Dif­fi­culty deal­ing with get­ting old

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

I’m 81 years old. Of all the is­sues I read about re­gard­ing se­niors, no one seems to ac­knowl­edge this one, and I just know I am not alone in this: the grief of try­ing to come to grips with the fact that I am old. First let me say that I live with my hus­band of 60 years; I have friends and a good church com­mu­nity; I ex­er­cise five times a week; and I have ful­fill­ing hob­bies. But what do I do with the frus­tra­tion I feel that we can no longer stand or walk the long dis­tances for all the en­ter­tain­ment and ac­tiv­i­ties we used to en­joy? What do I do with the mem­o­ries that should bring me hap­pi­ness but in­stead make me sad that they are no longer? How do I deal with see­ing how tra­di­tions that my par­ents, grand­par­ents and I have tried to keep go­ing seem lost on the new gen­er­a­tions? What do I do with see­ing fam­i­lies hav­ing fun to­gether while no one ever thinks to in­vite us older peo­ple along? What do I do with the cards and pho­tos I send and calls I make that are never ac­knowl­edged? What do I do with the guilt I feel for be­ing an­gry with my pre­cious hus­band when I want to do some­thing but we just sit home and dis­solve into mean­ing­less TV be­cause he can’t phys­i­cally do it any­more? What do I do when I can’t see or hear things and have to fake it?

Bot­tom line: How do I make my­self ac­cept the fact that I am old? Let your chil­dren or other younger fam­ily mem­bers know that you’re strug­gling and what you need from them — sup­port, ac­knowl­edg­ment, more qual­ity time to­gether or any­thing else.

Com­mis­er­ate with friends your own age about your frus­tra­tions. Just be­ing around peo­ple who “get it” can be in­cred­i­bly heal­ing.

It is fu­tile to try to stop your­self from feel­ing sad about old mem­o­ries. It is sad. It is hard. Ac­cept these feel­ings, and if they are too deep and hurt­ful, pro­cess­ing them with a ther­a­pist would be help­ful.

This is a re­sponse to “Ob­sessed and Tired,” the young teen who is ob­sessed with in­ter­net stars. She men­tioned that she be­lieves her in­ter­net ob­ses­sions are based on her lack of friends, but when I was a teen who was ob­sessed with anime, I used that in­ter­est to make friends. I went to con­ven­tions, joined clubs and went to events — all places where I could meet peo­ple who liked and en­joyed the same things as I did — and I met (and still meet) lots of new friends while en­joy­ing the things I like.

Luck­ily for “Ob­sessed,” this is an age in which the seem­ingly “nerdy” groups of young peo­ple are be­com­ing more so­cial and out­go­ing and have more to ac­cess and share. So I would sug­gest to her that she re­search and look into var­i­ous events, con­ven­tions or even fan group meet-ups to branch out her so­cial net­work and make new friends while fully en­joy­ing the things she likes.

I love this idea. I’ve passed your mes­sage along to “Ob­sessed and Tired.” Thank you for writ­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.