Thanks or no thanks works as holidays approach


Ed Baranowski Challenges of Living to Age 100

Centenarians are known for their upbeat daily approach to life.

When asked how they begin, they often reply “Thank you God for this new day.”  Others look at God’s creation and silently pray  “Thank you for the beauty of this world and for all of my blessings.” They accept with thanks each day.

As you receive holiday invitations, consider past experiences. Contemplate the hassle of travel, weather concerns, medications, noise and lots of people. Do accept with thanks or say, “No thanks!”

Each year of our life is filled with decisions. We have been taught good manners and are gracious after making our decisions. Once enjoying the turkey dinner with the trimmings, we consider the “seconds.” Should it be more turkey and gravy-covered mashed potatoes or “No thanks, I’ll wait for the whipped cream covered pumpkin pie.”

Then there is the jerk who cut you off on your way to the doctor. Do you get involved and create a road-rage incident, or do you say, “No thanks! Dear God, help that guy get safely to his destination.”

Now you have visited with the doctor. He has good news and bad news. More tests will be needed before radiation or chemo is prescribed.

  You have been taking several medications and tend to sleep a lot. The doctor explains “Your kidney function is back to normal and your blood pressure is good for your age level.” There is the challenge of evaluating the risks and rewards.

Recently, we have seen the challenges faced by former First Lady Barbara Bush and Sen. John McCain. Each had tough decisions to make about their lingering ailments. They said “No thanks” to continued treatment. They faced their challenges bravely and heroically before their deaths.

Beyond the health challenges, seniors are dealing with endless offerings from scam artists. The monthly bulletins from the State Attorney’s office, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs  and AARP alert us about the bad guys.

Just say “No thanks” to that unbelievable offer. Robo calls are focused on your “yes!” Avoid “yes!” Do not accept. Graciously say “Thank you for bringing this offer to my attention. I’m not interested. Good bye.”

As you move gingerly along with your cane, accept the kindness of others with courtesy and thanks. Look them in the eye. Smile and give thanks. 

Ed Baranowski is president of Topics Unlimited, a Melbourne-based education, seminar and consulting company. He can be reached at