I don’t know exactly HOW I got over the things in the prior post, other than not denying my feelings, and reasoning and reading my way through them, and letting time take its course.
This is how I feel about each item now:
1. I’m pretty content with participating in activities that get me out of the house and socializing with other people (strangers and acquaintances)– art shows, dance, tennis, yoga, etc. I also have some NoMo friends and have made peace with the fact that they are scattered across the country and this city and the friendships are not super-close. This might at least help them last longer. I recognize and appreciate the freedom I have to pursue disparate interests.
2. I try to maximize the positives and ameliorate the negatives of my location as best I can. I take some heart in knowing that there’s no place that truly accommodates older single people–so I can forget imagining a move will make everything perfect– but most places offer some things that allow one to grow.
3. Just knowing that endless thorny issues are part of most people’s working lives helps. The meditation helps me keep it in perspective, and I try to clock out after eight hours so I can refresh.
4. Time eventually dulls.
5. In regard to romance, I co-exist with uneasy impressions. On one hand, there’s no real reason I shouldn’t expect to find someone as most others have done; on the other, compatible men who are also available and looking for a relationship seem to be unicorns, at least in my galaxy. I just let that one be. When other people pair up, I just shrug and think, “Huh.” I’ve accepted that there’s not much I can do in this regard. Trying didn’t work, so I leave this one up to fate.
6. At bottom, I only rely on myself, and have a strong sense of self as a result.
This may still sound depressing, but I do pretty well. I don’t take anti-depressants. I sleep well at night. I get exercise every day, and I’m generally in a good mood. I do pretty well at work, I look forward to things, I have a solid intellectual life, I love to escape to shows that make me laugh, and I work on my own goals in my personal time.
I don’t discount this hard-won contentment though. I work with a lot of men and every single last one is married. I don’t see them volunteering for this solo living, and most of the people I know who are stuck in it are not doing all that well. I don’t think it’s abnormal to want love and support and companionship; in fact, enragement at going without is perhaps a normal and logical response.
I do feel from all the reading that I’ve done that the points I’ve made are commonly experienced by older women who are single and childless. Some may get lucky or are more resourceful than I am, but I know a lot of women who are less resourceful and/or less lucky. So hopefully some of them can take heart in knowing they aren’t alone.
I am impressed by our ability to to remain centered through the ups and downs of the last few years. When I was planning a solo life I grew intrigued with intentional communities. Have you considered looking into this? When we moved across country we stayed in one for a few months. There were many single, older women.
Yes, I have several earlier posts about them. I’m a little gun-shy at the moment due to the recent roommate situation going sour, but it’s something I consider for retirement.