Tired se­nior re­quires a lit­tle self-care

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

Dear Amy: My hus­band and I (both re­tired se­niors) be­long to a ser­vice club. He joined well be­fore I did.

After a few years of mem­ber­ship, I re­al­ized I would have been hap­pier to just stay on the side­lines, but I hung in there be­cause it was im­por­tant to my hus­band for us to do things to­gether.

I served in var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties in our club and spent years in ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions. I have now been do­ing this for 10 years. The last few meet­ings I at­tended were (to me) un­pleas­ant and stress­ful.

I told my hus­band I am think­ing of re­sign­ing. He was ini­tially un­der­stand­ing, but then he got up­set and threat­ened to also re­sign if I did — his rea­son­ing be­ing: “We don’t do enough things to­gether.”

In re­al­ity, we never do much of any­thing sep­a­rately, and it is some­times sti­fling.

Be­fore we re­tired, he was a mem­ber of this ser­vice club by him­self. We are also mem­bers of one other club, which we both en­joy and would not think of leav­ing. We also travel to­gether.

At this point in my old age, I just want to re­duce stress and un­pleas­ant­ness. My health is not the best, I have se­ri­ous fam­ily obli­ga­tions and want to look after my­self.

Am I be­ing self­ish? Where do I draw the line?

Dear Stressed: This re­minds me of the old joke: A cou­ple is asked how of­ten they have sex. The hus­band says, “Al­most never — like once a week!,” while the wife says, “All the time — like once a week!”

You two have dif­fer­ent per­cep­tions of “to­geth­er­ness.”

Your hus­band seems to be adept at get­ting his needs met. You? Not so much.

“Self-care” has be­come a buzzy phrase. It can be chal­leng­ing to un­der­stand what it re­ally means to take care of your­self.

Many women who have given so much to spouses and chil­dren face the chal­lenge of how to cope (and how oth­ers will cope) when they de­cide to stop giv­ing it all away.

No, you are not be­ing self­ish. You should draw the line wher­ever you want to, and your hus­band, bless him, will have to ad­just. You are not re­spon­si­ble for his feel­ings or his be­hav­ior.

Carv­ing out a few af­ter­noons on your own at the li­brary, gym or sit­ting by your­self qui­etly will re­vive you, be good for your health and will likely be good for your re­la­tion­ship.

Dear Amy: My wife and I are in our late 70s and want to move into a se­nior hous­ing fa­cil­ity.

We both are healthy enough to live into our 90s (both our moth­ers lived past 100), but we agree that she will prob­a­bly live longer than I.

She wants to move into a se­nior fa­cil­ity we be­came ac­quainted with through older friends who lived (and died) there.

I don’t want to move there, but she thinks that since she will live in the fa­cil­ity the long­est, her choice gets pri­or­ity.

She doesn’t even want to check out other fa­cil­i­ties to find a com­pro­mise.

What should we do?

Dear Torn: You two seem very prac­ti­cal re­gard­ing your fu­tures, but I don’t think it is par­tic­u­larly use­ful to ap­ply an ac­tu­ar­ial ta­ble to your cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. Right now, this is not pri­mar­ily about where you will die but about how you will live. Your wife is not mak­ing a ra­tio­nal choice about her fu­ture hous­ing if she hasn’t ex­plored the avail­able op­tions.

You don’t men­tion why you don’t want to move into the fa­cil­ity she prefers, but both of your in­ter­ests and needs should have equal weight.

For the sake of your re­la­tion­ship, you should both work hard to have an open mind re­gard­ing op­tions. You should meet with ad­min­is­tra­tors, take photos and make pro and con lists. Ask her to leave her com­fort zone and to look at four places with you, in­clud­ing the place she prefers.

Dear Amy: In your re­sponses about work­place is­sues, you of­ten ad­vise peo­ple to “go to HR.”

I don’t know about your ex­pe­ri­ences with HR, but for many peo­ple Hu­man Re­sources rep­re­sents the in­ter­ests of the com­pany, and only the com­pany.

Dear Ex­pe­ri­enced: I agree that it is im­por­tant to be aware that HR reps work for the same com­pany as the com­plainant. It is vi­tal to doc­u­ment ev­ery meet­ing and en­counter, even with HR.

Copy­right 2020 by Amy Dick­in­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.