My story in life’s constant changes

Central, New Jersey, – Joyce, just turned 70

Just found your website as was looking for some perspective on hitting the big 70 and dealing with changes in my life again. Sure not where I thought I would be at this time. But enjoy your blog and ordered your book today. At times you feel alone, even with people around you.

Well, turned 70 this year and find my life this year really turned around. Last time this year my apartment flooded out again and this time it was bad. The complex was taking so long to fix the place and I got sick from it all and thanks to a very good friend of mine, she offered me her upstairs to live in. So with my cat Oscar, I moved in with her and her dog Shyla.

After many years living on my own after a divorce it was quite the adjustment. Lucky we both get along well and have many of the same interests. We had worked together for 14 years and then kept in touch. Even so, it has been a work in progress and once again I downsized some more to live in two rooms.

I have no trouble downsizing as I have done so several times in my life. I find changes nice as it gives a fresh breath to move on. Aging never bothered me as I always knew it would happen, so just never let it bother me. O.K. So the body sure does let me know it is in charge. Ah, what I did when young no longer applies. But this year for some reason I find I feel different about myself.

As I have lost all my family over past few years, living with my friend, and her daughter and husband who live near by, helps me not feel totally alone, but I feel like I am losing myself. If that makes sense.

The biggest change has been with the covid-19, as I have been retired for a few years and was in book clubs at the library, volunteer at a dog rescue and tried to get out and go to events of interest. Now, that has been put on hold. I find I feel at times like I am losing myself. I was always involved in something or other but this time I look and many friends are gone and my large family I came from is gone. Many within the past two years. So I feel a little adrift. If not for living here I would be depressed, but thanks to my friend we try to keep busy. I helped take care of her sick dog Shyla, until she passed and now we have a younger Golden and have had to get her used to my cat. Well no worries, at 4 yrs old she is scared of my 15 yr. old cat, so that works well. (Smile)

I have always worked on the premise that “Life is a Journey, not a guided tour” so just go with it. So here I am trying to adjust my life again as for many a time in the past, and hope it falls back into place in the near future. The body yes has its issues, but I feel my soul has lost something and not sure how to get it back.

Your blog helps me see how others cope and adjust to changes, so glad to have found it. I find it hard to find someone to talk about issues we deal with as we get older. So this was nice to find your site, so thank you for creating it.

Joyce Pearce

This entry was posted in 70candles, About turning 70, Aging, Attitudes about aging, Dealing with loss, Family matters, Loneliness, Older women connecting, Where to live and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to My story in life’s constant changes

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think we all feel as though we are missing ASPECTs of ourselves. This is not who we are; we are always WITH ourselves. The Greek philosopher, Epicletus wrote, “It is not what is happening to us, it is our thoughts about what is happening.” I try to remember this and work to reframe my thoughts. I remember in my 40s going through aspects where I didn’t know where I was in my life. That haunted me for years. It doesn’t happen anymore, perhaps because I worked hard to change my thoughts. Or perhaps, because I just forget about it along with the other things I seem to be forgetting these days . (said laughing) Joyce, you express yourself beautifully and I admire your courage to be vulnerable enough to admit those feelings. Please let us know how you are doing. Hugs ~ S

  2. mary hirsch says:

    Dear Joyce,
    Happy Belated 70th birthday and welcome to 70! Candles; it’s a wonderful place for sharing with other women and for encouraging each other to keep on truckin’!

    I read with great interest your post because your sincerity and your vulnerability came through. I was especially touched by your twice-noted comments about “losing yourself” and feeling as if your soul “has lost something and not sure how to get it back.” I understand.

    You sound like a very sensitive soul – and one with a very POSITIVE and accepting attitude about life; not a complainer or whiner, just one who notes the changes, goes “with the flow” and makes a good pitcher of lemonade with the lemons life has given you. I am so happy for you that you found a place in which to live with your friend and now her new dog – and a friend for Oscar.

    The only comment I can make about YOUR concerns regarding “losing yourself” (or your soul) is that you will NEVER lose either because they are both YOURS – and always will be. It’s just that you seem to have always gravitated toward people (relatives, co-workers or others) to give meaning to your life and, somewhere, along the way, may just have neglected to fill your own tank with you own gas! So when these people disappear, your “soul” or life seems to have gone with them.

    YOU still YOURSELF – the most important person of all – and the most precious. EVERYTHING you need is inside of YOU; only YOU can make yourself whole and complete; others are just frosting, if wonderful at that.

    I think what happens to women is that they spend a lifetime taking care of others and giving, giving, giving so when it’s all said and done, the woman remains alone, tired and usually much older. I’m blessed to have had a very WISE mother who taught me differently so I’ve always tried to keep an eye on that “gas tank” of mine, knowing that it WAS, IS – AND ALWAYS WILL BE – I who will be there for me 24/7; 365 until I meet my Maker. And so I’ve learned to be my best friend throughout and it is now really paying off. I don’t “NEED” anyone to make my day or give meaning to my life; I CHOOSE to reach out.

