Han­dling change with fore­sight

Sun Star Bacolod - - ‘YUHOM! - BY NIRMLA MOTOOMULL Glimpses

IT IS very im­por­tant that in han­dling ma­jor changes in our lives which are enu­mer­ated below, we have the abil­ity to pre­dict what is likely to hap­pen and to use this par­tic­u­lar abil­ity to pre­pare for the fu­ture.

*Deal­ing with phys­i­cal de­cline. It is un­de­ni­able that we be­gin to de­te­ri­o­rate phys­i­cally at age 30. There are three sug­ges­tions in deal­ing with phys­i­cal de­cline. First of all, ac­knowl­edge it grate­fully and re­spon­si­bly. Grow­ing older is not a dis­grace. Grow­ing older need not be hu­mil­i­at­ing. Hav­ing lim­i­ta­tions must not be con­strued as some­thing shame­ful. Reach­ing old age is a bless­ing. Next is to live one day at a time. Each day has enough trouble of its own; squeeze as much joy by hav­ing a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude. Then, to keep rea­son­ably ac­tive. Ex­er­cise and self­dis­ci­pline in eat­ing are com­mend­able be­cause they help us feel bet­ter and live a qual­ity life.

*Cop­ing with vo­ca­tional dis­ap­point­ment. We all like to be ap­pre­ci­ated and many of us get a great deal of sat­is­fac­tion out of our work. And most of us en­joy the added fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion that ac­com­pa­nies job ad­vance­ment. But we must be aware of the two dan­ger­ous dragons which are ac­tivism and ma­te­ri­al­ism. Ac­tivism says, “You are what you have ac­com­plished.” Ma­te­ri­al­ism says, “You are what you have ac­quired or ac­cu­mu­lated.” The “suc­cess­ful but un­sat­is­fied” and the “un­suc­cess­ful and frus­trated” need to see that our real worth is not in how much we have ac­cu­mu­lated nor how much we have ac­com­plished. Both ac­tivism and ma­te­ri­al­ism may pro­duce mis­ery and de­stroy lives.

*Ad­just­ing to fam­ily change. Even in the best of homes, re­la­tion­ships keep chang­ing. Chil­dren grad­u­ally be­come more self-suf­fi­cient and in­de­pen­dent and par­ents must learn to give them more and more free­dom. Be­fore long, the chil­dren leave their mom and dad to es­tab­lish new fam­i­lies. The par­ents be­come grand­par­ents. Be­fore they are will­ing to view them­selves as mid­dle-aged, the two of them are alone again. So they have to main­tain their open com­mu­ni­ca­tion, treat each other with kind­ness, de­velop com­mon in­ter­ests, pray to­gether, thus, they will al­most have a sat­is­fac­tory life to­gether even in their se­nior years. And we al­ways re­mem­ber that noth­ing equals close fam­ily re­la­tion­ships in pro­duc­ing old-age hap­pi­ness.

*Adapt­ing to re­tire­ment. The key fac­tors in a happy re­tire­ment are mean­ing­ful devo­tions - take time ev­ery­day to feed your soul and pray, en­joy­able ac­tiv­i­ties - find some­thing you can en­joy and spend some­time do­ing it, help­ful ser­vice reach­ing out to oth­ers by giv­ing used cloth­ing, ex­tra food, etc. and hav­ing an ac­tive mind - ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity as­sign to you and the op­por­tu­nity to do some cre­ative think­ing.

The other ma­jor changes to which a per­son must pre­pare are the death of one’s spouse - be­fore it oc­curs and af­ter it oc­curs whether we like it or not (I’m a wi­dow for 25 years al­ready), plan­ning our legacy - set up a will or trust that clearly spells out how our es­tate is to be han­dled and eval­u­at­ing one’s per­for­mance - how do we use the gifts God is giv­ing us?

All of us, young or old, will have to face and han­dle these ma­jor changes with fore­sight, not only as an ex­pres­sion of our grat­i­tude to God but also grace­fully liv­ing with them ev­ery­day.*

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