as our parents did when they were 50? Possibly because we don’t nor can have the assumption that we will take our education and apply that good ole home loyalty to your employer mentality we were brought up with, to only have that loyalty reciprocated void without any guarantee that we won’t have a job for 30 or 40 years and receive a gold watch at your retirement party.
It wasn’t unusual in the infancy of my career even to attend a retirement get together to say farewell to the work well and best wishes to the mellow years to follow. That seemed to be natural up until the end of the 90s it would seem. Not that there aren’t any. Its just that most of them are on movie sets and television shows.
So why do we long for that same peacefulness and steady flow that our parents enjoyed? They would certainly point out effectively that they, too, had many challenges during their living years.
It is time to stop the insanity and stand on our tippie toes and reach the farthest out to try to understand the tide we’re on, when it will slow down, or if we’ll ever make it to coasting.
This should be your statesman or woman years. You’ve had your ups and downs and earned your stripes by now. But we forget, that is not the sign of our times. We have to stop trying to reach out, comparing ourselves to others or to whom we thought we would be by now and we have to avoid worrying about tomorrow. Today and this minute is the only thing we can actively participate in and do anything about.
|Illusional | Amy Cochrane | Flickr|
The reasoning would be that we are the only ones who are truly in control of our destiny. If we fall into mental health issues, depression or are illusional that it will get different, a lottery win around the corner, is up to us.
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