UNITED STATES—I want to pose a question to everyone, do we actually get wiser with age? Most people would say yes, but it begs the question that if we made mistakes in our 20s, how likely are we to make that same mistake in our 30s, 40s or 50s? It is indeed a question worth asking, because as I look at myself and many of the adults surrounding me, I’m seeing mistakes being made over and over again, and wondering “When will I get it? When will they get it?”

For example, my dad used to be phenomenal with money, but ever since he got remarried his ability to save a dollar seems almost impossible. He just dug himself out of bankruptcy about 5 years ago. He has gotten his finances in order, but he has still failed to understand that just because you want something you don’t have to spend your absolute last to get it. Put your priorities in place and ensure the bills that have to be paid are taken care of first.

Right now, I’m super frustrated that I’m going to have to bail him out of another financial mess because for some reason he didn’t properly consider his finances and the money that he was spending should have been going towards an important bill to prevent a massive amount of interest being tacked on. I’ve put some pressure on him to make sure he understands this is it. It’s not fair for me to take hard-earned money of mine that I planned to utilize for other things to take care of one of his expenses.

The same could be said for my grandmother, whose health is not in the best condition. She has been in and out of hospitals lately because of her declining health, and family has been working around the clock to ensure she has the medical and personal care to put her back in the position where she can live a happy life. However, she continues to break the rules by sneaking and eating foods that she knows are bad for her blood pressure and health. Her salt intake has to be as low as possible, but it doesn’t help when we have family members giving her fast food going against doctor’s orders because she whines when she doesn’t get her way.

I hate to be blunt and I would never disrespect my elders, but I made it crystal clear to my grandmother that if she continues down this path, she is significantly decreasing her chances of survival. Bluntly put, I told her she’ll die a lot sooner if she doesn’t change her eating habits. She is already a diabetic, so there are things that she just can’t have. It sucks, I get it, too much of anything, rather its sugar, salt, caffeine or fat is not good people. Fighting temptation is much harder than giving into it, but in the long run you’ll applaud yourself for putting up a strong fight. I’m not just about to point fingers at people in my family, I’m also pointing the finger at myself for my lack to really commit to things and not place them on the backburner out of fear that I might not accomplish it. I’m not getting any younger and with each day that I procrastinate on doing something; I’m letting an opportunity slip from my fingers.

Not just any opportunity, but the opportunity to actually allow my dream to manifest in front of my eyes. As you get older you tend to reflect back on things that you should have done much sooner. As we get older we are indeed getting wiser, but with age, we’re supposed to reflect back on our mistakes so we don’t make them over and over again.