As I get older and listen to my friends and read other blogs, I see that this getting older thing doesn’t scare most of us as much as the fear of loss. I don’t mean the loss of a loved one or the loss of our looks, or even the loss of our memory. What seems to the biggest fear of all is the loss of self?
Loss of ourselves comes from the loss of interest, loss of being a part of something besides ourselves. Some of this in the comes the loss of our jobs and careers, most often through retirement. Even in the years after retirement, we feel some loss that we often can’t even explain.
There are times we lose friends, not to death but relocation. Seniors are more mobile and often move for a better climate, some to less expensive places to live.
As our children and their children get older, we tend to feel a loss of connection as they get too busy to spend time with us. And with this new global world that loss can also be contributed to the distance between us. When their careers take them to locations far from home, some seniors move to be closer. The challenge here is that they often find that closer in proximity doesn’t necessarily mean a closer connection. Older children with children have a lot going on these days which leave little time for you. This can increase the feeling of loss.
Living long doesn’t necessarily mean living happily. It is the happy part that helps us reduce the fear of loss as we age. But then you might ask what is living happily? How often have you read or heard that happiness comes from within? No one can make you happy, nothing outside of yourself can make you happy. Only you can do that.
So let me give you the first ingredient to overcoming the fear of loss. Each one of us grew up with something we liked to do something that made us feel good about ourselves. It may have been what we did as a job or what we built a career around.
There are various jobs and careers and for many those defined who we were. You may have been an electrician, a carpenter, an engineer, a designer or chef or waitress. Some found their calling as caregivers, nurses, doctors or teachers and one of the most important of all a parent. In each one of these, we found something that defined US. When we are no longer connected to those things we have that sense of loss.
What you need to do now is to find YOU again. The You that had those dreams and desires that made you, you. And it can happen again! You just have to find out what the new YOU wants to be, do and aspire to.
Let me give you a little head start on finding YOU again.
Did you ever do something that you liked but never thought you were good at?
Good, go find that something and forget about being good at it. You no longer have to be good at anything you like doing. You are at a place in life that you can do things just because you want to.
Maybe it was drawing or painting. You are past the point of needing to become a world famous artist, but who knows you just might if you take down the boundaries.
Or how about that commercial with the guy saying he is really bad at golf, but he’d like to continue being bad at golf as long as he can. That could be your motto, continue being bad at whatever it is you like to do for as long as you can.
In doing so you just might find the You, you felt you had lost.