Young and Restless

When contemplating the topic “Young and Restless” I can’t currently relate to the “young” part of the phrase, but I do rather surprisingly relate to the word “restless”. In my dreams, I would like to be spending my elder years splitting my time between a rural setting with a large garden and the city of San Francisco and since I am far from that reality, I am often mentally restless. This restlessness I suppose brings into question the value of several decades of mediocre Buddhist practice. I have always struggled with the sage advice from Ram Dass of “be here now”.

I am quite certain if I was the same little kid, I was in the 1990s as I was in the 1950’s I would have been spoon-fed Ritalin. Though in retrospect I do think my restlessness was eventually tempered quite a bit when I ran into the wall that was my budding gayness. Being a little queer kid, my exuberance always had a drama quality to it that was not well received at times. This social disdain for my gay qualities went a long way in tempering my restlessness.

A recent meme I ran across, on Facebook of course, actually speaks to my current situation in a much more honest fashion than I care to admit:

“I just got a life-alert bracelet so if I ever get a life I will be notified immediately”.

Since I am living alone at the age of 71 and no foreseeable prospects for a partner or even a roommate the thought of some sort of life-alert device has crossed my mind. Since I can still relate to restlessness, I might have to fight off the urge to press the alert button in the middle of the night just to have someone show up I could talk to. I am sure this would be severely and rightly frowned upon and I would have the device confiscated on the spot.

I can’t leave this topic without a hat/tip to the very long-running soap opera the Young and the Restless”.  It has been on the air since 1973 and was recently once again renewed through the 2023-24 season and I think can be seen on Pop TV. I have never watched a single episode of this drama, but it may very well have been one of my mother’s favorites since I know she had a few soaps she followed. The show was set in a fictional town located in Wisconsin just over the Illinois state line which places it very near to where my biological family lived and still does today in far northern Illinois. The storyline pitted two families one working class and one well-to-do from this fictional town supposedly based in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. It might have been this class tension that attracted my mother to it at least in part. She was certainly working class. I’ll close this piece in tribute and wholehearted support to the current young and restless heroes taking to the streets all across America in support of Black Lives Matter. So very needed now more than ever!