In response to last week’s song, people wrote with praises (thank you) and concerns for my health. I’m fine. More than fine. I can’t imagine being much happier than I am these days. I’m very lucky. I say this to ward off concern about my wellbeing in response to the following tune.

When we’re down, people sometimes try to cheer us up with reminders that other people are much worse off than we are. Comparing misfortune to good effect also applies to our future selves. We should all cheer up because compared to who we’ll be in our declining years we’re doing great. Along with AARP cards, one perk senior citizens get is the occasional amusement of consoling some youngster who is distressed to be growing so old. I wrote this song after just such an experience, me at 51 consoling a 36 year old who was distressed about aging.

Mind Readers Dictionary : Play in Popup

Enjoying the happiness we get depends upon our ability to manage our interpretation of wellbeing as either a complement to, or substitute for future happiness. If my happiness today is a complement to happiness tomorrow–if it sets up an expectation that I’ll be happy then because I’m happy now-then unhappiness tomorrow will be disappointing. If my happiness today is a substitute for happiness tomorrow–if it sets up an expectation that I might not be happy tomorrow then I won’t be as disappointed. (See Hybrid Vehicle; see And & Or). Happy today I like to remind myself that when I’m old I’ll be able to look back and say, “I had my turn.”

Buddha is often interpreted as saying that you should work to have no expectations, which, to me makes no sense. Expectations are absolutely essential to life. It’s all about expectation management. So here’s my Thanksgrieving gift (see last years at loving ingratitude) an uplifting ditty for us, the temporarily-abled.

Here I sing it and play a seven-string fretless bass solo along with my four piece virtual jazz combo:

Downhill from here

Sure your things are sagging
You can see you’re in decline
A glimpse into the mirror shows
The ravages of time

Just remember that compared to now
the future’s looking sour
And looking back in decades
this will have been the finer hour.

At the rate that things are going
yes our future looks austere
Cheer up
‘cause it’s downhill from here.

If you notice your ability
To jump and skip is slipping
And much of your agility
Is going, don’t be trippin’

Compared to 20 years from now
You’re agile and you’re well
Viewed from future wheelchairs
Today you’re a gazelle.

At the rate that things are going
Yes, our future looks austere
Cheer up
‘cause it’s downhill from here.

I’m a forward thinking pessimist
It makes my days much brighter
Tomorrow will be heavier
today is therefore lighter

Life’s decline is certain
Of what’s left this time’s the best
Enjoy it now it’s bound to be
much better than the rest

If the crowd is suffocating you
in the rat race to success
and your edge is always slipping
and you cannot take the stress

Just remember that the pile of product’s
only getting deeper
And your grandkid’s competition
will certainly be steeper.

At the rate that things are going
our futures looks austere
Cheer up
‘cause it’s downhill from here.