Feeling old and scared-reaching out

Noel, Age 69

Having a bit of a struggle with my third act – just fractured my femur and had to put new career plans on hold, in addition to being unable to ride my horse. Graduating soon with a masters in clinical mental health counseling and this was my plan to do 15 hours a week helping people. So, feeling old and scared. Divorced, no children – my two sisters and I are estranged.
There are many of us out there – those that didn’t meet the usual life markers with husbands, children etc. Would love to chat with you!

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8 Responses to Feeling old and scared-reaching out

  1. Greetings. I can relate to your situation. I am 67 and with health challenges, have decided to stop part-time consulting work. Over the coming months I am focusing on rebuilding my health, and doing a gig of teaching yoga once a week. My plan in my later years had been to teach yoga, so for now I am proceeding slowly.

    I also fractured my femur 3 years ago, and I can say that with lots of physio and strengthening exercises and chiropractor adjustments to keep my hips aligned, I have regained a high degree of mobility. I decided I didn’t want to accept constraints from the medical profession and enjoy being physically well.

    Concern is natural, and the future can be very scary, however we all have a well of resilience, an amazing life force energy that can carry us through these deep challenges.

    All good wishes to you!

    • noel says:

      Thank you Carolyn for your response. It has been reassuring to know that you are back in shape after your femur break and teaching yoga to boot! When I asked my doctors when I could expect to ride my horse (a late in life passion) they looked at me as if I were crazy. I had the same reaction from my university professors when I enrolled in a graduate program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling 4 years ago here in Florida. Now, I am about to graduate at 70 with a 3.8 average, and a first prize in my research project at the Florida Mental Health Counselors annual conference this year. I am taking my work on the “continuity of consciousness” to support groups in the area with my walker.
      All of this sounds really great, and I am grateful, but there is this fear that the body can’t carry me where I need to go in my 70th year and beyond. This is not my first bout with physical ailments – I survived breast cancer 11 years ago. You have helped me tremendously and I will hold on to your story as I move toward wellness. All good fortune to you, Noel

  2. Patricia says:

    I am 69 and seem to to have been afraid all my life, and it does not seem that it will change. I have done all the things needed to do but still fear is always lurking. I work, have a great family, 2 loving dogs etc etc but still.
    I guess it is in the DNA. You would never know to look or talk with me. Maybe someone “out there” can share how they cope.

    • noel says:

      Hello Patricia,

      I am 69 too and will be 70 in December. I don’t always cope well mentally, but I “keep on truckin” just the same. I find that if your feet are moving in the right direction – the rest follows. I also find volunteer work as good way to alleviate anxiety. Hope this helps, Noel

  3. Dianne Benedict says:

    Hi, I am Dianne and Noel you have gone through some of the same challenges that I have. I fell at work Dec. 2014 and broke both legs. Surgery, two stainless steel plates in my right leg (Tibia and Fibula vertical fractures), 19 days in hospital, 3 months no weight on right leg, wheel chair, walker, cane, physical therapy and now a year and a half later can walk with no major difficulty.

    I also got my masters degree later in life, MFT in June 2014, I was 68. I had plans of having my own practice for the next 10 years. Now I’m 70, and instead of charging ahead like I have done all my life, all I want to do is retire, stop the rat race and spend some time enjoying nature and the world around me. Very different for me to want to settle down. I look forward to the changes I feel coming my way, also nervous and yes, dare I say it, sometimes even a little scared. I definitely would like to connect with others in my age group and above, who have navigated these waters before me. What a huge transition.

    Lucky for me I got a small settlement from Workman’s Comp for my accident and am using that to buy a cottage on the lake in the Ozark Mountains, near my hometown of Mountain Home Arkansas. I left there 55 years ago, lived a lot of places, mostly Alaska in the late 70’s and early 80’s and Hawaii for the last 29 years. I love it here but can’t afford the high cost of living that is Hawaii today.

    • Noel says:

      Hi Dianne, amazing synchronicity – good to hear you have recovered so well. Tib fractures are tough – had one myself (no surgery) 10 months ago and healed well except for the knee replacement which is, I am told, my destiny (we will see about that). Your house in the Ozarks sounds really beautiful – I have a house near Woodstock, New York which I just put on the market and will hopefully sell soon. I don’t have the courage to stay there because it is so isolated in the Winter months and grey most of the time. I do admire your desire to be reflective and in nature. I live in rural Florida now, not too far from Orlando, which gives me the feeling of being connected.
      Yes, it is scary this third act (watch Jane Fonda’s Ted Talk) and what I do ordinarily is grab as much info as I can on what I am scared about. I also thank my lucky stars for this website to connect with women such as yourself. I get how you feel about not being in the rat race, funny my plan was to practice for 10 years and then slip into whatever, but that has changed since my accident. I have been giving that a lot of thought…Do you plan on doing some counseling? Noel

    • Noel says:

      Hi Dianne, I would love to chat with you again and find out how you are faring in the Ozarks. Your reply to me was inspirational! Hope life is all good. Noel

  4. Susan says:

    Hello ladies,

    You all sound so accomplished and wise about managing your futures. I will be turning 70 in a few years and have not escaped the fears and dread. It seems like there is so much loss to contend with. I’m having trouble letting go of beautiful clothes, shoes and even my hair. I don’t want to go down south and join the many senior communities like many of our friends are doing. It feels like I am moving toward the edge of a cliff that I have to jump off of. No turning back!

    Watching my mother in her declining years and now my mother in law hasn’t helped either. It is scary….I can see it in my mother in laws eyes.

    Thank you for hearing me out. It’s wonderful to see you all here.

    I wish I could change my mind. Things could be easier, I think.

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