    Think about what I said; you sound like such a dear, dear heart and I only wish that you lived in Boston so we could chat. Trust yourself; cherish your cat Oscar, your roomie & dog – and be happy you have relatives not too far away. So you are NOT completely alone; just feeling, INSIDE, a little “empty.”

    You’ll be fine. Take care of yourself, especially now. And, if I may make a suggestion, get out (safely, with mask) and walk, walk, walk, especially early in the morning to get your endorphins going. Exercise is the #1 medicine that makes you feel terrific and happy inside. I promise!!! I am an exercise fanatic (all my life, every day) and, at 75 in a couple of weeks, can still stand on my head with YOGA and everything else in between. Next to God, EXERCISE IS IT!!

    Please let us know how you are doing, won’t you? God bless.


  3. Julia Poulos says:

    What a wonderful honest, insightful post. As u can see, there are people out there u can reach out too. I believe women are especially responsive to life’s major demands. I also share ur need formore friendship and I miss my volunteer activities too.

    I can’t believe I’ll be 72 soon. My Mother (we r not close) is 104.5 years old and living in her condo with an aide caring for her. People tell me that I should live long also, with those genes. Well Mom was lucky financially but the cost of living a long life in this country is very high.
    I also share ur feelings of “aloneness”. I have no children and no younger people will be taking care of me.
    My last gripe is the state of this nation; corruption and the lack of a social safety net is frightening and enraging.
    I can recommend Zoom for book clubs and it is easy to use as long as u have a computer or smart phone.
    We all wish u well. You can reach out to me anytime. It would be a privilege to communicate with you

  4. Annette says:

    Joyce, I like your attitude on aging as an active journey and your down-to-earth words on aging. Covid has separated me from the opportunity to make new friends and to see fellow volunteers walking dogs at the animal shelter or readers at the library. Gradually, several of my old friends have been pulled away by family bubbles or relocation or worsening health, so the lack of new acquaintances is really painful. I’m trying to be upbeat and look at this as a challenge to be undertaken but I really wish I had some new ideas!

  5. Evelyn Eskin says:

    This aging business is hard – hang in there!! It’s rough not to have family. Have you joined any groups that are meeting on Zoom? There are lots of book groups, and, while they may not be as comfortable as your own, they provide focused, scheduled conversations which I find useful. There are also groups of people who live alone, which you may find useful. I wish you good luck and good health, and hope we will be back to some kind of normal soon!!

    • Joyce Pearce says:

      Thanks for your response, I will look into Zoom groups, both meeting and book groups, thanks. I am currently living with a friend after many years living alone, so it has taken time to adjust. Just finally setting in after 10 months. Currently she works from home so I try to be quiet for her and do my thing upstairs on my floor or at times go out for a ride. I have a tremor condition so living with her seems to be working out as she does the cooking which I find hard to do anymore. But it all seems to be going o.k. I had worked from 15 yrs. old until 60 when I went out due to my tremors. So had my routine and get togethers. Now with covid, too much time to dwell on bad times in the past. So thanks for suggestions and will give them a try.

  6. Patricia says:

    Joyce deeply felt what you said, all of it actually. I am 73, my husband is with me and we must work all the time. We did not prepare for retirement, we thought we could work comfortably forever. Well, it did not work out that way. We have 2 great big dogs so that takes care of some of our time but also big dogs are expensive in every way and sometimes love them anyway Exhausting.
    And so my theme may sound like Money, not loneliness but that is presently. I wish I could meet all these ladies from the blog and at least connect with a few, how cool that would be. Be my friend, although we will never meet we can be friendly souls, I know you are there Joyce, I am Patricia, and you know I am here. Lets pray for an end to Covid and we can resume the rest of our lives.

    • Joyce Pearce says:

      Thanks for your feedback. I agree. I thought I was prepared for retirement but that did not work out as well as hoped. This is first blog I found that fits my situation, as had not found any previous.
      I do pray for an end to Covid as I miss interacting with people.
      I know the cost of pets is not cheap. I have had dogs, many cats and currently a senior handicap 15 yr. old cat I have had for two years now. He is a sweetie, I love him so much and is a comfort as all pets are. They just accept you no matter what. At the rescue I volunteer at it amazes me with some of the dogs and the treatment how they just love your attention. Some with a lot of patience and work.
      Yes would love to hear from you.
      Would be nice to be friends. I have written to a women in England for over 40 yrs and we never met but feel like old friends.
      Thanks again for your note.

