Skip to content

How Aging is Like Economics

May 4, 2012

I was an Economics major in college. I know, can you believe it? I took a circuitous route to that destination and abandoned it almost as quickly as I became enamored with it, and sadly before I completed my degree! The last semester was torture!

There was some illogical logic to my interest in the marketplace. It’s true I liked drawing the graphs and coloring them in, but I was also drawn by the philosophy of it all. Economics is, after all, the study of thought. I love things that make a sort of natural sense. Supply. Demand. Equilibrium. They make sense to me.

The economic concept that most naturally fit into my Anglican American mind was the concept of equilibrium. It was such a clear conceptualization of the natural order of things, on every level. It is simple, serene and above all sensible.

Life is such a confusing mixture of signals. We are supplied with a daily avalanche of sensory data, intellectual, emotional and spiritual input with which we must grapple. Coming at us from all directions are news feeds, emotional confrontations, problems to be solved, responsibilities to be met, decisions to be made. At the same time our internal, psycho-spiritual nature demands resolution, progress, peace, nurture, sustenance. Wow! It’s amazing we do as well as we do!

The longer I live, the more I have become willing to accept that it’s all about equilibrium. Sometimes the external demands take front and center, so we let our own needs slip in importance. We wake up one morning feeling empty, lost, confused, and/or exhausted. Our natural propensity to achieve equilibrium sets off a warning signal loud and clear. We are emotional. Our head aches.  Our back hurts. We lack motivation or energy. The alarms are sounding, and they are there for a reason. They are telling us that things are out of whack and are not signals we should ignore, fight or try to banish; not with a gallon of coffee, mustered up self-discipline, drugs or any other self-imposed straight jacket.

The alarms that go off when we are out of balance are there to help us. To remind us. To teach us. The more often we listen to them, the better we will become at navigating life without panic and despair and the quicker we’ll get back into equilibrium when we’ve been bumped off course.

The concept of equilibrium, both from an economic viewpoint and a personal one, is by nature fluid. It is therefore foolish for us to expect that we will attain a permanent, self-perpetuating state of peace and positive functioning.  What we can successfully work toward is the acceptance of the fluidity of life, the awareness of the ebb and flow of our own supply and demand and our natural inclination toward equilibrium and balance. That is where we will find hope, peace of mind, and the strength and courage to deal with what comes our way.

Advertisements
6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2012 12:03 pm

    “What we can successfully work toward is the acceptance of the fluidity of life, the awareness of the ebb and flow of our own supply and demand and our natural inclination toward equilibrium and balance. That is where we will find hope, peace of mind, and the strength and courage to deal with what comes our way.”

    I love what you’re written here, Dorothy. It is so true! I have found that when I accept that there will be days when I’m not feeling “on top of the world” and give in to that and simply focus on “being” during those times, I notice that there is a peacefulness in my soul. Equalibrium is such a profound state! ^_^

  2. May 5, 2012 8:42 am

    While studying natural health I learned that we are an open system and to maintain a healthy life one must balance the in flow and out flow and because we are an open system the balancing will always be ongoing just like with your economics theory. It is something to keep in mind that balance isn’t some place we get to and that’s it.

  3. May 24, 2012 8:08 pm

    What a great post… adds so much to my own personal beliefs and experience.

  4. May 30, 2012 9:32 am

    I didn’t read this one when it was first posted, but since I was on your site and enjoying your recent posts, it caught my eye. Guess why??? My life has recently shifted out of (a relative) financial equilibrium into a tailspin!!! So I guess I needed to hear this one for sure. I am not crashing and burning yet and pulling myself up once more to a steady flight, but it was a big scare nonetheless and this post helped to sooth my fears. Thanks

  5. June 26, 2012 12:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information. I found it very useful and applicable to my own life, which is something that I come across only on rare occasions. I also work with senior citizens every day, helping them cover the out of pocket gaps brought on by government Medicare at medigapgroup.com. I will have to recommend your blog to my clients and friends! Balance is seriously one of the most important things that we need to try and maintain. Thanks again for sharing. Feel free to stop by our website, we’d appreciate any type of feedback!

    • June 26, 2012 12:48 pm

      Thank you for stopping by! I’ll drop by your website and get acquainted with what you do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Senior Living Best of the Web Awards

  • %d bloggers like this: