I just woke up after getting like two hours' sleep. I had a nightmare that caused me to bolt awake, so there's not much hope of promptly returning to sleep. Not a zombie-monsters chasing me Scooby-Doo! episode sort of nightmare,* but basically a nightmare in which I was having a relatively realistic conversation with my parents in their home about their preparations for old age. (Granted, their basement was flooding in the dream in a way that wasn't very realistic, which gave the conversation extra urgency, but otherwise the coversation was relatively realistic.)
My parents basically have no preparations for old age. Given the recent career connection to the world of aging research, I get to see these various books available on Successful Aging that show these pictures on the cover of happy-upper-middle-class eighty-somethings playing tennis somewhere sunny. My parents are so unprotected against what the aging process can do to them compared to these privileged-tennis-playing-cover-of-successful-aging-books-couples that it is akin to the difference between those who live in tarpaper shanties and those who live in brick houses as a impeding major storm looms on the horizon. They live in an unsaleable and senescing house in the middle of nowhere with stairs that my mother already has arthritic pain navigating, and their financial reserves are probably less than what I have even now (which, as anyone who knows how non-thrifty I am knows, is not much). And let's not even get into the matter of how my mother bore six children and how I presently appear to be The (Best? Only?) Hope for any kind of substantial child-to-parent financial intertransfer in the years ahead if/when one needs to be made.
Sorry to be so whiny on the weblog. Obviously, everyone has some situation or other that nags at them. It's something I don't really think about that much, but it lurks around in the back of my mind, ready for example to pounce to prominence sometimes when all I am trying to do is freaking get some sleep. I don't even know what made it salient enough in my mind to be the object of tonight's dream.
* Speaking of Scooby Doo, I wonder if the graduate student strike wasn't just a two-day walkout but stretched on indefinitely, if the University would eventually conscript some unfortunate powerless junior faculty member to dress in a dog costume and go around campus as Scabby-Doo, the lovable dog who would try to show how fun crossing picket lines can be.