Staying Alive

On Friday I’m scheduled to be leaving the post-surgical orthopedic rehab facility as I enter the next phase of my return to normalcy. I will be transitioning from inpatient physical and occupational therapy sessions to at home sessions. My primary care givers will no longer be doctors and nurses, but my wife. She will also be my primary meal preparer and housekeeper. She will also assume a huge burden of physically and emotionally caring for me as a result of my stupidity that caused me to fracture my hip. And I couldn’t be more grateful for her presence in my life.

I’m still in a serious amount of pain at the site of the surgery (my left hip) and my left leg feels almost like dead weight, unable to follow the simple instructions my brain is sending it. My energy level, particularly after going through rigorous physical/occupational therapy sessions, is drained. I know it’s going to take a lot of time, effort, and patience before I will be back on my own two feet, literally.

So, on to the point of this post. I have been able to keep my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt going because I usually have a few weeks worth of those daily posts scheduled in advance. And I think, even while focusing on my physical recovery, I will be able to keep them going. I’ll probably be able to keep my Flashback Friday posts going, as that mostly involves reblogging a previous post. But I have other prompt posts that might not fare so well in the near term:

  • Monday’s Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)
  • Tuesday’s Fandango’s Story Starter (#FSS)
  • Wednesday’s Fandango’s Provocative Question (#FPQ)
  • Sunday’s (sometimes) Fandango’s Who Won the Week (#FWWTW)

These posts will have to go on hiatus until I get my mojo back. I just don’t have the energy or motivation right now to keep them going. If any of you would be interested in temporarily (or possibly permanently) taking over any of these challenges, please let me know. Otherwise, these four aforementioned posts will be off the radar for a while.

While I’ve been trying as best I can to read and respond to your comments on my way fewer posts these past nine days, I have not done as well keeping up with your posts. I hope, as the weeks go by and my recovery proceeds, to resume reading your posts more regularly and to be able to respond to the prompts and challenges many of you post.

And again, thank you for your well wishes since my fall.

Mixed Feelings

86F98281-9814-4330-AB7A-215AF2962A8DAs I write this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (i.e., the stock market) has tumbled almost 700 points today.

I’m retired, so other than the relative pittance I get from my Social Security retirement payments, most of my retirement income comes from the 401(k) retirement plans I contributed to during my working years. And most of my portfolio is invested in either index funds or corporate stock, which means that when the stock market falters, so does the amount of money in my nest egg.

The stock market has traditionally been viewed as an indicator, or a “predictor,” of the economy. But the reality is that, as of this year, the top 10 percent of Americans own an average of $969,000 in stocks, while the next 40 percent own $132,000 on average. For the bottom half of families, it’s just under $54,000.

So what does that mean? The wealth gap continues to increase. Those families in the 90th percentile have a stock portfolio worth of almost $1,000,000. Meanwhile, those in the 50th percentile or below hardly have any net worth at all.

In other words, if you’re rich, the fact that the stock market is high is good news for you, while it doesn’t mean shit to 90% of Americans.

So why do I have mixed feelings about a drop in the stock market? Why, when my financial security in retirement is dependent upon the value of my stock portfolio, am I not more upset that the market is way down today? I mean, the last thing I want to happen is that I run out of money before I run out of breath.

Well, it’s simple. For many Americans, the stock market is a barometer for how well the American economy is doing, even though, for the vast majority of Americans, the market has little impact on their everyday lives. But because people look at the stock market as an indicator the nation’s economic healthy, Donald Trump is using its gains as a proxy for what a “wonderful president” he is. Trump is constantly bragging about what a fantastic job he’s done with the American economy, even though this economic recovery started when Obama was still president.

And the other reason for my mixed feelings is because I abhor Donald Trump and I hate the idea of him claiming credit for the economy by citing the great performance of the stock market when his supporters are mostly too stupid to realize that it’s of no help to them whatsoever.