The art of aging.

So you have worked hard all your life and raised a family to become well adapted, happy young adults, possibly supporting them in the beginning of raising a family of their own. In recent years you may have dreamt about retiring and taking life a bit easier but now that it has arrived you may find it difficult to “slow down”. It may prove impossible to break the routine of getting out of bed at 7:00am, even on the weekend and feel it necessary to fill each day with some form of useful activity. These very often involve tasks which have been put on the long finger for many years like DIY or redecorating the house. It appears that many people who have looked forward to this time of life forget that other matters would also have an effect on them, which are very often the issues which are so difficult to deal with during the later years.

Children have grown up and moved on with their lives (as indeed they should-I hear you say) but once retired and finding oneself with some much desired free time it is common for people to experience the empty nest syndrome and all the emotions that come with it. You may ask yourself why it had to happen so fast. Why, now when I have the time to give to them and would love to share more with them they are not here? For many at this stage the pleasure of having grandchildren can help to momentarily fill the nest. For others less fortunate or whose grandchildren live abroad it can become a difficult time and the transition into retirement may provoke strong feelings of loss, abandonment, sadness or even regret. The late morning coffee with friends may have lost its appeal once the conversation is high jacked by hip replacements and cholesterol updates. Just as the once enjoyable game of golf becomes a tedious task of more leisure time when all you crave is an important phone call summoning you to attend something really important. The realisation that phone call won’t come may be a relief to some but to many it may be a shock into the harsh reality that is retirement.

With the rapid acceleration of technology it can be comforting to have a wide range of ways of keeping the lines of communication with family and friends alive. But what happens the older generation who have not kept up with technology? Feeling in the dark can leave many people isolated and very lonely. With the younger generation struggling to get by and support their own young families the question left in many a more mature mind may be what do we do next?

Erika Sanger.
Inspired by a wonderful Dad and Grandad (aka Giggis!)