Diane, Age 71
Thank you, Jane and Ellen for allowing me to share.
First of all, my heart goes out to Lois (“My 70’s Story”) for what she was faced with and for her courage in dealing with it.
I feel that I identify with Ronne in England. Even though – thank God – I’m healthy, I, too, have literally daily unbidden thoughts of my own mortality. I don’t feel my age and am reminded of the saying, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Honestly, I’d be in my mid 40s.
Since my husband and I moved to our current home ten years ago, I have found it quite impossible to generate any “genuine” friendships in spite of being involved in volunteer work for over seven years. Yes, I’ve developed acquaintanceships but have not formed any bonds (even among 70 somethings!) that I could call friendships. Are my standards simply too high? I hope not. I honestly feel that I have put genuine effort into the process with no results. I get a lot of, “Hey, let’s meet for coffee. I’ll call you.” No calls are received. And, when I take the bull by the horns, so to speak, everyone seems to be so “slammed.” I believe that I am a pleasant, interesting woman, and when I read or hear about other women’s “girlfriends,” (think Susan Branch, for example) I wonder, pitifully, how one acquires them. I joke to myself that Karma is biting me for sins committed in a previous life.
When I decided to join a book club 10 miles from where I live, I discovered that there is a “cutoff” age of 68! Apparently, even being 69, let alone 71, is “too” old. Are we septuagenarians offending the sensibilities of younger people?
I and many in my age group that I have known over the years had such respect for people in my parents’ generation. I was always interested in what they had to say and what their life experiences were. The fact that they were older than I made no difference to me. I don’t know about anyone else out there, but for the most part I don’t feel this is the case anymore. As I have previously mentioned, once you’re of a certain age, you’re simply invisible. I feel such a sense of loneliness. My husband loves me dearly, but we share no common interests (it’s not for lack of trying). He has his “guy” friendships to occupy much of his time.
All right then, enough of these depressing thoughts. I should pick up my needlework (challenging, not even close to Home Sweet Home) and my books (my “real” friends) and get on with it. Sigh. I don’t mean for this to be a complaint fest. Am I one of the few who feel this way?
Thank you again for the opportunity to pour it all out.