I decided just to let my mind off the leash to ramble wherever it wishes this afternoon …
Until today, we did not live on lakefront property …It has rained almost constantly since Friday night, and this is the result. This used to just be grass, but now I’m wishing I hadn’t given away my fishing rod ‘n reel several years ago! For a time, the flowers were enjoying the rain, but now I hear their wee voices saying, “Enough already!!!” Anybody have a small boat we can borrow, just in case?
I remember as a small child overhearing somebody say to my mother, “We lost our mom today”, and I remember wondering why they weren’t out looking for her if she was lost. Why is it that some people find it so hard to say, “he died”? It isn’t a difficult word … four letters, one syllable … died. But instead people say someone “passed” … huh? No, they didn’t pass … they died. Or worse yet, is when they say the person “went home”. No! She died. Period. Call a spade a spade, because finding cutesy little ways of saying ‘he died’ isn’t going to bring him back to life, and it’s confusing as hell to children and those adults like myself who take words quite literally.
Having recently hit the big 6-8, a few friends have told me that 68 is “the new 40”, and one even told me that 80 is the new 40. I don’t believe them, of course, for I know what being 68 feels like, and I can still remember what being 40 felt like … and believe me, 68 ain’t no 40. But it made me start thinking … what is the average life expectancy in the U.S. now, and how does it compare to other nations? It’s plenty old … 78 … but it doesn’t rank in the top ten, and doesn’t even make the top 50! Surprised?
The U.S. ranks 53rd in the list of life expectancies, at 78.7 years, falling behind the Nordic countries (no surprise there) and almost every country in Europe and the UK. We also rank lower than much of Asia, such as Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea. We even have a lower life expectancy than Puerto Rico. Why? According to the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ), the answer is summed up in one word: despair.
According to the report …
“In 1960, Americans had the highest life expectancy, 2.4 years higher than the average for countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). But the US started losing ground in the 1980s. US life expectancy fell below the OECD average in 1998, plateaued in 2012, and is now 1.5 years lower than the OECD average.
We are seeing an alarming increase in deaths from substance abuse and despair.”
If the substance abuse and despair were bad before, can you imagine what they will be like by the end of 2020?
And since after that, you need a laugh or two … heeeeere’s Jimmy!!!