Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bored or Lonely? You Don't Have To Be

Old age is often saddled with the burden of loneliness.  The condition may be real or perceived. There are probably people who would assess me as lonely. I live alone in a retirement home. I don't play cards or dominoes. I don't have friends in "the home." although I am becoming acquainted with other residents. My daughter has visited me a couple of times in the last week and I have had calls from out of town family. I really don't consider myself lonely. There are some things I wish were different. I wish I could go shopping whenever I want, but I am limited to the scheduled shopping trips. I wish I could attend Bible study when I wanted, but, again, I am limited by the scheduled trips. These are other factors that aren't adapted to my taste or choice, but I would argue with the social workers or other professionals who would label me lonely.

I enjoy living alone. I can pursue reading, writing, TV, walks to view the foliage, birds, and fish. I enjoy surfing the net and writing random observations, poetry, and biblical commentary. Because of these solitary activities I might appear lonely. I'm not. I like this.

Those who would call me lonely need to find a new occupation. I'm not lonely. I have been told that the loneliest one can ever be is in a crowd. I believe it. It's not the number of people surrounding you that prevents loneliness. It has a lot more to do with interest or connection or, maybe, love. I think sharing prevents loneliness. Remembering eases the pain of loneliness when you focus on the joyous events of your life. Another practice that will relieve you from a life of loneliness is humor. Think about how Robin Williams or Jim Carry would handle your situation on screen. 

If you are getting old, look for the benefits, recount the lessons you have learned, and maintain your perspective. Getting old is not a bad thing. Living in "the home" is not necessarily evil, boring, or hopeless, either. Don't let someone else tell you how to deal with old age. It's your old age. Enjoy it!  

No comments: