Staying Interested in Life (Taking Stock)

What gets you going?

I ask myself this question often and I ask it in different ways. As I approach seventy-two I still wonder about life. What is the meaning of it all. I am not unique in this. Philosophers throughout the ages have wondered these things.

A cute little internet quiz site – QuizDoo – has told me that: You always have the need to know the answers to life’s most difficult questions. You have a great desire to learn about our existence. You have always been puzzled with what humanity is doing here and what the purpose is. You spend a lot of time trying to understand different people and cultures. When you meet new people, you like to get deep into their minds and find out what makes them tick. — I am an Enlightened Existentialist.

Interesting I thought. I do like to try to understand how things work – physical things. In that same vein I am interested in how people come to believe what they believe and what they base those beliefs on.

What keeps you interested in your surroundings?

When I was very young I became interested in the kinds of things that my brother and father were doing in the basement. They were both ham radio fans and spent much time discussing various uses for things like a 6V6 or a 12AX7. Mysterious conversations with which I was unable to participate. I was twelve or so.

These were the heady days of pioneering and experimenting with electronics. Those funny names (to me) were, of course, common to folks building their own radios and transmitters. Sputnik was orbiting the Earth. I often remark to people that I learned most of my engineering from my dad and later went to school to pick up more of the math and theory. (Dad was good at math too.) Throughout my life I have puttered with electronics and later computers and software. It is still an interest.

What gets you up every day?

I get up everyday with the sole purpose of seeing to Cheryl’s well-being. We have been dealing with Parkinson’s for more than a dozen years. Lately Cheryl’s symptoms have worsened. Her mobility is still pretty good although she struggles with balance. She has impaired cognitive function. She has impaired short term memory. Her memory is a larger issue because she becomes anxious about forgetting something which can affect her sleep which can affect other symptoms. It is a vicious circle.

My goal for any day is that she is healthy and content in her surroundings. The current pandemic pandemonium has limited the things we could do. Eventually all will be well but I fear that she has lost touch with her friends. That makes me anxious.

About three years ago she started a support group in our church. She had become aware of the fact that there were several parish members that had either Parkinson’s disease or something similar. She is able to keep up with this with a little help from the rest of us around her.

What are you interested in?

I have been lucky in life. Some would say blessed. I prefer lucky. I met the love of my life early in it. We became comfortable with each other and raised a family. My career as an engineer has always lead to new and interesting control designs for various types of specialized machinery. That alone meant that I had to learn and be familiar with sundry processes.

I have always been interested in how things were made and manufactured. Sadly I am very uninterested in the Kardashians. I am interested in computers and software and how that all works. The stock market interests me. One day I will strike it rich. I hope that happens before I die but I do not know why that would be important. Dead is dead. Its not a better death if you are financially rich. Search “camel + eye of needle + heaven” in Google to find out why it is not.

I have an interest also in medical developments with brain science as it relates to Parkinsonism and mental health. Sadly science knows very little about this complex organ. I have an interest in bicycling. I believe it keeps one healthy but more importantly it gets one outside.

Why do you pursue those things?

A life long interest in learning new things and new technologies has caused me to pursue various interests. Retirement has given me the opportunity and the time to do so.

Is it fulfilling?

Most assuredly so. Life is always fulfilling when one is able to share the journey.

Carpe Diem.

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