Teaching into my old age helps remind others I’m still around. I mean, this is just another aspect of public reputation, and one doesn’t control one’s reputation, but I’m just saying, I guess, that it seems important for a person not to shut him-/herself off. That one ought to make an attempt to get out, even if it’s to the grocery store. On the other hand, maybe my grandma’s pretty darn happy not going out. Maybe she doesn’t care about her public reputation, which is every older/independent person’s choice. And I like going out of the house every so often—maybe I’ll feel different later.
[A cousin]’s slimmer than he used to be—makes me feel fat. I realized, walking down 2nd Street and seeing my side-reflection in mirror, that unless I keep good posture, it seems I lead with my belly—not a great look. On the other hand—blerg. I could lose some weight, eat better, but why fret it? There are bigger issues … I don’t want to ignore my wife’s requests. I want a good marriage. I said to her Saturday, after looking thru Dad’s stuff Friday, “thanks for being in my life.” How sad it was for Dad that he didn’t have a spouse [in his later years]. How would it have been if …he had still been his basic personality, but had tried a little harder [in his relationship with Mom]? In retrospect, it’s easy to say that Dad just wasn’t capable of it. In fact, that’s kinda how Mom explained Dad’s hands-off parenting to us—that he just wasn’t capable of it (of being an attentive father), so we shouldn’t hold it against him, which was her goal, I think—that we would accept him as flawed rather than resent him. That’s pretty, well, Buddhist of Mom.
[From Mon. 13 June 2011, Journal 142, page 64-5]