Sunday, October 28, 2012

Time to Build ANOTHER Kind of Portfolio

This post has been a long time brewing in my mind, spurred on by something I recently appropriated from a friend's FB post:

Go to any online site addressing midlife-to-senior issues, and one finds a plethora of articles about finances, health, relationships, and family. Those are necessary things, but not the whole story.

The biggest asset in my own portfolio on which I now plan to focus is boundless curiosity, about anything and everything.

I find it sad when anyone ceases to explore new experiences. The nose-to-the-grindstone routine till one retires/dies is okay, but does one live to work, or work to live? After one clocks out for the last time, and is feted at a party given by one's coworkers, then what? I've seen this void contribute to scenarios such as depression or divorce.

I've made my views known, emphatically and often, about people being able to work far past 65, provided they wish to, and continue to be sufficiently physically healthy and cognitively sound. Continued recreation (read that as re-creation) replenishes that vitality.

In order to keep the libido (an energy force NOT limited to sex, by the way!) alive, I propose that each individual find something to question and be curious about--everyday. One doesn't always have to look far; often one's existing interests can contain kernels of new, unexpected exploration. Here are a few personal examples:

1. I've been a classical music fan and KUSC listener for decades. Recently, in the middle of the night, I began wondering just how someone would become a professional orchestra conductor. Viola--a new, pleasant train of thought.

2. Having a Latino gentleman friend and a newly-kindled interest in cooking, I'm planning to explore the local Mexican markets for authentic ingredients. Soon, for a Saturday night dinner, I plan to serve up a traditional pot of menudo, complete with the tripe and pigs' feet. (I'll get back to you as to how this was received at the table!)

3. Long a lover of provocative art and the Hammer Museum, I'd never heard of Llyn Foulkes until I read the piece about him in today's Los Angeles Times' "Arts & Books" section. He has an exhibit coming up in February 2013, and I'm making it my business to know more about this artist and his back story.

4. My love of pleasure reading and exploring the dark side of the psyche led me to pick up a book called At Home with the Marquis de Sade, by Francine du Plessix Gray, while my gentleman friend and I meandered through Brand Bookshop last Sunday. Nearly 500 pages thick, well-researched and artfully written, it takes the reader on a journey of Donatien de Sade's life from personal, social-religious, and historical contexts. It shifts this man's biography from that of being merely a sadist, to a product of a turbulent era that has parallels to our own. It also makes me want to explore, if I can, the life of Pelagie, the Marquis' long-devoted (and complex) wife.

Those are a few of my new wonders and explorations. I'll keep you advised about more as they come up, and where they take me...

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