I wonder whether you would be good enough to do a blog post on how you stay so positive and happy? I'm nearing sixty and retired, life is getting a bit lonely. Don't get me wrong, I'm mobile, go out regularly and have lots of interests but my spirits are deteriorating. I just wondered, living alone as you do, how you keep so mentally cheerful and indeed, what cheers you in Life in general. I hope that makes sense?
It's always fascinating to learn how other people deal with living alone and I'm sure other people reading your blog would benefit from your thoughts. Unfortunately where I live there's a lot of emphasis on keeping children, young people and families entertained, but there's nothing for the older single person except Whist, Bowls etc and I'd rather die than do things like that. I think that's why so many people are old before their time - because they don't take any risks but fall into the 'old person' trap. It would be interesting to hear how you cope as I'm sure you must also get lonely sometimes?
Phew, where to begin. I think I have covered some aspects of this topic before but I can't find it anywhere.
Living alone. I have had a lot of practice at it, if you do something long enough you get used to it. It would feel pretty strange to me if there was someone else here. Some people are family orientated and love being part of a large family, I am not one of those. I suppose that's the independent streak in me, I think I was born with it. I always wanted to earn my own money and pay my way in life. I wanted to retain my individuality and not become half of somebody else. It's horses for courses, some people function better as a couple, I do not.
Do I get lonely sometimes? Hardly ever is the answer. I can take myself off in my head to a different place. I don't actually need people around me to be happy, I am happy with my own company. Admitted, I do wonder sometimes if anyone cares about me, but I can't control how anyone else thinks, I can only control my own thoughts. For instance, I visit family in the Midlands, but apart from my sister, (she rings me), I rarely hear from any of them from one year to the next. I'm a bit disappointed that I make the effort and they don't, but then I remember that they are young, have busy lives, and have family of their own. I will probably end up being the aged aunt and cousin that no one can be bothered with. I am not bitter about that because that's how life is. I made my choices a long time ago, the position I find myself in is down to me, no one else.
I have built a friendship base around me here, I know I can walk out of the door and there will always be someone to talk to. Saying that, if a person is so inclined you can be lonely in the busiest of cities. Low self esteem, shyness, lack of ideas on how to entertain yourself will lead to withdrawing indoors and not mixing with people. A suitable plan would be to work out what exactly you want to do. Really, for a single person the world is your oyster, the only hurdle you have to get over is to convince yourself to get on with it.
You need to know why your spirits are deteriorating. Is it because you have run out of ideas? You ask how I keep so mentally cheerful, and what cheers me about life in general. I have said this before, I live with an attitude of gratitude. I am so very grateful that I have everything I need. I am so pleased that I was born in the UK, pleased that my parents were hard working and my mum taught me how to manage on not much money. So pleased that I found a job at 15 and worked for the next 45 years. I am so very happy that I have reasonably good health, and hope very much that it continues.
I am an optimistic person, never worry about bad things that might happen because they probably never will. I take one day at a time and don't look too far ahead into the future. I wake up each morning and take a few minutes to be grateful that I am still breathing, and think about the wonderful day I might have. What have I got to worry about? Absolutely nothing.
How do I keep so mentally cheerful? I have a filter in my brain that blocks all the crap. I can't remember when I last had a negative thought. We don't have to take any old stuff that is thrown at us. We have the ability to make our own choices, we can decide where we want to be, and my choice is to be happy.
It goes without saying that a fit body, getting lots of exercise, is also the key to a healthy mind. It has been proven over and over again. Look at the difference between those who slump in front of the telly every night, eating takeaways and rubbish food, to someone who goes running, walking, cycling, and goes to the gym. Look at the amount of empty cans and wine bottles in the recycling boxes. All these poor life choices will affect how the brain works. This is not me lecturing, anyone can do exactly as they like, but I personally try and look after myself. We only get one body, once it's knackered that's it. Now someone is going to point out that even slim healthy people can have heart attacks. There you go, I've said it for you so you don't have to bother putting that in a comment.
I think I'm going to wind this up now, I've been rambling on long enough. Before I go though, I will say this. I know nothing about depression and mental health problems. If anyone thinks they are really struggling the best thing to do would be to seek help and support from a professionally qualified person. I am not that person.
Thanks for popping in. We'll catch up soon.