During the last several weeks I’ve been restless and lonely. I’m sleeping better and feeling more energetic than I have in the last four years. The weather, on the other hand, has been wildly unpredictable, requiring more in-house activity than usual. Still….
Retirement is heaven on earth. Right? Wrong.
My body has changed and my age keeps creeping ever higher. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t return to academic life with its regular access to interesting students and colleagues. My retirement playground sometimes feels like punishing confinement.
As a child and teenager, I felt left out and lonely most of the time. Not invited to parties, not allowed to go to movies, and not allowed many close friends. Not that there was a long line knocking on my door.
I thought I was over those childhood feelings. Yet they came crashing in on me this past week. Triggered by more than one conversation about a wonderful dinner party or get-together I knew I couldn’t attend even if I wanted to.
The truth is, I don’t want and can’t survive a busy social life. Neither do I want to become someone’s project. I want women friends. A few interesting, trustworthy women. Not for a fabulous dinner out, a trip to the latest show, or even to reminisce about old times.
I’m past the years of being a hostess. I’m beyond cleaning up for company, or trying to transform myself into the social butterfly I’ve never been. I’m also beyond being part of a church visitation team.
This is about connecting in person over a cup of tea or glass of water, going for a walk or not. It’s about regular face to face time with women who might also feel left out, forgotten, or simply in need of female company.
And no, I don’t expect you, my readers, to solve this for me. Though perhaps some of you have felt this way from time to time?
Thanks for taking time to listen.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 2 March 2019
Photo found at nationalpost.com