Tuesday, October 3, 2023

I’ve Never Been This Age Before!

rosemary-picBy Rosemary O’Keefe

April is the month we honor and show appreciation to those who volunteer. I had the honor to have lunch at the beautiful Kokopelli Club House in Marion one day last week to honor the volunteers for Shawnee Alliance. I was invited to be a guest speaker for the group. The luncheon was delicious and the group made a great audience. I hope if you are a volunteer that you will be given a special thank you and acknowledgment that you are appreciated. Shawnee Alliance’s brochure announcing their luncheon stated “Volunteers our Greatest Resource.” There were 25 local businesses listed in the brochure that helped sponsor this luncheon and gift bags given in appreciation. That tells me that this area knows the value of Shawnee Alliance for Seniors and it’s volunteers.

I’ve been reading at random and the teacher in me says I need to share some ideas I found interesting. “We tend to think happiness as getting more joy from life. But just as important is minimizing worry. Research shows that financial security brings much more happiness over time than buying things does. Why? Within about a year the thrill of a new item wears off, while financial security has no expiration date. Indeed, older people’s less materialistic spending habits may explain much of their increasing happiness with age. So pay down your mortgage, invest in adequate health insurance, save money for a rainy day and start paying for purchases with cash. You’re much less likely to spend frivolously if you’re actually counting out those bills.” This advice sounds exactly what was said to me growing up.

Patty, my daughter, took Callie, age 13, and several of her friends out for Callies’ birthday celebration. After the meal she gave each girl $3 and took them to the store beside Kroger in Paducah where everything in the store costs one dollar. Patty was amazed at how excited and how much time they took to made a decision on their purchases. The girls spent the night with Callie and Patty said the items they purchased were still the excitement of the evening. I suppose this could be a new tradition for teen age birthday parties. I loved hearing about this venture.

Another thought provoker for me was “The happiest people watch less than one hour of television a day, according to a study of 40,000 people who took National Geographic’s True Happiness Test. Why? We get more authentic happiness from being with family and friends, reading or engaging in a hobby. What’s more TV-both advertising and programming- is designed to make us want things, so we feel less satisfied with what we have. Pare down to one TV, placed in an out-of-the-way room, ideally in a cabinet and never in the kitchen, where it can promote mindless watching and eating.” I also feel at this age the news that we hear disturbs us so much more than when we were  younger. Frankly, I know few people who do not include TV as a major part of their day. Of course, we constantly complain that there is nothing worth seeing on TV anymore. I guess complaining is one way to bring about change.

More later.

Understand the value of things.