I have a secret. Well I guess it won’t be after posting, but here goes. Not sure what triggered this urge to share other then feeling much love from you all on some comments and the next thing I know this memory pops into my head.
While my daughter was in high school she participated in choir all 4 years. This involved me going to the auditorium twice a year to go see their performances. I indeed did support my daughter, but the thought of dragging myself out of my sanctuary was always a bit of a rub. This was also when I was binge drinking periodically so brews were off the table for those nights. It was also after my divorce, so sitting alone wasn’t something to look forward to. Sometimes I got lucky and my son would join us.
Anyway, I’d go. As the lights dimmed In the auditorium I’d start feeling more relaxed and my nerves would calm. One by one the girls would walk out and line up on the bleacher stand on the stage. I’d closely watch each one enter from the side checking to see if it was my Allie. Once they were ready the choral director would signal to the pianist. There would be a small pause and then the first note struck and then beautiful voices would fill the air.
At that very point each time, my heart and soul would just dance and melt together. It brought me back to my youth like a time warp. As I watched each young soul on stage I thought of their beautiful beautiful beautiful innocence. I heard the sound of love coming from their voices and was just overwhelmed. I’d wonder what would happen to them once they left high school and how would life treat them. Would their dreams come true? Did they have dreams? How was their life up to this point? All these thoughts flowed in my head with again such innocence and wonder in them. What such great potential and love I saw in each one. As their voices sang loud and soft so did I. The walls within me slowly fell away, if only briefly, and I saw the angelical light surround them all.
As I sat and listened in that auditorium, I was thankful for them and that the lights were dimmed. For each time tears would flow down my cheek❤️
Life is so good and so precious,
How long have you shied away from discomfort?
Comfort is safe. It’s warm. It’s “controlled”. It”s easy.
But is it living?
Harnessed up my motley crew of misfits for a walk.
Jammed to one of the best rock albums ever – Led Zeppelin IV
– to be a rock and not to roll…
Happy Sunday everyone. Get outdoors and ROLL😎
Since my last post on loneliness, I decided to take a small action in breaking out of my “home comfort zone”. As it sounds, I spend a lot of time at home working and living without a lot of face time with other folks. Like many people, making the effort to get out there and meet new folks or socialize seems very exhausting. When I was younger it was a much different story, but then again I had a beer in my hand and not a care in the world. Slowly after being married and then divorced I somehow just stopped making the effort.
Well after posting Loneliness, I pulled out a 3 x 5 card and wrote my name, number, and email on it. The following Monday, I gave it to a guy I know at yoga and asked if he’d be interested in meeting up for breakfast and/or hikes and he said that sounds great. Well today we met for breakfast and I’m now in the breakfast club with him and another guy and I couldn’t be happier. He also said him and his wife would love to hike whenever I want.
I’ll tell you it was very uncomfortable handing him my info. At 53, I was like shit do I really want to do this? Is it worth it? What if he thinks I’m some kind of freak? I started thinking back to kindergarten in school and how I was always a bit scared to go up to new kids, but aftwards …it just worked out.
Small steps, but I’m starting to break out of my shell. How do you break out of your shell?
Let’s start off from my last post:
“I feel like I’m supposed to be getting more social, but that push is more like a “living up to society” requirement and not one of my own right now. We’ll see….”
So in my Gerontology class about a week later we had a speaker come in and discuss loneliness and the aging. She provided this statistic and it really floored me.
Here’s some information/links I found:
“Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.” Douglas Nemecek, MD, chief medical officer for behavioral health, Cigna https://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20180504/loneliness-rivals-obesity-smoking-as-health-risk
From Amy Mornin on https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/americas-loneliness-epidemic-is-more-lethal-than-smoking-heres-what-you-can-do-to-combat-isolation.html: “There are several reasons why loneliness can be deadly. First, it reduces your immunity, which can increase your risk of disease. But, it also increases inflammation in the body, which can contribute to heart disease and other chronic health conditions. Stress will also affect you more if you’re lonely. Financial trouble, health problems, and everyday obstacles may take a bigger emotional toll on individuals who lack social and emotional support.”
