The Times Between 73.

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I suppose that since Xmas falls on Sunday I’ll wish those of you who celebrate it a merry one now. I’m not exactly sure what shape the holiday will take for me this year since it’s the first one without Grandma. I may be back at home to make a new page for Monday easily, or not. I’m thinking of doing a puppet comic because I have a stupid joke in my head that would be quick to draw. I guess we’ll just see what happens. A page will be up on Monday regardless. It may be a little late but that’s it.

Be careful out on the roads and in the inclement weather. Seems like it could be a bad weekend in some places. I hope to see you here Monday.


Merry Christmas, and I hope the rest of this year is less stressful for you.

And if you have a puppet joke you want to make go for it.

I feel Thomas…it’s been a struggle to plan anything in my future since I left high school. Times are so uncertain these days, it’s hard to make plans.

I hear that, Thomas. I like my job and…that’s it, I like my job. It has no upward mobility. I have no other particular plans. Meeting a significant other who actually wants a long term, committed, monogamous, relationship seems increasingly unlikely in this world (unless I find an extremely conservative religious woman, which is also not for me). I just exist. I used to have suicidal thoughts, but now I don’t even bother thinking about it, I just try to be a decent person and keep the bills paid.

So Merry freaking Christmas!

I found such a woman in 1979. We were togwther 40 years, until death did us part. She was liberal religious, though, not conservative religious. I don’t think we could have gotten along if she had been conservative-religious. We both took marriage vows seriously.

I am a recent widower (after 33 years) and I empathize completely.

I imagine Thomas has thought more about his long-term with Carol than the rest of his future.

As far as I’m concerned having a job that I don’t hate, pays all my bills, and leaves a little left over for my hobbies, without cutting into my free time is all I need. I have this and don’t wanna give it up until I have to.

Someday, hopefully, I’ll find love and have a family, and that might force me to look for more depending on what she does and how many of my loans are paid off by then, but there are so many factors that could affect the math that are currently unknowable that I figure it isn’t worth making any significant life changes just on the off chance that something might maybe be needed down the line. I’d much rather make sure I’m happy today than worry about some vague future that I might not even be lucky enough to have come to pass.

Even if I do eventually get forced by circumstances to seek more lucrative work, my criteria won’t change significantly, the goal is to find something that I don’t hate and pays just enough to meet my family’s needs without getting in the way of our happiness, I’ll likely need to sacrifice some of my free time to pull that off, and probably won’t find anything that’s even remotely as easy, meaning a bit more stress will need to be accepted, but the same basic values will be applied, just in varying amounts to keep the equation balanced.

man, I relate HARD to that
never really thought about the future, just take any apportunity that comes my way and content myself in the present
(just think of the future when considering the risk of what choice I’m taking now, but not beyond that)
until I got a girlfriend, all of a sudden future planification became a huge thing
it didn’t work out so I’m back to present me but still, you start becoming a master strategist as soon as your life isn’t only your own ^^

Yes, weather. Heavy snowfall overnight here in Montreal, followed by freezing rain. Not weather for those not fleet of foot. The kind of weather in which I’d use a walker to keep from slipping and falling except it’ll just get stuck in the snow.

In summer I need no walker. No ice, no walker.

I get Thomas is coming from here. 8 years I graduated college with a degree in something I wasn’t really all that passionate about just because it was expected of me. Since then, I’ve kind of just been bouncing around from job to job without any real end goal. I’m actually really curious to see where this goes for him.

That reminds me of a story…

When I was teaching English in Japan as a missionary for a conservative Christian organization, having earned my BA in English, I was able to impress my students as being the only such teacher they’d met who knew the rules of English grammar as well as they did.

Nonetheless, I was approached by one of my college aged students. He asked what my plans were after this assignment. I was playing my life by ear, not really having any plan, so I told him so. He turned to his companion and said — in English to make sure I understood what he was saying — “See? I told you that’s how they are.”

Our culture of “all a bunch of cowboys” leads to people leading unmoored lives. Not all cultures do it that way. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach.

Ah- the typical arrogance of the undergraduate. It’s always refreshing when one witnesses one hit the moment of realization- “hell, I really don’t know anything at all”. I suppose it’s universal, Japan just like the West. I hope his life went smoothly, on the rails he no doubt planned for, probably with his parents’ firm… “guidance”.

Unmoored life? Moored life? An unmoored life can be stressful unless you have the confidence that you will be able to find new assignments when needed.

A moored life works if it fits you. If it doesn’t I’d expect you to feel like you are inadequate, an utter failure, depressive, maybe even suicide.

If your moorage fails you, you absolutely need the freedom to do something else, and to be OK with that.

I never think about my future in terms of distance. I just take it one day at a time and let it all play out from there. Less stressful for me that way. However…

Merry Christmas ^_^

A little snow here, no big. (Once you’ve driven an old-school Ford Econoline through an ice storm, nothing phazes you.) It’s the single digit temps I’m worried about. But I stocked up on groceries and the furnace seems to be holding up, so I’m good.
And, if Monday brings puppets, well the puppets still seem to have a little mileage left in them. Happiest of whatever holidays you choose to celebrate to all, and to all a good night.

Yeah, as someone who drives professionally, it has been my experience that most of the time when roads are icy/snowy, the most dangerous thing to worry about are drivers who let their fear rule them and thus don’t adapt well to the changing conditions. My advice to those people, since they never seem willing to listen to ACTUAL advice on how to handle icy road conditions, is if they don’t feel safe getting behind the wheel, they probably shouldn’t. Call a friend who’s more comfortable driving, call a taxi, maybe an uber but that’s more of a crapshoot whether they’ll be experienced enough to do it well, heck, maybe even call the police (not 911 or other emergency lines, call the department directly) if you aren’t in an area likely to have too much in the way of actual emergencies and request assistance in getting home from wherever you are, the worst they can do is say no, and if they do they’ll likely recommend another service you can try, maybe even call them on your behalf.

On a snowy, slippery day on an expressway I once saw a car far in front of me spin out across several lanes and end up facing the wrong way in the slow lane. Of course traffic stopped while he turned around and proceeded on his way. A few miles later he once again spun out.
I, like most drivers near me, was driving slowly enough that I never caught up to him. Nor did I want to.

Yep, I feel that one. In my 60s and never formed the long-term plan, and now don’t need one, hahaha ha
Anyway, I do wish a restful holiday for you and your readers, Jackie, whatever form it takes. My (Jewish) daughter and I are having a quiet day going to a beach tomorrow for a picnic and a swim (the advantage of living on the leading edge, Down Under).

I’m 76, and I’d still be willing to buy a long-playing record, as the old joke goes. If long-playing records were still a thing. Everything seems to be sound bites nowadays. So I read heavy books instead. Which aren’t nearly so heavy in the age of .epub.

I love this comic because its panels like this that hit me. I’m the same way, overthink everything except my future and sometimes can’t find the will to live. Thank you for your amazing work and I hope you had a great Christmas.

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