The last year or so was terrible with lots of "growing old" happening.
- My best friend died after a long illness
- My older brother had a stroke and died after months in hospital
- We moved my mother with dementia to a memory-care retirement home
- We sold our childhood home (mother's home) and had to clean it out
- I turned 65
It has caused me to reflect on growing old and the differences between life at 30 and life at 65.
When you are 30, all your friends and relatives are alive, healthy, and carrying on normal lives. You are working hard on your career, family, and many other challenges. It feels like you are struggling at times, but your health is good, there are lots of new challenges and opportunities, and plenty of new things to learn and do.
When you are 65, your career is over, you have experienced a lot of things, your children are off on their own and busy with their lives, and hopefully you have a secure financial foundation and life situation. Your health is not as good, your partner's health is not as good, nothing much seems new and interesting, or the new challenges are for the vigorous young. Some of your fiends and family are gone, some have moved on and you don't hear from them anymore, some have changed, and the people you meet often have their own networks. Of course the pandemic, war in the Ukraine, and problems in the US have not helped.
I am trying to figure out how to make the golden years "golden". So far, I have tried reviving hobbies (a little success), traveling (good), making new friends (tough), and volunteering (not fun so far). I need to make a bigger effort.