Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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By: Mike Jaroch

Senior Citizens COVID19 family, friends, finances

As we all deal with the corona virus, coping as best we know how, I might imagine many of us are spending a good amount of time in self reflection.  Reflecting about our lives, those in our lives, the high points and good times, the low points and difficult times, challenges past and present, and plans for now and in the future.  This list could gone on and on and occupy each of our minds in many different ways.  You might say some are matters of the heart while others are matters of the head.  Emotional subjects, practical subjects. 

I was encouraged to express my thoughts on this pandemic.  My initial thought was that we are all dealing with the situation in our own way.  Then I thought of the helpful aspects of getting our thoughts, feelings, emotions out of our heads  and down on paper, if only for ourselves.  Think of diaries and personal journals.  In any case, here is what I have found myself reflecting on.  I’ll be interested to know how your own self reflection has presented itself and occupied your mind, your thoughts. 

FAMILY- Of course, for me and for most of us, family comes first and foremost.  I would certainly hope and pray that during these times your family consists of nothing but close, loving relationships.  Staying in frequent contact with your grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, and others on your family tree lifts everyone’s spirits.  You all realize that you are not facing the situation alone, you have a built-in support network, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you shared a few good laughs along the way.  If, however, your family ties aren’t as positive as you wished they were, now may be the time to reach out and mend some fences, make some repairs, maybe some apologies, whatever it might take to once again express your love and lean on one another.  A thought worth considering perhaps?   

One very personal note.  I began this year with some major surgery.  I carried with me a wonderful picture of my five grandsons all happy and smiling.  It was always at my bedside during the two weeks in the hospital and remains my constant companion even now as I finish my third month of recovery (ahead of schedule I’m happy to say).  That picture, those boys, have been as important to me as any medicine I’ve taken!  I didn’t need this virus crisis to remind me of the importance of family, but it’s nice to have my family doing extra duty now as I, like most of you, are sheltering in place. 

FRIENDS – Next to family comes our friends.  For many, it is our close friends that we will lean on and look to for both love and support in the days ahead.  Even those of us with close family ties have friends that are considered as family.  Often it’s been with a friend, or friends, that we have gone thru critical and testing times with.  We’ve provided them with support and they have done the same for us.  Maybe they live close to us and maybe they are now spread out all over the country, if not the world.  Wherever they may be, take the initiative and reach out to them and include them in your “communication network” that you touch base with at regular intervals at this point in time.  As with your family, it’s never too early to start discussing and planning for that post-crisis celebration gathering! 

FINANCES – What have we been told all of our lives?  Make sure you save some money for a rainy day!  Always have at least a 6 months total of living expenses set aside in case of an emergency!  Don’t go too deep into debt!  Stop living paycheck to paycheck!  I could keep going, but these are certainly some of the most often repeated words of advice on the subject of personal finances.  This current health crisis will not be the last emergency we face, but it may well stand as the most critical and significant one we’ve been challenged by.  If you have been smart and disciplined enough to be able to weather this storm, then good for you.  If you are having difficulty, then prayers and good wishes go out to you to somehow find a way to cope.  Perhaps the love and generosity of Family and Friends will help come to your rescue and make the difference for you and your own family should you be so blessed to have one.  Resolve to prepare for the next rainy day and enjoy the peace of mind that give you. 

I hope that sharing my own reflections at this time might be of some use, interest to you.  One thing for sure is we don’t have to wait until New Years to make some resolutions.  This may be the most perfect time to make some resolutions based on our own reflections and to get busy acting on them.  All my best wishes, always. 

Mike Jaroch is the author of “Extraordinary Lessons From An Ordinary Life.”  He, along with Cheryl Ilov, Lisa Reinicke, and Sue Viders is a member of the Red Booth Writer’s Group.  Please LIKE us Facebook.  Jaroch’s email address is  

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