No longer ever the quick learner, medical issues have made me uncomfortable lately as I drift from proactive to reactive. Is this what is called “old?”

So many of my friends and confidants have passed on to the next everlasting plane of great adventure wrapped in their memories, hopes and dreams in eternal rest. Now, for me, many basic patterns seem no longer relevant. There is a loss of stability. It’s like teetering on a rolling log on yet faster flowing waters with rapids ahead.

How does one prepare for any future if today keeps changing and scamming has become a sport? How do you prepare the next generation? What happened to basics? What do we rely on when we stand alone? How do you cope, endure, excel? How can a glass be half full, even if it’s lemonade, when the glasses are breaking all around you? What do we cling to when everything is a slippery slope?

How do we teach the future when you cannot define the future? How do you train your own memory with so much change static everywhere? The value of learning from the past is precious and nostalgic. But where do we find the concepts to plan with if the status quo doesn’t last past the moment — and fingers are raw from just hanging on?

Greed and power and their common denominator of money are stronger than ever. Can we truly ever cross generations with success? Simplicity and complexity don’t seem to comfortably co-exist anymore. Rhythms, patterns, values, trust. Why bother, why care? Climate, chemicals, environment, population — is that our fault?

This beautiful planet is spinning ever faster at a dizzying speed. Is this the beginning of a new epoch, or just the end of a tired era? In the plant and animal world, the choice is adapt or die. What about us ... the people who remember: Keep up or give up? Just who am I now on this personal search for meaning, purpose?

It simply could be my time to rant. Only one other time did I feel like this — when I filed for divorce after 33 years. To get it said, to read and reread the anger and frustration in black and white. To park the stress, the resignation, hoping to get past internal fury in order to think and feel clearly once again, sorting out keeping up versus giving up. The way I figure it, I must reluctantly sweep ancient trivia out of dusty drawers of memories to find some room for better understanding of current technology, culture and its lingo, and, to learn how to use all the buttons on my fancy phone.

Sylvia Malagamba is a member of the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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