So getting back to my last post, this obviously scared the shit out of me. I’m learning so much in my class and thinking to myself I need to plan for the future and stay as healthy as possible to enjoy it, but I never thought about how loneliness had such an affect on the quality of our lives. Many of you know I work from home and sit behind a computer all day as a mobile app developer. I’m divorced and live by myself …well I have two dogs : ). My social life is pretty much nil, other then a couple of folks I go out to dinner and hikes with on occassion.
Like I said in my last post I thought this whole social thing was more of a society push, but this information has pretty much changed that thought process. I believed I’d be fine if I was older and alone from time to time. I’m doing it now and enjoy my freedom and privacy, but….jeez I certainly don’t want to being checking out any earlier then I need to.
Amy’s article goes on to explain more:
“Loneliness isn’t the same thing as being alone. Some solitude is good for you.
But, being alone needs to be a choice in order to be healthy. Elderly people who want companionship yet lack visitors, for example, are more likely to experience the physical and emotional effects of being alone.
It’s also quite possible to feel lonely even when you’re around people. If you don’t feel as though those around you truly understand you, or if you fear that they wouldn’t accept you if they knew the ‘real’ you, being around people won’t necessarily resolve your lonely feelings.”
That last paragraph really resonates with me. I feel it everyday and it has gotten to the point where I’m tired of just the basic chit chat shit. I crave for deep convos without judgement. Let me be clear this is not just an older adult “thing”. I crave for nonverbals showing I’m not crazy. I crave someone just getting me as I am, not agreeing with everything I believe, but just accepting me.
I feel like this is the only place where I can get some of this fullfilment, but understand I need a lot of this face to face with someone. I need to be touched. I need to be hugged. I need some coffee time chats : )
How about you?
I thought I’d provide an update on how all is going. I started a Gerontology class about a month ago. It goes for two semesters and I’ll end up with a certificate. I’ve always been interested in working with the Aging and after reading Marc Freedman’s book, Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the second half of life, I felt motivated to start looking into careers I could do that have a direct social “good” impact on humankind. Over 25 years ago when I was in college, I had made the decision to follow the money and go down the tech path even though back then I was interested in gerontology. Now as I start looking for my second career, I am in a position where I can explore different options that makes my soul smile. It’s exciting. It may not be for another 5 years, but I thought why not explore now. Marc’s book is a great read and I highly recommend it. It’s about giving back to society and much much more. Our generation hasn’t exactly made this planet a better place, but we still have time to leave a legacy we’re proud of.
I’m making good process on my emotional eating after getting sober. I’m down approx. 15 pounds overall for the year. It definitely has taken all the discipline I have, but more crucial looking into more of the Why I need “something” to escape my reality. Understanding I’m not my thoughts and becoming the watcher has helped. I’ve learned more about this with Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself. ….boy I’m plugging a lot of books, eh : )
Last month, was the last month for me paying maintenance and child support to my ex. It’s probably a touchy topic for many who follow me, so I won’t be shooting off any fireworks. Obviously, that frees up money that I now can put toward my debt. As many of you know when I got divorced I had to get a loan from my mother, so I basically didn’t have to go bankrupt. I’m happy to say that I’ll have that loan paid off at the end of November and be totally out of debt other than my house payment. This is a whole new concept for me being debt-free. Crazy how long it has taken me to figure it all out. I’m 53. I guess it’s not really crazy. I’m a slow learner and always learn the hard way.
I just opened my I’m Done Drinking app and it reads I’ve been sober 234 days. Things are going well on that front. I don’t have cravings and am enjoying the clarity and hangover-free mornings. You have to understand though it took me over 40 years to quit. I stopped, started, repeated…many many times. This year though it finally came to the point of being done for good and not looking back. I cheer anyone who is on this journey!!!
That’s about it. Been loving up the fall and getting out on hikes. I feel like I’m supposed to be getting more social, but that push is more like a “living up to society” requirement and not one of my own right now. We’ll see….
Sending Loving Vibes,