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Old 06-17-2014, 08:03 PM
 
3,945 posts, read 3,262,973 times
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I always get a kick out of those who see so much grief in simply "being", some people worked themselves to the point of exhaustion during their younger years, now they like to just relax, obviously not something most American's are enamored of despite all the hype about the joys of relaxation. To many people the idea of being is absolutely terrifying, afraid to just sit down and breathe, and watch the world go by. Who cares what these folks are doing, and for that matter is it so great to be "industrious" and "productive"? I get the impression from reading here that many of our older citizens led pretty soft workaday lives and can't see how the act of being could have any any appeal.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
I always get a kick out of those who see so much grief in simply "being", some people worked themselves to the point of exhaustion during their younger years, now they like to just relax, obviously not something most American's are enamored of despite all the hype about the joys of relaxation. To many people the idea of being is absolutely terrifying, afraid to just sit down and breathe, and watch the world go by. Who cares what these folks are doing, and for that matter is it so great to be "industrious" and "productive"? I get the impression from reading here that many of our older citizens led pretty soft workaday lives and can't see how the act of being could have any any appeal.
If we were to substitute the word "vegetating" for the word "being", it would change the tone of the discussion, would it not?

I don't think anyone is denying the value, and the pleasure, of being able to relax and enjoy a slower paced life. Nor do I think anyone is advocating a frenzy of continuous activity.

Let's take sitting at a mall, since it was the starting point of this thread. If I were reduced to sitting at a mall people watching day after day - assuming little or no interaction with my fellow sitters - I would feel like it was a fate worse than death and I would want to find a way to break out of that self-imposed prison. But if there were interesting conversations going on with fellow sitters - after all there is almost nothing more interesting than other people and their varied life experiences - then I would feel differently about the whole matter. Or if I enjoyed people watching at a mall on occasion, that would also be an entirely different matter.

We are a social species; even introverts enjoy other people's company - they just enjoy it more one or two or three people at a time rather than in large crowds. Most people need meaningful interaction with other human beings, even if some people do not need nearly as much of it as other people.

I don't particularly see the relevance of having had an exhausting work life. If one has had an exhausting work life, one will certainly have enhanced enjoyment of just relaxing and watching the world go by; in that way one recharges the batteries and recovers from the exhaustion. I had a pretty demanding work life, but the exhaustion is not a life-long condition. A new broom sweeps clean, and finding new and different activities is a good way to re-energize oneself. The new and different activities do not, of course, need to be on the same scale as any previous "exhausting" work life. In fact if they are, one is likely to tire of them also and they will cease being energizing.

I see retirement as being as much freedom "to" as freedom "from". Of course I appreciate the freedom "from" full-time job commitments. But I am gratified by the freedom "to" seek out other things without regard to financial remuneration. I retired from work, but I didn't retire from life. I just don't see freedom "to" vegetate full-time as being an attractive option.

I have a suspicion that you and I will never understand each other on this subject. It is probably part of being different in fundamental ways.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,579 posts, read 17,567,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertheber View Post
I always get a kick out of those who see so much grief in simply "being", some people worked themselves to the point of exhaustion during their younger years, now they like to just relax, obviously not something most American's are enamored of despite all the hype about the joys of relaxation. To many people the idea of being is absolutely terrifying, afraid to just sit down and breathe, and watch the world go by. Who cares what these folks are doing, and for that matter is it so great to be "industrious" and "productive"? I get the impression from reading here that many of our older citizens led pretty soft workaday lives and can't see how the act of being could have any any appeal.
There is quite the difference between being in a dead-eyed, passive state of being and being actively engaged, aware, and in-tune with one's surroundings. I often surround myself in complete solitude and tranquility, but I also don't sit in the mall and blankly stare into an abyss.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:24 PM
 
16,797 posts, read 14,542,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
There is quite the difference between being in a dead-eyed, passive state of being and being actively engaged, aware, and in-tune with one's surroundings. I often surround myself in complete solitude and tranquility, but I also don't sit in the mall and blankly stare into an abyss.
Agree. I think hanging out at a mall is weird. I do my vegetating on my front porch, watching the flowers bloom, the birds at the feeder, the light on the stream that runs by, my neighbors coming and going, my lawn guy with his shirt off...

Mall people are just...I don't get it.
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Old 06-18-2014, 11:27 AM
 
Location: SW US
2,218 posts, read 2,035,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zentropa View Post
Agree. I think hanging out at a mall is weird. I do my vegetating on my front porch, watching the flowers bloom, the birds at the feeder, the light on the stream that runs by, my neighbors coming and going, my lawn guy with his shirt off...

Mall people are just...I don't get it.
If it were 110 degrees where you are, you might see the point of mall sitting, and walking. LOL
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:06 AM
 
3,945 posts, read 3,262,973 times
Reputation: 11315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
If we were to substitute the word "vegetating" for the word "being", it would change the tone of the discussion, would it not?

I don't think anyone is denying the value, and the pleasure, of being able to relax and enjoy a slower paced life. Nor do I think anyone is advocating a frenzy of continuous activity.

Let's take sitting at a mall, since it was the starting point of this thread. If I were reduced to sitting at a mall people watching day after day - assuming little or no interaction with my fellow sitters - I would feel like it was a fate worse than death and I would want to find a way to break out of that self-imposed prison. But if there were interesting conversations going on with fellow sitters - after all there is almost nothing more interesting than other people and their varied life experiences - then I would feel differently about the whole matter. Or if I enjoyed people watching at a mall on occasion, that would also be an entirely different matter.

We are a social species; even introverts enjoy other people's company - they just enjoy it more one or two or three people at a time rather than in large crowds. Most people need meaningful interaction with other human beings, even if some people do not need nearly as much of it as other people.

I don't particularly see the relevance of having had an exhausting work life. If one has had an exhausting work life, one will certainly have enhanced enjoyment of just relaxing and watching the world go by; in that way one recharges the batteries and recovers from the exhaustion. I had a pretty demanding work life, but the exhaustion is not a life-long condition. A new broom sweeps clean, and finding new and different activities is a good way to re-energize oneself. The new and different activities do not, of course, need to be on the same scale as any previous "exhausting" work life. In fact if they are, one is likely to tire of them also and they will cease being energizing.

I see retirement as being as much freedom "to" as freedom "from". Of course I appreciate the freedom "from" full-time job commitments. But I am gratified by the freedom "to" seek out other things without regard to financial remuneration. I retired from work, but I didn't retire from life. I just don't see freedom "to" vegetate full-time as being an attractive option.

I have a suspicion that you and I will never understand each other on this subject. It is probably part of being different in fundamental ways.

Well it isn't exactly 'vegetating" unless you're willing to allow others to define people from their biased observations. I've seen your posts here many times wherein your views on the retired life may differ from that of others but at days end we all have a different reason for leaving the work world. I thought you'd stated from time to time that you were employed as a teacher, now that kind of work is a far cry from the kind of labor that leaves you so tired at days end that just the act of sitting down seems a slice of heaven. All work takes something from us, but some give more of their physical health than others.

You have referenced your own work experience as that of a person looking forward to a life of getting out and doing physical activities but had you done forty years of bending twisting, crawling, being on ladders for eight hours a day or welding in the bilge areas on Ocean going barges, laying carpet, working cement, auto body repair, or roofing, you may just not be the same as you are today. The few who come away from such work experiences without a disability are rare. Arthritis, blown out knees, bad back, all contribute to a less than ardent physical life, so just "being" has it's own rewards. And who says the OP has been to that same mall every day and sees the same people there every day, all day, and if he does I'm left to wonder about the OP's observations on a life poorly lived.

America isn't the most friendly country in the world so Im guessing that these folks would love to have a conversation if others were amenable to it. I'm glad for my time away from my job, but life can also be shortened by the work experience, you had mentioned that this life of mall sitting seemed like an unattractive option, but looking at these people should allow us to see the possibility that they may have no options, so it's just being, and considering the alternative, it may not be so bad. So many people aren't going to have a long and happy life at retirement, often times they're lonely, beat, sick, and without family or friends, those are the ones who I feel bad for, so I don't make judgements about the value of their activity. Just a different view...
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:26 AM
 
3,945 posts, read 3,262,973 times
Reputation: 11315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
There is quite the difference between being in a dead-eyed, passive state of being and being actively engaged, aware, and in-tune with one's surroundings. I often surround myself in complete solitude and tranquility, but I also don't sit in the mall and blankly stare into an abyss.
Well, that's good for you that your life hasn't led you to such a conclusion, but for others it may be just as much an unwelcome state of affairs to be found sitting at the mall in a "dead eye passive state", as you have termed it. So, you are "engaged" "aware" and "tuned in", but, if you really could tune in to others you would most likely find something in their life to explain their ways of passing time, or life, or whatever you call waiting for the end. Golf, dance, party, or sit, it's your life, and for those in the mall that are causing such a commotion here, it's also their life to live as they see fit, we're not all the same, surprise surprise........
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
7,954 posts, read 7,915,183 times
Reputation: 11183
Sitting in the mall when you are old and done is basically one form of what are many pleasant ways to live vicariously through the energy and immediacy of others who are now where you've been.
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