Happy New Year! Most of us have the decorations put away and some can say, ”Now what?” I think it is time for me to look at what I keep and what someone else could use. In other words, clean house.
We have a squirrel that visits the feeders occasionally, and he stores what he needs for the winter. I doubt if he has drawers of odd and ends — items that were useful at one time but have lost the need or interest in them now.
It is good for us to take inventory, and it is suggested by many to change some habits or make new ones. Research tells us it takes a few week to really change a habit, so patience is called for. We all have plenty of that!
Christmas brings gifts and loving thoughts, but as soon as the winter really sets in, we can lose track of the meaning and feeling of generosity. I’m suggesting we try to keep this spirit going when the food pantry calls for help or your favorite charity needs a boost. In July, people are still in need.
This brings me to an idea for us older adults to really consider. We should plan ahead, and that includes getting advanced directives and medical power of attorney papers in order for your family. It is never too soon to talk to your families about your final wishes and to think about how you want your assets to be gifted. Yes, you have assets, even though you don’t believe it. A small gift to someone is so precious as a memory of your love.
Please think about leaving a gift to your favorite charity as well. Organizations can plan ahead when they have benefactors. No gift is too small. Your attorney or financial adviser can help you do this. There are some tax advantages for some gifts, and the good feeling of leaving some financial support can’t even be measured.
The squirrel teaches us many things. Storing is good but can be useful to others if we think of gift giving all year long.
Check on others in this very bitter weather, and of course, remember to be kind.
Nedda Simon of rural Princeton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.