Changes at work...

Another day of change at work today. Looks like things are going to get rearranged again. And although the truth is that I sometimes get exasperated by it all it's just part of the business.

The economy is supposedly down. I say supposedly because lots of media voices are telling us things are bad. But it's their bread and butter to keep people glued to the set and bad news is a great way to do it. An example; I was listening to the news on my way down to LaCrosse this past weekend and it turns out that around 95 percent of people with mortgages are paying them off on time, the "crisis" is about 5% or so of mortgage holders! But if you watch the television it seems like they portray the whole thing as millions of families just a visit from the evil banker away from losing their homes and starring in their own version of The Grapes of Wrath. But whatever level of truth are in those breathless reports by millionaire news anchors we're on the receiving end of it all in one way.

Our bread and butter, though, is all about seniors selling their homes and making the jump to retirement living with us. Parkshore Senior Campus is a high quality place with a lot of services but also a hefty price tag. Two kinds of people come to stay with us, people with money to begin with and people who've acquired money through the sale of their homes or other assets and are essentially drawing down on that investment by living with us. If people think there is a crisis in housing they hold on for as long as they can, especially the potential clients of our independent living apartments, and vacancies accumulate. Just a handful of openings can take a lot of cash out of the flow and we need to find ways to be creative to keep everything out of deficit

And it could get worse because the baby boom is expected to produce a lot of seniors but how much they've actually saved for their retirement is still in question. My generation, and I'm on the very tail of the baby boom, are not necessarily as thrifty as the WW2 folks who experienced the Depression of the 30's. There's a rush to put up senior apartments, condos, and residences of all kinds but the truth is they might, in just a few years, be scrambling for residents as there will be plenty of space chasing too few with the money to pay the prices.

So it looks like we're going to retool again, find ways to do more with less and make sure all things are lined up in that uniquely corporate way. Part of me is tired of the constant flux but another part understands that this is just the way it is, being nimble and anticipatory is part of the game. One thing is certain, I continue to gain a deeper empathy for those who's vocation lies outside of the Parish, people who work in countless jobs and try to do their best to be Christians while swimming in the corporate river. It is a kind of martyrdom to be able to know how to navigate the maze, be a person of integrity, and still be fresh and ready in a world where business change now happens daily and in some cases on the hour. Whatever else comes out of this these times will make me a better Priest and hopefully wiser as well.

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