Tag Archives: single

Living Alone and Loneliness — Not the Same Thing!

12 May

Last week the local newspaper had a front page story about how living alone leads to shorter life spans. The article led with the story of two individuals, both in their 80s. One walked his dog several times a day and lived alone in a small apartment. His daughter visited almost every day. But his wife had died the year before and he was obviously still grieving. Of course, he felt lonely.

The other example was a woman in declining health who had outlived most of her friends and family. She had become immobile after an active life. She said she was ready to join her friends who had gone on.

You see the problem here, of course. The reporter had confused living alone with loneliness. Though the studies on which the article was based made it clear that loneliness led to a shorter life, too many people like this reporter jumped to the conclusion that living alone equaled loneliness.

Feeling lonely is as common as breathing among the human race. The problem leading to a shorter life span comes with unrelenting loneliness. Living alone can be freedom at its best if its a choice. If it’s forced upon an individual, however, it makes loneliness worse.

In the next few days, I’d like to explore how to solve the problem of loneliness — until it happens again, of course. ¬†Topics include:

  • Taking control by making choices
  • You got to go to where everyone knows your name
  • Making a real connection

And finally, if you’re feeling lonely, check the calendar. If you’re still feeling lonely in a couple of weeks, you’re probably depressed and need the help of a mental health professional. Get help!

But if you experience occasional bouts of loneliness like most of the human race, check back here. We will find some answers.

The Love Experiment: Day Seven/Just Being Nice

2 May

I realized today would be an office day with people I already know. So, my goal would be to make it a little nicer for each one of them. The idea would be to make each person smile and to recognize their sincere efforts. If I couldn’t find an effort worth recognizing, I would fall back on the smile exchange.

It worked.

The folks at the office are working on a multimillion dollar project with an almost impossible deadline. Stress is as common as coffee. But to their credit, most keep cool most of the time — which makes being nice easy.

I started out admiring the receptionist’s jewelry, but she beat me to it and admired my shoes. High-fived one guy for no particular reason — and he started it. My partner expressed gratitude for work I’d done before I could thank him for his.

It was one pleasantry after another all day. And we made progress on our project. Then, when traffic came to a standstill on the way home, I was mellow. Think I’ll try to make a habit of nice.

STRESS LESS

STRESS LESS (Photo credit: BetterWorks)

The Love Experiment: Day One

26 Apr
Is it love worthy?

Is it love worthy?

Day One of the experiment to love everyone started out rocky. The lady in the Camry just sat there, when she had plenty of opportunity to turn right on red. Behind her, I waved and pleaded. Suddenly she took off and I was right behind her.

Then I remembered that I loved her. Felt ashamed of thinking of her in those terms of backward, low IQ, cell phone addled chickie. Sorry.

When I got to work, everyone I met I mentally told them I loved them. I’ve been at this job only two weeks, so I don’t know how these people act over the long term. Over the short term, they’re hard working and friendly. Today, as I mentally loved them, they were extra friendly and smiling.

Of course, it was Friday. That alone can make most of us feel better.

At Costco, when I sent a love vibe to the Direct TV salesman, he smiled and didn’t try to sell me. A lady offered to let me break in line in front of her because I only had a few items — and I hadn’t mentally loved her yet. I wonder if I’m sending off love vibes in a wake that catches anyone close by.

Today was a pleasant day. Worked hard, but no people problems. Maybe all they need is love. Will try loving all again tomorrow and report back. Is anyone else trying this experiment with me?

To Happily Network, Change Channels Frequently

15 Apr

The boomer living one time can get caught in a rut of the solitude of home and busyness of work. So you the single boomer must network, and we’re not talking about the phony go-to-a-reception-and-trade-business-cards with some passing stranger. You need to build community, and the best way to do that is to change channels frequently. Fight the rut.

