On Choosing Carefully

Even as we age, I think we are sometimes still at risk for unnecessary suffering. There are things that we do and thoughts that we have simply because we have always had them.
Yet, often, our circumstances change before our habits, attitudes and thoughts have a chance to catch up.

Take shopping for example. You have a retirement budget and, more often than not, an income that is less than when you were working full time. Yet there are still the same number of bright, young highly skilled marketing professionals who make a career out of telling you that you need more stuff.

Is it possible that, aside from the financial stresses that it can highlight, you might not even want this “stuff?” Have you thought about it? Instead of responding to marketing messages by wishing you had more money to make buying easier, do you ever stop and ask yourself questions like: “Do 1 really need this?” or “Will it improve my life?” or even, “Will this new purchase need to be dusted, insured, maintained, or locked away because it’s valuable?”

Which attitude causes less suffering? Wanting more or choosing carefully?

The same kind of assessment or new thinking can be applied by single seniors who are considering a new relationship. There are lots of questions to be explored. “Can I have another relationship at my age?” “Who will think I’m special?” “Will it last?” Depending on how we choose to focus, our attitudes can bring suffering, instead of joy. Especially when we choose to focus on the one significant relationship that we don’t have rather than the dozens that we do.

Those many other relationships can serve as mirrors, perhaps helping you to better appreciate the special nature of you, what you offer this world, and what’s divine about you. It may be hard to realize that you’re perfect just as you are, but good friends and a questioning mind can be a first step.

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