  7. Janet says:

    Hi Joyce: I enjoyed your story and congratulate you on taking the risk to make some big changes. Perfect timing that your decision to no longer live alone, preceded the pandemic isolation. I’m turning 70 in February and thought I had made all the appropriate changes by retiring, selling my home, finding a suitable apartment for a single senior, and participating in a variety of groups and volunteer jobs to give structure and purpose to my day.

    Now, in month five of pandemic losses and fear, I’ve started thinking that living alone is a luxury I can’t afford – emotionally or spiritually – and that my dislike of technology, especially participating in ZOOM meetings and FaceTime has to end. If I don’t get on board with virtual reality I will soon have little but me and streaming movies to share the day with. We seniors are especially challenged because the physical threat of COVID is increased for our age group, resulting in even more fear, doubt, insecurity.

    I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to implement small changes that will improve my quality of life within the world of masks and social distancing. Waiting for the safe vaccine that will return us to former glory days may be a long wait. I’ve accepted that the pandemic journey is part of my story and making the best of it. We don’t have much choice!

    • Joyce Pearce says:

      Hi Janet,

      Thanks for reaching out to me. Glad you enjoyed my story. That is a very short version. But now living with my friend turns out also to work as I have hand tremors and cooking is a little hard for me, so she cooks which is great. Yes I was nervous about the move but the timing I think worked out good. I am finally starting to feel more comfortable here and have put out more of my personal items to make this floor feel like an apartment.
      It is difficult selling your home and downsizing as I have done it, but went with the mind set of change. Made sure when I reset up apartment I changed my style and colors. Felt like a nice kick. So I wish you well with the life change.
      You mentioned hating technology, well I agree but I worked in it last 10 years working, by accident got into it. But miss the old process of old, but have adapted to it as have had to.
      I do look at virtual tours of museums and zoo’s and do read a lot. Download from library to my phone to read. I do miss many of the activities I did each week so finding it hard not to dwell on past issues and move ahead. I agree the fear, doubt and insecurity is something I find I have to fight to not let bring me down. That was great when I kept busy with book club’s and volunteering at Golden Retriever Rescue and just getting out and meeting people. You are on the right path as only one day at a time to deal with is enough. So hopefully next year at this time we can get back to some interacting physically with people as that is important to our well being.
      Thanks for your great comments, loved your return note. Take care and I have gone through what you are currently, so if need just reach out. Yes not having much money stinks and makes some things difficult but now need to find new directions to help us interact once again.
      Yes our age group does require us to be more careful now, but me and my cat Oscar are dealing it one day at a time. Adjusting slowly as that is all we can do.
      Be well and good luck with you in your move and journey.

  8. Jeanne Gagne says:

    Covid has given me more time to go inward and reflect on the past, present and the future. Also so many of our age have passed due to the Covid which I now try to live each day as it could be my last. I now also have a deeper appreciation for friends and family whom I miss spending one on on time with. At this time the only one I can physically hug is my dog who is enjoying the extra attention. I also purchased an adult tricycle with a large basket in the back that is large enough for my small dog. Weather permitting we exercise daily. After 70+ years we all have developed a “creative” side we just have to listen to our hearts.

    • Joyce Pearce says:


      Yes having more time to reflect on past, present and future and have new appreciation for friends that have become more family for me. As for hugs, my cat Oscar is not fond of them but he gets a small hug, but the dogs at the rescue and my friend’s dogs, just love all the attention I can give them.
      Love the idea of the Tricycle, that is great, have seen them and they are a great idea.
      I am trying to listen to my heart, so after 10 months living with my friend and thinking I need to find another apartment, came to the decision that this is where I am meant to be at this time. So finally feel comfortable with staying here.
      Thanks for you response I appreciate it.
      Keep well,

  9. Covid changes have brought blessings along with transitions. Zoom meetings & church on line along with contributions to food pantries have brought a sense of purpose into my life in a new way. At 74 these transitions were at first scary. With the help of a spiritual accountability partner who is in a different phase of life but sharing her Covid challenges has helped keep the changes in perspective. Although she has a large family the human challenges she faces are essentially the same–a different boat but the same storm.

    • Joyce Pearce says:

      I think you are right that this Covid has brought some blessings. With my move here after living alone so long I am finally feeling comfortable with the move. My friend is 7 years younger than me, but she has been very supportive for me.
      Having just found this site, I was amazed at the responses and have enjoyed and find them uplifting.
      I also came from a large family and I have seen that my friends who had no family, as they were only an child have same challenges and yes it does keep things in perspective. So your words, different boat but same storm, I finally understand that.
      Thanks for your note, I enjoyed it and found it helpful.
      Stay well,

    • Annette says:

      I had not heard of a “spiritual accountability partner” but am guessing that is through your church? What sorts of things would you do or talk about? At my Presbyterian church we don’t have anything like that but in this time of isolation I’m always interested to think of new ways to feel connected.

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