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.
Many women in the Sixty and Me community are dealing with loneliness. Some older women feel like they have had isolation thrust upon them by a divorce, career change, bereavement or relocation. Others have made conscious choices that have led to a solitary life. Either way, there is no denying that loneliness is a serious issue.
As a mom, it’s hard to miss how amazing kids are at making friends. They love to play and mix with other children. They have an insatiable desire for bonding, connecting and sharing! As we get older, the dynamic shifts.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of ways that we have to communicate with each other? When we were growing up, letters and (occasionally) telephone calls were the ways that we communicated. Now, our computers are buzzing, blinking orchestras of Facebook messages, Twitter notifications, Skype calls, email messages and more!
We all feel a little lonely at times. As a single woman, I often wish that I had someone to talk with and laugh with. Maybe it would be nice just to have someone to share my newly found cooking skills with.
Of course, I don’t dwell on these feelings. But, it’s clear to me that, whether we are married or single, feeling lonely from time to time is inevitable as we get a little older.
There’s a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Being alone is something we have all experienced in our lives, sometimes by choice, sometimes as the result of circumstances beyond our control. “Being lonely” involves how we interpret our situation.
Almost everyone feels lonely from time to time. In today’s “always on” society, it’s easy to feel alone, even when we are “connected” to hundreds of people online. This problem is especially serious for women over 60, who may be dealing with the loss of a job or other changing social circumstances.
Feeling lonely occasionally is normal, but, if your loneliness is starting to have an impact on your life, it may be time to take more aggressive steps. But, how can you tell the difference?