Tonight is one of those times which just seem to be part of life, when even though I have a rich, fulfilling life with a wonderful husband and family, and plenty to do to keep me busy with meaningful pursuits, I am experiencing lonely feelings.
Mary Ellen made the statement that being lonely isn't necessarily bad for you, but STAYING lonely is. With that in mind, I am writing this to explore my lonely feelings. It is really one of the strategies the book suggests of recording my thoughts, writing down how I feel, exploring the whys and describing what is going on in my life.
Gary and I are really in a new time of our life when each of our children is so involved in their own families they truly do not have time or energy to include us in their lives. I remember that time so well in my own life when I had grown children and grandchildren, and still had children at home.
When I visited my mother (who was a widow by this time) she would remark how she wished I could come more often and stay longer. I vividly remember thinking, "Oh, Mom, if only you knew how hard it is for me to come as often as I do."
So I understand the whys. I really do. And it is entirely possible that life is busier now for my grown children who have grandchildren than it was for me because the pace of life for everyone seems to constantly speed up. However, that doesn't make it any easier for us to be on the outside looking in at their lives instead of being involved with them like we have been for so many years. We probably did not even think about involving my mother in our day to day affairs or events, except in the major celebrations of our life. I wish I had known then what I know now! How I wish I had made the time to involve her more.
There is also the factor of our family not including us because they know we don't have the energy to do the things we have always done--and that is a big transition for us and for them-- which takes some getting used to, and adjustments in our thinking and expectations of ourselves and others. Getting old is no fun for anyone, but we don't have to let our lack of energy keep us from enjoying the things we CAN do.
Right now I am going to look at my loneliness as a positive signal that it is time for me to reach outside myself for new friends and new challenges that will fill the void I am feeling . Finding someone to teach me the Family Tree Genealogy program, for instance. Maybe taking a friend to lunch, and/or finding more ways to reach out to my family in ways that won't be intrusive.
I know there will come a day when all our loneliness, our longings, our sorrows will be turned to understanding and to joy. Till then, Buck Up Little Buckaroo, little child of God, remember He loves you dearly and is watching over you always.
Here is a picture of my dear mother who I mentioned earlier. She was a lovely, industrious, righteous woman, whom I didn't appreciate enough when she was alive. Isn't that typical of humans? Her name is Fern Jensen Larsen. I'm sorry Mom that I didn't take the time I should have to make you feel important and needed in your later life.