The good old days moved a bit slower

As each year passes, we are required to move even faster to keep up with the pressures of life. The need for speed in our lives with decision making is taking its toll in us all. We are programmed to act now with little-to-no thought to the final consequences. Media spending to influence our buying decisions each year is in excess of $200 billion, according to statista.com, and growing some 5 percent per year.

We are not enjoying our lives as our parents and grandparents did. Making close friends is becoming a real challenge in this society. I am sure that with what has taken place in the last 30 years (as to the pace of life) will only continue to increase. We are fast becoming addicted to chasing money, power, success and a wilder, faster-paced life and we are paying the consequences. The art of pausing, thinking and reflecting on important matters is being lost. I can’t help but to wonder what is happening to family communication and decision-making when I see all family members staring at digital devices while waiting for their food in restaurants.

Within the past month, on one weekend, my wife and I attended three funerals of friends of ours who were all seniors and have left spouses. We could tell from their conversations with us they were already considering a change to their current home. It is hard to imagine the stress in the loss of a lifelong mate coupled with the consideration of an immediate change in their residence. In the not-too-distant past, one would wait a year or two before making such a major change. The art of careful thought, time and analyzing the facts seem to becoming a thing of the past with most major decisions.

My parents some 65 years ago taught me to sit down and list the pros and cons of any major decision and then put it aside to review it over several days, making adjustments as my thoughts changed over time. Most major decisions do not require immediate solutions as we are programmed to think we must do, with our fast-paced lifestyles.

Today with major decisions, we must remove ourselves from the moment and speed of life, to make practical decisions that are best for our needs. One good way is to take a drive in the country by yourself and look at the beauty of nature. Be sure you leave the cellphone at home for this trip. If you can find a creek, stop and sit by it and listen to the message nature has to offer to you. This helps clean your mind of your hectic lifestyle and allows you to think clearly about your pending decision. This most often will give you fresh insight of the situation you face and you may well modify your written list to aid in the best situation for you.

Our fast-paced life is costing us dearly with close friends. Take time now to think about the close friends you have today that would help you with this decision. Our parents and other relatives relied heavily on their close friends to get feedback and their view of the situation.

Their friends knew them well so were able to give good honest feedback. Our current lifestyles have created little time to spend with possible close friends and again we are losing a valuable resource. We were created for relationships and taking the time to develop those relationships is the key.

Dean McFarland is a member of the Hancock County Council on Aging. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfield reporter.com.