I am an independent woman. Most of my life I’ve been single. Now staring at 68 years of age in a few weeks, I’ve calculated that I’ve spent thirty years without a mate. (68 – 20 years of married life = 48, minus the first 18 years until adulthood = 30.) Now that I’ve impressed you with my math skills…
As a young person, I always thought I would be like mom and dad. You know, my grandparents celebrated 50 years of marriage, my parents were together nearly that long, so certainly I would wed and grow old with someone. Apparently, fate had a laugh at my expense, which as far as I’m concerned is a bit of a cruel joke.
Nevertheless, I have adapted to life alone. I don’t often see my son or grandchildren. At work, I interact with others on a skimming basis of passing through the day and exchanging a few words. There were years that I felt sorry for myself but the last fifteen have for the most part allowed me to grow numb to the pain.
My introverted personality doesn’t help either as I find it hard to do social interaction in large crowds. I have no qualms about going out to dinner alone (though more and more I find myself getting take-out) and enjoying an occasional movie I want to see. However, lately, I’m wrestling with the alone feeling of not having anyone who loves me that I can share with about life. I long for someone to be excited about the things that excite me. You know, England, writing, ancestry, period dramas, cats, and everything else that brings a smile to my face. My biggest letdown is overflowing with excitement at something that means a lot to me and discovering that those in my close personal circles don’t share the same enthusiasm.
Perhaps that’s part of growing old. We become segregated and surrounded by our own regrets and unfulfilled desires. The things that give us pleasure turn into solitary joys that fade until the next one comes along.
I’m not sure what, if anything can be done about the emptiness the gnaws at me, except hang around Facebook in groups and pages with people of likemindedness. It’s a superficial solution to share those interests with people you really do not know. You can’t laugh together face to face, get excited and see the sparkle in another person’s eyes, or intently listen to what they have to say verbally because you love what they love. Oh, I suppose I could join clubs of cat lovers, England travelers, and the like. But I’m not wishing for group therapy, I missing the intimate moments of one single person that truly cares and shares the same joys.
Well, enough complaining for now.