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Pangs of sadness through getting old

(108 Posts)
Parcs Wed 15-Apr-15 19:38:04

I don't know what's the matter with me lately, I am becoming very aware of my age

Being a Grandma is lovely of course but it does make you feel old being one of the oldest in the family.

I still can't believe it sometimes, and when I am called Nan I do look behind me thinking, Nan, is that me!!

But then I remind myself of George Clooney and Helen Mirren and my own Father and realise that getting older does not have to mean Being Old!! or looking Old.

I do believe that it is very important to mix with and have contact with people of your own age.

janeainsworth Wed 15-Apr-15 19:48:27

Important to mix with younger people too parcs, it might make you count your blessings when you see what they have to contend with!

Parcs Wed 15-Apr-15 19:56:46

I do not look at it like that really, I just like being around people of my own age so that I have something in common with them and am not constantly conscious of my age.

AshTree Wed 15-Apr-15 19:57:59

I do agree with you janeainsworth. It's what I miss about work - I don't miss the work itself (!) but I do miss being with people of all ages. And because I worked at a students' union, apart from the 40 odd permanent staff, we had a huge number of student staff too - their youthful enthusiasm was so infectious!
Not long after I retired a few of us met up for lunch and one of the younger workers made some comment or other about it being "all right for you lot, I've got to go back to work in 20 minutes". One of my fellow retirees, quick as a flash, said "serves you right for being so young" grin

Ana Wed 15-Apr-15 20:04:50

Being constantly around people of your own age can have a negative effect in that you no longer feel comfortable with younger people, so they don't with you - bit of a vicious circle.

I'm sure none of us wants to end up as one of those old people who do nothing but moan about their aches and pains and seem to have no interests apart from the weather and what's on the tv!

janeainsworth Wed 15-Apr-15 20:11:13

Ashtree grin

NotTooOld Wed 15-Apr-15 20:14:31

I think it is worse for us older women. We tend to become invisible and get overlooked. It's as though we have nothing to contribute to society any more. I was totally bereft when I retired and it took me literally years to get over being a useful and contributing member of society. It became a little better after the grandchildren were born and I felt I had something to offer in terms of the odd bit of child minding and as they got older I have been able to teach them stuff like arts and crafts that they don't do at home. I'm trying now to find more to do locally and have put my name forward as a member of the Patients' Forum at the surgery and as a Parish Councillor and also a Peer Supporter for the OU. My recent op has put this on hold for the moment but I am beginning to think I must get back into it.

Tegan Wed 15-Apr-15 20:16:03

I've had a young lad working on my house this week, and it's been great chatting about music and films etc. The sort of conversations I used to have at work [or with my kids when they had time to talk to me]. But I do feel old these days even though, as Parcs says it takes me by surprise sometimes and I wonder how I got to be where I am now [seem to have been on fast forward for a few years].

NotTooOld Wed 15-Apr-15 20:17:18

Why is it that the older you get the faster time flies?

AshTree Wed 15-Apr-15 20:17:59

Parcs, I know it's a bit of a cliche, but have you tried joining any local clubs or groups? Something not aimed at any one age group in particular. A walking group, if you're able, or maybe a sketch class. See if there are any beginners groups if you have little experience. Local libraries are usually a good source of information about such things.
I just feel that maybe you need something in your life other than your family - seems as if it's the fact you're one of the oldest that's bringing you down a bit. Be amongst people of all age groups, where age is less important than the shared enjoyment of the group's activity.

absent Wed 15-Apr-15 20:20:20

All the more reason for not banishing older people to the ghetto of a retirement village but then, some people actually like it and don't want to mix with younger people.

Parcs Wed 15-Apr-15 20:55:11

I can kind of relate to that absent I just feel more comfortable with people of my own age. The youngens of my family are always going on about Old people and it just annoys me, lack of respect etc.

I can not say to them I fought a war for you because I did not!! but feel like saying that for some silly reason smile

Jomarie Wed 15-Apr-15 21:29:26

I do sort of understand this limbo that I'm in (I trust I'm not alone in this) that is being "retired" - but there is no doubt that there is a huge gap left by not working for my living anymore. I miss the daily involvement with younger people - older people are great, but people of my own age (apart from a very few close friends) bore me and have done so for many years to be honest. I guess it stems from believing I have lived a half life - ie not realising my potential let alone my ambitions. I don't want to be a burden and I know I should just "get a life" but don't seem to have the "get up and go" to achieve this now. I'm hoping I will get back my "joy of life" again soon. Meanwhile the only real joy I get is with my grandson (coming up for 3 - the really magical age!) - he is my "sunshine" and knows it. Sorry about all the quote signs but don't know how else to express myself. So many things I was going to do when I retired but life - and various complications - seems to have stalled for me. My DH, however, is so very happy in his retirement - I am envious, which is not good!!! My main ambition is not to end up like my mother - bitter, jealous and only getting pleasure out of making other people feel bad - she was worth so much more than that. Self esteem can work both ways - she had too much and I have not enough. Sorry - letting off steam to you all, not a good day..........

