Giving to everyone but yourself
Modern women are starting to wise up. After we have driven ourselves half-crazy with meeting everyone else’s’ needs we begin to realize that if we do not take care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, we will be no good to anyone.
This habit of caring so much for others, children, spouse, parent etc., is so engrained in our society that it is a hard habit to break once we get the chance.
We think that the cooking, cleaning, laundry and dentist visits will go on forever, and then all of a sudden we are facing the empty nest or what is worse a solitary life.
This comes about in the natural order of life, children grow up move away, and spouses get lost either through death, imbecility, or divorce.
So how do we cope with the empty days ahead? Women live longer, and have health problems that slow them down, but they still need to fill the days with meaningful activities.
One of the traps of the older woman’s life is charity. They think that since they are good at giving, they might as well join as many clubs as possible.
Wait! Not everyone is compatible in club work or charitable works. If you have a fixed income, those politicians need not beg you for one more penny. The $25 you send to that television or radio station could better be spent on yourself.
I think we ought to educate people to the fact that lower income seniors are not to give away anything, especially charity. There is no return on it.
My experience was one of painful lessons after I started living on my own after retirement.
I was long used to fending for myself, and did not need “Me Time” to be provided by spouse or anyone. It seems like I continually deferred having any time for myself until I was alone.
Now I can take long bubble baths with no one pounding on the bathroom door. I can read a hot romance until my eyelids droop; I can indulge in any movie or television program of my choice with no fights over the control of the remote.
It took about a year or two until I could get back into joining anything. There are so many things on offer for a senior to do that she need not tie herself down to somebody else’s’ schedule of duties.
Sometimes the activity is not a good fit, as an example, I tried Bingo afternoons at a local Senior Center. Boring, and I made no friends there, ate too much of the wrong kind of snacks, and won nothing.
Then later on, I tried helping to sort books for a book sale.
It was there that I really did not fit, as I misjudged the power structure and rules completely.
I did not give up, but worked with a different club where I was praised for helping in the kitchen, and doing the cleaning up after events.
“Experts” on retirement remind us that we need social groups for a happier and healthier long life. The trick is to keep looking for that great fit, and one that you can afford.
Travel with friends is always fun, but after a while the costs prohibit the bus trips to the casino, or the cruises in the Mediterranean.
So to the thirty something women I say-“ Take your Me Time now, get used to it, as there will be plenty more when you break the bad habit of “caring” for everyone but yourself.