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{ } B AGING Don’t Be Too Responsible! with an Attitude Dorie Sugay is the Executive Director of Visiting Angels, a company that provides living-assistance services to seniors and adults-in-need who wish to stay in their own home or receive one-on-one care within a facility. This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It was written independently of Visiting Angels. The names of clients and caregivers were changed to protect their privacy. 84 e practical. Be realistic. Make it cost effective. Stay within budget. Accept what is. All are concepts considered to comprise today’s “wisdom.” They are concepts that have given many people a fi nancial edge and helped many beat the odds. I suggest that we perhaps be a little less responsible. Why? Because following concepts such as these can lead to some straying away from important values that comprise a passionate way of living and loving! How many times have you chosen a practical solution over what you preferred to do? How many times have you been driven by your head versus your heart, leaning to the financial benefits and/or perceived age limitation in arriving at a decision? How many times have you said yes, when you preferred to say no? How many times have you stayed within bud- get instead of purchasing something your truly desired? How many times have you hesitated to engage in an activity because “at your age” it was impractical, unrealistic? How many times have you deprived your- self of a whim because you needed to be responsible? Or worse, how many times have you allowed someone to dictate how you should be responsible? Have you ever pondered what great things could happen had you chosen to go with your wants instead of your shoulds? My dear brother, Noli, died unexpectedly on Mother’s Day this year. Growing-up, he used to tell me that it is okay to take “calculated risks.” He sure did. And he had a vibrant life. He seemed to live as passionately on a tight budget as he did when he had a lucrative one. Sadly, I didn’t have his wisdom. And as I sat on the plane on my way to pay my last respects, while staring down at the vast Pacific Ocean, it hit me – had I been less practical, I would have flown to see him this past Christmas as he had asked me to do. Little did I know at the time that not five months later when he would be gone. As I struggled to release the indescribable pain that suffocated my heart, I realized that I could find solace in the GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JULY/AUGUST 2017 wisdom he tried to teach me growing up. He knew that although being responsible is important, so is taking calculated risks. He knew life should not be just about duties and responsibilities — life should be L-I-V-E-D! To celebrate Noli, I wish to share some of his wisdom as I’ve come to understand it. I’m hoping that if I can spare one person regret, it will bring me freedom from mine. …life should not be just about duties and responsibilities — life should be L-I-V-E-D! Learn from the wealthy. There’s a sense of freedom afforded the wealthy — they do not worry about making ends meet financially. When they splurge on a gift, they can easily say– “eh, why not, it makes them happy.” They also have the luxury of splurging on themselves without hesitation. Although most of us cannot always follow the way of the rich, we really should allow ourselves to take a little risk as long as it is manageable and the reward is immeasurable. Being debt free is something to be proud of but taking a risk and using that credit card to splurge on an experience you have secretly wished for, may surprise you. What taking a calculated risk might do is to propel you to live and love more passionately. And if so, just think how quickly you will be motivated to pay for it so you can take another! Treat yourself. Many of us seem to need permission to do this. We “treat” others without Hesitation but hesitate to be as kind to ourselves. After losing two brothers in three months, I know that life IS short; so be kind to yourself. My mother often had the maid set the table with her finest china. On many occasions, her friends would ask if she was having company and she would smile