Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise
HCP columnist

I was in the waiting room of a physician’s office recently. I forgot my earphones to continue listening to my audio book while waiting so I flipped through a couple of magazines.

I used to subscribe to several magazines, both the serious news, domestic-foreign affairs type, as well as the helpful hint, home type. Some time back my appetite for reading several magazines a month waned. It’s funny how that happens.

Anyway, I was mindlessly flipping the pages of Oprah’s magazine. As I was putting it down since my interest wasn’t really captured, I dropped it and it opened to the last page. Apparently, she has a regular feature entitled “What I know for sure.” This one captured my attention for a few minutes. It also got me thinking – uh oh.

What do I know for sure? By the time you reach the age where you qualify for the red-white-blue Medicare card, you usually think you’ve figured out a few things. In general that’s true. You do know that if you order hot coffee at a local drive through, expect it to be hot if you spill. You do know that there are more gray answers to life’s important questions, and the easy black-white answers apply less frequently.

You do know that, contrary to the current science bashers that appear in vogue today, gravity exists, and always wins. You do know that 2-plus-2 is four, and 3-minus-5 is a negative number, no matter what you’d like your bank statement to say. You do know that those irresistible sales still cost money, and don’t save a thing. You do know that time passes the same way each day, even if it feels different today than it did 20 years ago. You do know that Murphy’s Law is alive and well, and will always strike at some point.

You also know that you don’t know so much. My former bottomless pit of totally irrelevant information is less accessible today. I’m not as quick, or accurate, when I watch “Jeopardy.” I use my dictionary more frequently as I’m not as certain of a spelling or definition as I once was. I usually find I was correct, but the sense of certainty is less.

In some things I tolerate more; in some things I tolerate less. I still haven’t figured out the reason for that, or why things end up in which respective bucket. I am awed, and sometimes distressed, by actually living in a time where I can see history repeating itself. As a part of the invincible “boomer” generation, it’s humbling to realize we’re now one of five recognized generations alive today: Generations X and Z, millennials, and the silent generation. As with the passage of time, boomers are now the fading elders.

The few things that I know for sure at this stage of life are that truth matters more than ever. Facts also matter, though sometimes they are confused with truth. Character matters, as do relationships and how we treat those relationships. Stuff is fleeting, but family and true friends have more value than we acknowledge or appreciate.

What do you know for sure?