Today marks the last time I will be writing this article for GateHouse Media and I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you for reading it over the years.
Having to come up with something of value and interest every week can be daunting. As someone who has done thousands of talks in a host of venues, I know that I didn’t always hit the mark. I was fortunate to be “in the zone” many times, but I also know that there were times when I was simply on autopilot.
My style of writing has been analogous to how I was brought up, and my many years of teaching stress management. I am essentially a pragmatist and I have tried to extend that viewpoint through my articles. Having been on this planet for an extended period of time has allowed me to see how the culture has shifted in so many ways. I realize that’s called progress, but I am constantly amazed at how we have simultaneously regressed. I’m sure some might view the aforementioned sentence as coming from someone who might not be “with it.”
In many ways I don’t want to be part of all the new advancements which are supposed to make life easier. I often feel that a lot of what the culture feels is hip and groovy has hindered people from being present in their own lives. I’m sure this viewpoint has been expressed by previous generations. My mother thought Elvis Presley was an abomination.
I am hoping that as a society we might become more adept at teaching common sense and critical thinking skills from the first grade on. Perhaps that might counter some of the incivility that has crept into society more and more. I would love to see people in healthcare more concerned about lifestyle habits and less about medicating individuals as the easy way out. I yearn to see more individuals smile, laugh and become the fun they’re seeking. I like the ability to connect through Facebook, texting, email and such, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation.
Aging has taught me a very important lesson. It is absolutely necessary to enjoy as much of your day-to-day life as possible since our days are truly numbered. Try to be a “human being” and not a “human doing.” We never know when what we take for granted will no longer be available. Also try to understand the importance of endings. Some we choose and those we don’t. They can be great fodder for becoming more resilient. I wish the best for all of you. And I leave you with the following by Winston Churchill “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, But it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”
— Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360. Visit her website at stressed.com.