Think of networking as TV channels with hundreds of choices. Choose a handful and get involved intimately. And before you get too comfortable, change the channel. Challenge yourself. Avoid ruts and boredom. (And if the channel you’ve selected is having an off day, you the single boomer can just go home and do as you please!)

Here are some channels to try:

  • CBS, the grandfather of networks, represents family, the kind you’re actually related to by genes and marriage. Family provides the most consistent community, so nurture those roots.
  • NBC, once the king of sitcoms that featured friends (“Friends” or “Seinfeld”), stands for your friends right now, the ones who will join you at the neighborhood bar with last minute notice. These folks are golden. Cherish them.
  • ABC, ¬†the third network, started in my childhood showing reruns of “The Little Rascals” and the original “Mickey Mouse Club.” (RIP, Annette.) And I would stop and watch either one right now. These old friends are so comfortable that years can pass between visits yet it’s like no time at all. These people are life’s blessings. Call one when you need someone to talk to.
  • CSPAN covers government in a boring non-shouty way. Wouldn’t it be nice to have acquaintances to talk about current events and issues without shouting? Way too much judge-y shouting in this uncouth world. How wonderful to find friends open to ideas different from theirs or yours, with whom you can take an issue to different conclusions. When you find this channel, invite me.
  • TLC, The Learning Channel, is home to “What Not to Wear” and “Honey Boo Boo.” Opinionated people with good taste or loud people with poor taste provide entertainment. They’re fun to know and spend time with in short bursts. Enjoy them, briefly, then change channels.
  • TCM, Turner Classic Movies or any old movie channel, brings old values and good dialogue and songs you can sing to. They represent classic values that can be found in a community of faith or service. Visit the channel regularly that soothes your soul and encourages your natural urge to serve others.
  • ESPN, the sports channel, represents moving your body. You’ve got a body, so move it. And it’s more fun to do with others, whether it’s basketball or zumba. Play. Have fun. Move. Your mind will be better for it.
  • The SyFy channel, where science fiction and fantasy appear, is where your virtual friends belong. Do you have online buddies that you’ve never met? These virtual tribes usually grow out of a mutual interest. They add spice to life. The only drawback is the introverted may get lost there and forego touchable humans.

So, what channels have I left out for the single boomer in search of community?

Single Adult Boomer? Congratulations!

7 Apr

If almost half of the adults in this country are living alone, and living longer alone, let’s celebrate it. Embrace the single life!

The mission of this blog is to focus on the art of living alone within a community. We may be alone at home, embracing our solitude, but we live and work with others. For our own happiness and value to society, we work and play with other humans. Other people enrich our live. We love and we loathe. Isn’t life fun?

In the weeks ahead we will explore the singe life from a decidedly middle-aged point of view. If you’re a youngster looking for a hook-up, move on. All ages are welcome to join in this discussion, but the topics will trend boomer.

Most of us have lived with others at one time in our adult lives, but death, divorce or grown-up kids find us living alone. Isn’t it an awesome relief to eat whenever, listen to whatever music, as loud as we want?

Alone doesn’t mean lonely, any more than coupled prevents loneliness. Some of us remember being coupled as one of the most lonely times of life. We will look into that in more detail in the future.

As for me, I’m a boomer, divorced more than 20 years, mother to grown-ups. At the moment I’m not involved in a romantic relationship, but I’m open to it. The older we get, the greater the gap between relationships. Again, I’ve just accepted this. Romance is part of the challenge of solo living. More to come about that later.

A recent upheaval in my career gave me opportunity to pause and remember what made me happy. Back before the invention of the Internet, I was a feature writer for newspapers. I worked hard to connect with readers, to make them think or feel about a personality or a topic. Now that newspapers are dying (and the country will be poorer for it), it’s time for me to connect with readers again. This time I’m writer, editor and publisher. How cool/scary is that?

Even if you’re not living alone, join us. Ultimately, we’re all alone as we move through this life. Community can begin right here, right now. Welcome!