It’s a lonely life especially, when you are in your comfortable 60’s. What can you do today, to ensure, you have an active social retired life?
I have been coaching actively for a little over a year. What I share with you is my learnings from a well accomplished working women, in their late 50’s. I had the opportunity to coach her and learn from her. I found it very suitable to share with most women who are in their 30’s. 40’s or even 50’s.
Written by Vanitha Senkurichi
I would like to call my client Mrs Yamini (name changed). I have incorporated learnings from other clients also in this extract.
Mrs Yamini was a working woman who was very focussed on being independent. She and her husband together raised their son, also to be independent. They were both focussed on being the best when it came to their respective careers. While devoting time to
their busy careers and raising their son, they hardly made any time to maintain ties with relatives and friends. Many family gatherings were given rain check and meeting friends at get togethers were almost non-existent.
Mrs Yamini and her spouse had saved enough for a comfortable life after their retirement and were also able to provide for their son’s higher studies outside of India. Their plan was to tour as many places as they could, once they retired from their respective career.
This is when tragedy struck. Mrs Yamini`s spouse passed away suddenly at the age of 55 while she was 53. she was devasted. It was after her husband`s passing that she felt the desire for company. She had no intention of getting married again but longed for friends to share her feelings. Her son was now settled in another country and was only able to come once a year for around 2-3 weeks. It was at this time that Mrs Yamini reached out to me. It was a disheartening situation. She suddenly felt the need to connect with people, express herself, do something to keep herself occupied. She felt she was unable to connect with people around her.
Her GP had given her a clean bill of health. She wanted to find out how she could start connecting with her friends and family once again.
The sessions went for about 3 months. She had made very slow progress but she was okay with it. I learnt a lot while coaching her. A few pointers that would benefit many of us.
1. Connect with your friends and relatives. Many of us lose touch with friends and relatives as our personal lives become busy. We would rather choose to stay home alone than attending some function at some cousin’s place. Out of sight is out of mind. Doesn’t take too long for people to forget us and prioritise someone else or something else over us.
2. Maintain the connections. Sometimes, fighting over something trivial can be avoided. No one is perfect. So, if you can ignore a bad comment made by an elderly aunt, please do so. Life is too short to keep reacting and fighting over small things. There are bigger battles to spend our energy.
3. Make time for the occasional outing and celebrations with friends and relatives. Kids,
husband, in-laws etc. will always have their needs, schools and offices. Go on trips guilt free. Life will go on with or without you. You are not the only one to manage the
4. Some of us, do not like to entertain sudden guests at home. Remember life is a circle. Some days, what you do for others will definitely help you in times of need. Mrs Yamini had once or twice entertained a few relatives, who came to her house unannounced. She was not very comfortable, but served them for a day or 2. The children of these relatives, were in fact the ones who gave her company and chatted with her, when she recently attended a get together. She was so relieved that she had someone to talk to and something to talk about.
5. If you are looking for the perfect friend or relative to connect to, then you may as well forget this entirely. Everyone has a few flaws. There are those who are entirely malicious. Just try to stay clear of them. We can always decide on the depth of our connections. Some of them would just be acquaintances, while others could be family friends, still others could be the reliable BFF’s. What is important is to take the first step to maintain relationships.
We all, at some point crave for those social interactions. It rarely happens overnight. It builds over a period of time. The efforts invested in getting to know others bears fruits slowly. Have the patience and confidence that there will definitely be someone to check on you when you are feeling blue.
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