I’ve been single for the last 17 years. I got married in 1964, when I was 20 years old. I was married for 18 years (really, 15 years because that is when we separated). And then, after that, I had a relationship with a significant other for 17 years. Doing the math, I was in a relationship for 32 years and single for 42 years.
Everyone has the capacity to appreciate the simple joy of being alive. It is the delight you feel from the view of a spectacular sunset, the sound of a beautiful piece of music or the smile of a loved one. It is an experience of natural richness.
The phrase, “Follow your bliss,” was famously said by the author, Joseph Campbell. It seems like one of those New Age truisms that we respond to with, “Sounds nice, but who can afford to do that? Rock stars? Celebrities? Very rich people?”
You’d think that, after 60, we wouldn’t have a reason to compare ourselves with others. After all, we’ve already led full lives so why aren’t we comfortable in our own skin?
It took me quite some time to pluck up the courage and try internet dating after my husband died. At first, even the thought of it was horrifying, and my first visit to a dating site ended after just a minute or so. But as time passed – and I admitted I was doing okay but would like another man in my life…
I love my body – really? Be honest, have you ever said that to yourself? Or is it more typical of you to say, “I hate my body,” or “I hate my thighs,” or “My breasts sag”?
We lament the fact that we are not “perfect.” What would happen if you changed the words and started saying “I love my body”?
How many times a day do you check your phone? Ten times? Fifty? In today’s “always on” world, we are constantly bombarded by sounds and sights; many of which come from the devices that we choose to carry.
A lot is being written these days about the joy we’re finding at 60 and in the decades beyond. But is this counter-intuitive? After all, our lifetime is winding down, we’re facing a lot of endings, and our next chapters are undeniably shorter than our first.