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Senior Moments

Category: Aging, General / Topics: Choices and Decision Making Memories


by Dan Seagren

Posted: March 21, 2010

We ask for an opinion, we seek advice and we are deluged with so many options we don't know how to act…

Let me share an article I wrote over twenty years ago as a retirement center chaplain.

Thirty years ago, a physician told me to keep my weight between 160-165 pounds. After shedding about 20 pounds, I have held my own pretty well. The other evening I stepped on our digital scale and it registered 157 pounds. I stepped on it again and it said 158. So, I hopped aboard again and got 159.Once more I tested this bit of modernity and you guessed it: 158 (without hat, shoes or coat).

Our elderly TV set is starting to do strange things so we're in the market for a new one. We've gone to four TV establishments and asked the same question: Of all the sets you sell, which one in your opinion is the best? So far we have four brands to choose from.

In reading the US News I was attracted to a feature on the future of the stock market . . . Five independent experts were asked to pick TEN stocks that would be the best bet to buy now. Guess how many stocks were nominated: 47. Only three were given two nods which makes the odds pretty uncertain, doesn't it? It would have been much easier for us if the FIVE experts had disagreed on 3 rather than 47.

Life is like this, isn't it?We ask for an opinion, we seek advice and we are deluged with so many options we don't know how to act. It is so true in many areas. In the market for a car? Ask ten friends at random which is the best (or their favorite). What about a vacation destination or an airline to get you there? How many retirement communities did you query before settling here? Or friends living in one?

The same holds true of churches, ministers, rabbis and priests. Ask ten people what they like best in their church and see what you get: short sermons, the organ, the choir, good acoustics, the architecture, its friendliness, ample parking, potluck dinners, its youth programs, facilities for the handicapped (and elderly).

Don't you wish sometimes that you could go into a showroom and say, I'll take that two-door blue one. But then what fun would life be if it were all so methodical? I wonder what my scale will tell me tonight? Or my TV? Or my wife?

Ah, yes. That was twenty years ago but it might have been yesterday. Or today.

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Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: March 21, 2010

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