A lonely, brooding 65 year old hunched over the morning papers with a cup of tea, sitting alone at a breakfast table… what is wrong with this picture? Everything except the cup of tea and the newspaper. The concept of aging in our society is completely warped. We should think of old age as a time to relax. A time when we no longer need to worry about waking up and getting to work on time. A time when we can stay home and read all day, if we like. We, as a society, should learn to age like pros.
We must all think of old age positively. Smile, even if you are not up to it. The need for friends does not end with advancing age. We need friends, preferably throughout our lives. Smiling, laughing and chatting with friends is as essential a part of life at 70 as it is at 17. Sending out positive vibes to friends, family and acquaintances is a way to be happy.
Just because you are over the retirement age, you don’t have to lose touch with loved ones. This is where the wonders of technology come in. Call them on the phone. Talk to them about your day, what TV shows you watched, what new book you read or simply what you think about your neighbour’s dog. This way, the younger people in the family will have access to you, even if they don’t have the time to visit.
Sitting alone at home and brooding about how lonely you are is not an attractive proposition at any age. Your friend circle might have dwindled but who’s to say you can’t make new friends. Yes, even at 73. Step outside the confines of your home and take a walk around the neighbourhood. If there is a park close by, go and walk there. You might see a face that you know or new, friendly faces. Talk to them.
Do your children and grandchildren live abroad? Do you miss your grandkids? Embrace latest technology. Keep in touch with them the way that is most convenient – via Email, Skype, Facebook and Instagram. Upload photos of yourself on Facebook. Ask to see their latest pictures and like them. Share jokes and keep abreast of the goings on in the world. Your grandkids will love you.
Last but not least, entertain at home. Have people over as often as you can, be it friends or family. Invite them to tea or dinner. Designate a certain day for this event. Before you know it, your home could turn out to be a favourite haunt of your friends. You could also get invited back. Whatever the case may be, socialising will no longer be a challenge.
Enjoy yourself, have fun and old age will no longer be the dreary time that it is thought to be. It will be what it has always been – a celebration of a full life gone by. Then, even if you sit at the breakfast table with your early morning cup of tea, browsing the day’s paper, you won’t be lonely and brooding.