I recently gave myself permission to retire solo.
I had been spending a lot of time thinking about what the future would look like for me as a single woman and a solo entrepreneur. (I am solo both personally and professionally.)
Several months ago, I launched an aging alone Facebook group. Members bring up hot topics like affordable housing and medical care, transportation concerns, and countering isolation. Housing ranks the number one challenge for people over 60. It is particularly important for women who are aging alone.
Everyone thinks that illnesses are the scariest things that you have to face as you get a little older. While cancer and Alzheimer’s are undoubtedly terrifying, there is a force that many women our age fear even more – social isolation.
My husband and I just watched, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” Don’t listen to the less than flattering reviews – we were both rolling on the floor laughing. There is something about watching a big, loud, messy and interconnected family that triggers a primal wistfulness or a sweet nostalgia.
One of the frustrating things about science is that the path to truth is often littered with contradictions. Drinking wine is good for you. Drinking wine is bad for you. Eggs will kill you. Eggs may save your life. Salt is good, salt is bad… Well, you get the idea.
If you’re anything like me, your life has probably been filled with pets of all kinds. The first animal I bought for my kids was a small turtle. Over the years, my family owned gerbils, cats, dogs, birds and even a sugar-glider.
By the time we reach our 60th birthday, most of us have experienced our fair share of heart-break and disappointment. Some of us have gone through a divorce. Others have simply learned the hard way that not everyone can be trusted with our feelings. Is it any wonder that we are cautious about letting new people into our lives?
It’s easy to feel sad and lonely if you are spending Christmas alone. I would guess that, in our 60 years of life, almost everyone has spent at least one holiday season by themselves. There are, of course, lots of reasons that this might be the case.
Loneliness is not a normal part of the aging process, any more than sleeping poorly or losing your memory are. This was the simple message that Kory Floyd gave me when we talked today.
I do! When you live by yourself, you can get up whenever you want. You can wear your pajamas all day. You can cook whatever you want and eat your creations with whomever you choose.