One way to overcome loneliness is to try and find a soulmate with whom to share the rest of life. I observe my girlfriends, some young and others not so young in their quests. Having become very independent and self-sufficient myself since my own divorce I wonder maybe somewhat cynically, if it’s worth the hassle! Let’s face it; now that you babyboomers (those born immediately after World War 2) and older have reached this stage of life most will have acquired baggage. Many will have acquired so much baggage along the way, both emotional baggage, financial and family baggage. From the prevalence of dating agencies we know how difficult it can be for single women to meet suitable men in the first place, so it stands to reason that it will be even more of a problem for single women who have the addition of baggage. Single men who are attractive enough propositions to risk everything for – baggage or no baggage – seem pretty elusive. Making comparisons with past partners is the kiss of death, one must never look back, but forward with an open mind to what might be. Of course we do hear of success stories, of mature women who do meet their “Mr Right” in their quest for love the second time around. Perhaps for them, the best is yet to come?
In my experience a sure way to keep young in heart is to be in the presence of people younger than oneself. Those fortunate to have a family will know what I mean, and others may have the privilege of working with younger people or mixing with them on a social level. I am of the opinion that if we are lucky enough to have family and young friends we should nuture them. We all have differences of opinions with our siblings, offspring and acquaintences over the years. Sometimes things can get heated and out of control. We express our differences of opinions or values and maybe, take up a moral stance. Of course some upsetting behaviour is quite unforgivable and a few situations involve serious injustice one to another.
When I look back over my life and the past 70 years I realise how young I was when I married for the first time. I was just 20 years old and had no experienced of the world whatsoever. My traditional marriage was in 1959 and I was a virgin bride. The pill, which was to change courting and relationships completely and forever, had yet to make it’s appearance. I don’t regret my marriage for an instant, but like many young wives who married in 1960 I became restless and felt constricted by the confines of conventional marriage. During the early years of my marriage I observed other women, just a few years younger than myself, who encouraged by the 60’s Feminist movement, were cutting and thrusting in what had previously been male domains. They were carving out satisfying careers for themselves and were financially independent.
Few us will escape the experience of losing a loved one through death at some time in our lives. As a young teenager my own mother’s sudden death from a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 47 years has had a profound effect on my life. It caused me great distress and the trauma of discovering my dear mother dead in the bathroom of our home still haunts me today. The moment I saw her my childhood ended abruptly and overnight I was forced to grow up and take on family responsibilities. Although young and distraught I the future to look forward to. But coming to terms with the loss of a husband, partner or friend at a later stage of life can create added problems to the grief already being experienced. There may be a very real fear of a future lived alone, and the possibility of having to cope with disability or ill health. This worry may be may be compounded by the fact that supportive family and friends live a long distance away.
“I expect to pass through this world but once,
Any good thing, therefore, that I can do,
Or any kindness that I can show to any fellow – creature
Let me do it now;
Let me not defer or neglect it,
For I shall not pass this way again.”