My mother-in-law lives by herself. She’s in her late 70’s. Her home is immaculate. She is immaculate. She has two cats. We live in Sydney. She lives in London. That’s just the start of a story that many families are challenged by at Christmas.
Not long ago I saw an elderly gentleman shuffling along the footpath, looking down and watching where he was walking. He came to a set of traffic lights and walked down the sloped gutter onto the road against a red walking signal. Concerned that he hadn’t noticed the signal and perhaps wasn’t seeing the traffic I parked as quickly as possible and walked back to assist. This is what I discovered …
Single is great. There’s no one else to consult or negotiate with about what you want to do on a weekend. No sharing a bathroom. And, only one mess to clean up – your own. Whether always single, divorced, or widowed, as we get older we may just want company. But, night clubs and bars may not be where we want to hang out to meet a possible partner. Internet dating may just be the answer …
I rarely read, listen or watch biographies or autobiographies. Sometimes though there’s a story that unexpectedly touches and inspires me. This is one of those stories. Read on to hear the story and why I found it so encouraging.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics nearly one-third of all Australians, that’s 4.4 million Australians, do voluntary work contributing 704.1 million hours of labour. We know that remaining active and engaged in life is essential to living a long, happy, and healthy life. However, who would have guessed that volunteering could provide these physical and mental benefits to how we age?
Whilst some of us are happy to move to a retirement village when we’re older it’s not for everyone. I’m probably in this latter group. However, a danger of remaining at home is loneliness and isolation and potentially poorer health. Keep reading to learn what we need to consider to remain healthy and happy if we want to remain at home.
A number of years ago I caught a train from Sydney to Canberra. The train left Sydney late morning so the majority of passengers were pensioners. I sat opposite a lovely couple and, as is my tendency, we chatted. Their story is one I’ve not forgotten, so I thought I’d share it with you here.
Imagine embracing each passing year. Truly embracing. Wrapping your arms around being that one year older and genuinely looking forward to the year ahead. Celebrating what you’ve learned and looking forward to the challenges and lessons ahead. This does not mean life is a bowl of roses, Pollyanna like. It’s accepting what is, with all the ups and downs, and moving forward in a way that accommodates the changes and makes space for more changes. Grey hair, wrinkles and all. What have I done?
The other day I was walking down the street and I noticed someone wearing a t-shirt with this slogan:
“It took me 60 years to be this good looking.”