It’s That Time of Year

By Ron Tatro, Vice President at Elder Law of Michigan

Well, we have made it through another winter. The snow has departed, and the smell of spring is in the air. Both people and animals are looking forward to getting outside and feeling the warm air. So, as we get ready to start another season of both work and pleasure what can we learn from our animal friends?

At our home, we have a wide range of animals around us. One group of animals, squirrels, has become both our entertainment and our teachers. There are both red and grey squirrels, and each brings their own unique approaches to life and problems.

On our back deck are hanging bird feeders. We have covered the tops of those feeders with aluminum plates to make them squirrel proof. This effort has turned into a battle of wits between us and them. So, what have we learned from this interaction?

  • Planning for success: There is one young grey squirrel that we call Rocky. He will sit on the deck and stare up at the feeders. Rocky appears to be thinking about possible approaches to the feeders. Do I go directly up the post and try to jump on the feeder? Do I come down from the roof above and try to swing on to the feeders? Hm!
  • Let’s try this and see if this works: After reflecting on possible options Rocky will try one of the approaches. On a recent attempt, he got onto the feeders only to become caught there. He could not go up nor down and could not swing around the cover to get back on the roof. After hanging there for a long period of time he let go and fell to the ground uninjured.
  • Let’s try another approach: The next day Rocky was back on the deck, sitting there and looking at the feeders. However, this time he was joined by a red squirrel. They looked at the feeders, jumped onto the roof, continuing to look for ways to get the seed. So far, they have not been successful, but they continue to try. Tomorrow is another day.

So, what does all of this have to do with us? As we get older, we are also sitting on the deck looking at challenges in our lives. How many times have we looked at the computer or our phone, tried to figure out a problem, so we start punching buttons, but nothing happens? Or we are awaiting the results of a medical test and wonder what the options will be. Or our car needs repairs, but we don’t have the money to fix it.

The squirrels remind us to sit back, take things slow, think and plan, and then try something. If that approach does not work, try something else. Remember to share your journey and challenges with a friend. Maybe together you can get the seed. Until the next time.

Ron Tatro is the Vice President at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since January 2007. As Vice President at Elder Law of Michigan, Ron