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If I Knew Then...

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

You’ve heard the expression, “If I knew then, what I know now.” Not only have I said it myself, but I hear others say it frequently. Life experience is a great teacher; the problem is that by the time you learn the lesson, you might be suffering the results of your lack of knowledge. All you can say is, “I won’t do that again!” At best, you might share that hard-earned lesson with someone in a similar situation. It takes a special aptitude to share wisdom in a way that it will be accepted. Additionally, it takes an open-minded person to learn from someone else’s experience. Experience is such a personal and valuable tool in life. Every day we deposit our experiences in our cerebral bank account and have the ability to withdraw the memory later. Our account balance is hard-earned and extremely valuable. Age is a real advantage when it comes to acquiring wisdom. My father-in-law always said, “There’s no use in making mistakes if you’re not going to learn from them.”

When teenagers act irresponsibly, we attribute it to their age and inexperience. As we grow older, we are supposed to make fewer mistakes, right? The truth is that it is precisely the time that we may encounter tough transitional times. The questions that arise are new and complex, and suddenly, you are making decisions with no frame of reference. I feel like I am on a soapbox when I say (again) get your education before you need it. Get a plan for the future. Learn about Medicare and Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance. If you need it, where would you go for: a rehabilitation stay, a skilled nursing need, an assisted living apartment? Make a plan and hope that you’ll never need it. Don’t be left saying, “I wish I had known.”

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest"

Benjamin Franklin

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