Mishap Wed 15-Apr-15 21:37:25

"Pangs of sadness" indeed. One of the singers in my choir arrived for a practice tonight before everyone else and was in tears because she is in pain and feeling constantly crocked up when her mind and spirit are young.

I told her to join in and sing and that she would be feeling better in 5 minutes - and she was!

Jomarie Wed 15-Apr-15 21:47:44

Can't sing Mishap, due to too many years of smoking, but can I join your choir? I can still hum in tune.....

Mishap Wed 15-Apr-15 21:52:34

Of course - we have a female tenor who could keep you company!

AshTree Wed 15-Apr-15 22:00:15

I wish I could still sing - I would love to be in a choir. Like Jomarie, I smoked for too many years and though I gave it up several years ago, the damage was done. I was always in the school choir and I can remember how uplifting it was just to open your mouth and belt out a song! Such a very therapeutic activity.

Ana Wed 15-Apr-15 22:07:20

Jomarie, I do sympathise!

Retirement isn't always what it's cracked up to be for everyone, and all the exortations to join clubs and broaden one's horizons can sometimes make you feel as though it's your own fault if you aren't having a wonderful time!

Jomarie Wed 15-Apr-15 22:20:54

Mishap, AshTree and Ana thank you for commenting - I feel better now.

annodomini Wed 15-Apr-15 22:53:53

I love the company of my DC and DGC. I don't think DS1 and his family would have invited me to share caravan holidays with them if they hadn't liked my company. I enjoy chatting to younger neighbours who seemed a bit surprised at the number of tech gadgets I owned!

ginny Thu 16-Apr-15 08:44:28

Yes, there are occasions when I suddenly realise that I am getting older and feel a little sad that there are many things I won't live to see. Can't do anything about it so don't dwell.

I try to mix with all age groups and am lucky that my DDs often include me in outings, holidays etc. and my DGS (12) is so far still happy to spend time with me often bringing friends along.

Most of the clubs and organisations I belong to have a good mix of ages.

DH and I enjoy cruise holiday and tours but don't fancy the Saga ones as we like the opportunity to mix with different age groups. I don't think we would enjoy living in a 'silver city'.

Teetime Thu 16-Apr-15 08:50:35

I agree with so much that has been said here. I lived for my work and it was my identity so now I struggle with being in my own mind Nobody. I know this is a negative way of thinking which can only lead to depression so I make sure I have a purpose to each day whether that be golf (I know Yawn but its exercise and you chat with others), a meeting to do with the Charity for whom I am a trustee, walking or keeping right on top of house and garden. We are planning trips now the weather has picked up - not expensive ones just a county walk and a picnic mostly. Its so important I find to have a purpose and to plan a few things to look forward to.

Lilygran Thu 16-Apr-15 08:55:33

I don't feel sad about getting old - there's nothing to be done about it and as they say, it's better than the alternative! I agree with ginny, though. There are so many things I now know I won't do. I'm happy with the choices I've made but I used to feel if something didn't work, I could try the alternative. I may not have enough time left to try them all!

PRINTMISS Thu 16-Apr-15 09:01:09

I think perhaps it might be the time of year when we all feel a bit low. The winter although not bad was a bit long - it probably seems longer as you get older, and I certainly felt very jaded for several weeks - not all due to the weather, however with the sun shining it has made me feel brighter. I have also been walking to the shops - the other half had a cataract operation so has been unable to drive for a few weeks, so I have been taking a short walk to Sainsbury's every morning and have been surprised at the number of people who will nod and say hello - I am sure dog walkers will agree with this, it does brighten the day. I have also found that the young staff in shops are really helpful now-a-days, and will chat with you if they have the time - or perhaps I just like a gossip!

vegasmags Thu 16-Apr-15 09:06:44

I missed work dreadfully when I retired - I was a college lecturer teaching computing and so spent most of my professional life with teenage boys. I realise that for some people this would be their idea of hell, but I loved their humour and irreverence. I now make sure that I don't move only in age-exclusive circles. I have belonged to the same book group for 9 years, and I am the oldest by 30 years, often reading things I would not have chosen for myself. For me, the vital bit is keeping on learning. I go to a weekly French class where I struggle a bit, but keep on plugging away. I also belong to a choral society, never having had any musical experience at all. I am still not a very good sight reader but am improving. To those of you who think you can't sing because you used to smoke - I was a heavy smoker for years and learning to sing properly has really done wonders for my lung function. Of course I can never undone the damage but it really helps you to make the most of what you've got. I refuse to feel sad about getting old - I've already outlived both my mother and grandmother and intend to make the best of what's left. I want my grandchildren to remember me as a fun, lively person who was up for anything.