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10 Ways to Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself After 60

By Pat Skene August 28, 2023 Mindset

Sometimes it’s very hard to think nice thoughts when your hip is in constant pain. Your hair is getting thinner and your waist is getting thicker. To top it all off, you woke up this morning with a spikey black whisker on your chin!

Where the heck did that come from? Did it spring up overnight? Or has it been around for days, taunting onlookers who were kind enough to pretend it wasn’t there?

Staying motivated is tough. Getting older isn’t always about carefree living, travelling, and exciting new adventures. Sometimes it’s about living day to day with health issues, money problems, chronic pain, and an ever-shrinking world. To get unplugged, we try reading articles that promote the “10 Senior Secrets,” but nothing’s working.

There are days when we need a good kick in the bloomers to get unstuck from feeling that our quality of life is melting away faster than a double scoop on a hot summer day.

Keep Aging in Perspective

There have been many articles and comments written on Sixty and Me about the joys and challenges of aging. We all do what we can to support each other and be the best we can be as we deal with the crusty rusty years.

But if our thoughts are not in a good place, we can find it difficult to read about others who seem to be managing so much better than we are. Living our lives can become a challenge when we have to compromise or eliminate activities that bring us joy.

Find Inspiration through Poetry

Recently, I found an ancient poem written over one thousand years ago by the Chinese poet Hanshan. It came on a day I needed it most and spoke volumes to me in its simplicity. I would like to share it with you:

Bugs in a Bowl

We’re just like bugs in a bowl.
All day going around never leaving their bowl.

I say, That’s right! Every day climbing up
the steep sides, sliding back.

Over and over again. Around and around.
Up and back down.

Sit in the bottom of the bowl, head in your hands,
cry, moan, feel sorry for yourself.

Or. Look around. See your fellow bugs.
Walk around.

Say, Hey, how you doin’?
Say, Nice Bowl!

Choose What We See

When I sent the above poem to a friend of mine, she said, “It makes you want to think ‘nice’.”

Sometimes it’s hard for us to think ‘nice’ all the time. Especially when we’re in pain and have to limit our activities. But Hanshan reminds us to practice mindfulness and stay connected to our world. To stay in touch with our fellow bugs. His simple words suggest that moping and feeling sorry for ourselves can lead to isolation and despair.

Studies have shown that social interaction is critical for our well-being and ongoing mental development as we age. Regardless of our limitations, we need to remember to interact with others and continue doing things we love.

And that usually means being in a constant state of renewal, as we adjust and regroup into our newly morphed selves on any given day.

10 Ways to Get Inspired

As I continue to Live with Lupus and my limitations seem to grow daily, I am determined to enjoy life, regardless of the ever-changing view. Here are some things I do that work for me:

  • Attend a monthly book club meeting I organized right here in my condo building.
  • Reach out to the online community by blogging about what matters to me.
  • Call my out-of-town sisters for marathon telephone conversations.
  • Relax my mind and body through meditation and visualization exercises.
  • Practice gentle yoga and deep breathing exercises every day.
  • Water-dance to music in the pool with my waterproof iPod.
  • Share a glass of wine and a good meal at home with my husband, family, and friends.
  • Enjoy every minute I can with my daughter and granddaughter.
  • Read good books which inspire and broaden my world.
  • Play online scrabble with people from around the world.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

So to all my fellow bugs out there – Hey! How you doin’? What things do you do to stay happy and connected in your bowl? Do you prefer meeting online or in person? Which of your interests have inspired the greatest friendships over the years? Please leave a comment and join the conversation.

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I just want to share with you about a woman I met years ago. She had lupus and it had gotten to a point where she was in a wheelchair. She started changing what she ate and also, wearing a black body suit that made her sweat, utilized the sauna at the rec. enter daily. When I met her she was no longer wheelchair bound and said those two things – plus working through emotional trauma – improved her lupus significantly.


Go to YouTube and search for “plant based whole food lupus”. You’ll be amazed. Also search for Brooke Goldner and her story of overcoming lupus.


Can Margaret Manning somehow put us all in touch?


I had a hysterectomy and turned 60 10 days later during the pandemic lockdowns in 2021. I’d managed the lockdown situation well then the very last lockdown at the beginning of 2022 threw me off kilter. I became very down and couldn’t seem to shake it off.

This feeling dragged on for the rest of the year and a bit into this year as well. There was an element of “woe is me” creeping in and my husband said do something about it.

I have 2 weeks holiday to look forward to, then I have decided when my husband goes back to his office I am having a revamp of my life. A new gym has opened locally so I plan to join so I can up my fitness levels and hopefully lose a little weight. I have plans in my head to start a new blog (also to resurrect an old one – husband is an IT guy and is going to revamp the design and move it to a new platform for me).

I’m also slowly getting back into German lessons and have craft projects for the long winter months. I realise I need to treat these things like having a job as opposed to just being hobbies (before moving overseas I had a business).

I’m excited at the prospect of being busy again, too many people give up and I don’t want to be one of them.


My family is all gone, so I it takes effort to avoid getting too isolated. I belong to several interesting meetups that met (and they still meet) all through Covid on Zoom, and I recently started going to “Women Friends Over 50” meetups that gather in person – I think they have them all over the country, so I urge other women here to look into that. I volunteer often at my animal shelter which has been a huge help, it feels really good to contribute. And so far I have been very lucky with my health. I just try to focus on what is good in my life and not dwell on what is not so good, ie lack of a partner.


Are there others who would enjoy an email pal with similar interests? Might there be a forum already in place here for email pals?

Margaret C

I would be interested in an email pal.

Marion S.

Hi, I’d love to have an email pal. :)

Nancy Trevino

I’d be interested in an email pal. We currently live in Ecuador.

Dawn Harrison Collins

sure sounds fun you always can get some different aspects from others.


Yes, I would Rita….but I am 69 and probably a lot older than you. What are your interests?

Montemayor Barbara

I would love a pen pal! I’m a 64 year old retired teacher with a beach condo who loves traveling and reading.

Sally Matich

Count me in too!! I’d be keen to connect with others as an epal but not sure how we can do that …🌺

The Author

Pat is a Métis writer and author of several books for children. Her new picture book, Lights Along the River, will be published in early 2024. Her memoir will also be released next year. You can find many of Pat's short stories at She can be reached through her blog at

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