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A cheerful older age.

(23 Posts)
Falconbird Mon 08-Jun-15 10:24:34

My mother and my father-in-law both lost their partners well before their 70s. Sadly they became very bitter and critical as the years passed.

My mother had not had an easy life and told everyone she met about it. My Fil became reclusive and embittered. The two of them could have been company for each other but they didn't like each other one bit and never communicated.

I can understand how they felt now that my life has received some harsh blows but I don't want to become like them.

I try to keep optimistic and cheerful by joining things and keeping in touch with other people as much as I can but sometimes it can be a struggle.

Any tips on keeping cheerful as old age advances.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 10:35:48

Stay rested. Move about, yes. But don't overdo the exercise. Nothing is more conducive to ill health or depression than tiredness.

Apart from that, it's probably down to genes.

AshTree Mon 08-Jun-15 10:47:33

I think you're doing the right thing by joining things. Loneliness can be so destructive and should be avoided at all costs if this is possible. Being with people at leasts gives you the opportunity to smile or laugh, and nothing cheers us up more than a good laugh. So while you can, get out there and be with people.

AshTree Mon 08-Jun-15 10:47:54

at least...

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 10:51:57

Organise your house, your garden, your routine, so that it convenient to you. Never mind what the neighbours might think, or whether it won't suit whoever lives in your house after you are gone. So what?

Be ready to try something new - there is no obligation to keep on with it if it doesn't come up to expectations, but just trying it keeps you from getting fossilised.

Find ways to remember the past, photos, music, favourite places and things. Being glad that you had time together is better than being resentful that it is over. Imagine how empty your life would be without those years to look back on!

Keep in touch with people whose company gives you a lift, and when you are feeling strong, don't forget those who could do with a lift from you. Smile whenever you can. People will smile back at you.

durhamjen Mon 08-Jun-15 10:56:04

Strange what you say about your mother and father-in-law.
My sister-in-law's father died, and her father-in-law. So her mother and mother-in-law went on holiday together, staying in a hotel, in separate rooms. They hated it, and came home a week early.
They never really mixed before their husbands died, apart from at family get-togethers, so why would they think they would afterwards?

Bellanonna Mon 08-Jun-15 10:59:17

Falconbird, sounds as though you are doing the right thing by keeping optimistic and cheerful. You won't become like your mum if you continue with that strategy and you say you join things and keep in touch with people. If you are physically able, then I would say do get exercise. I am 75 and now have arthritis in various places, but I do aqua aerobics and pilates, and have coffee with some of the " girls" afterwards. I think moderate exercise is quite important,depending of course on what you can/like to do. Is there a U3A near you, if you don't already belong? They have such a wide variety of subjects on offer and people are all very friendly. I do lots of things on my own as DH doesn't go out much because of health problems. I think, too, if you are genetically predisposed to be cheerful, you will be. And just keep gransnetting. i often laugh aloud at some of the comments which can be hilarious at times. Stay optimistic. X

cazthebookworm Mon 08-Jun-15 11:04:20

I agree with everything you say Elegran and particularly your last couple of sentences, it is so true. People do not welcome moaners or those who go on incessantly about the past. That is history, and it is important to look to the future and be positive. Smile, be friendly and outwardly happy, and you will attract like minded people. Also, do not be afraid to be alone at times with your own quiet memories........

Elegran Mon 08-Jun-15 11:51:02

Your own memories are a part of you. At first I found I could only remember the bad things, every disagreement we ever had, the things we couldn't do because he was ill, the things I didn't say, the last few weeks of his illness, the Golden Wedding celebrations we should have had a year later.

Gradually, better memories have taken over. When I play CDs of music that reminds me of the days we danced our feet off, I feel he is near - I just wish he was even nearer.

Being sad is still a part of your life together - if it were not for the shadows, the highlights would be not be so bright.

lilysnana Mon 08-Jun-15 13:56:46

Remember the past is the past, nothing you or anyone can do can change it. Learn from it if you can, if you feel able forgive but then let it go.

My yoga teacher always has a thought for the week, one I particularly remember is that the past has gone, the future cannot be guaranteed but today is The Present, enjoy it.

Gagagran Mon 08-Jun-15 14:03:06

I know a similar one lilysnana :

The past is history
The future's a mystery
The present is now
Which is why it's a gift.

Hard to remember that if you have hard knocks to cope with though isn't it?

jeanie99 Mon 08-Jun-15 16:31:25

I have had a number of blows in my life and lived in poverty with my mother and brother when I was a child but because I have a positive attitude I bounce back from the blows and always look forward.
I do have my husband and we do things together and separately we don't live in each others pockets.
I laugh a lot and joke about I've always been the same.
I'm also happy to join clubs on my own.
I feel very fortunate that even though I have health problems I can still do everything I want to do in life.
Life can be short and we need to make every day count.

Some people do have a negative attitude to life and always look on the black side and no amount of encouragement and suggestions will help this type of person.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 08-Jun-15 16:33:29

Bloody hell jeannie! And I thought I was the unfeeling one on here.

jenn Mon 08-Jun-15 19:59:31

Get a dog.Always pleased to see you, listen to your moans withouy answering back, make you smile and everyone speaks to you when you walk them.
Of course there is the other side; hairs , mud, poo picking , rainy cold days but the positives outweigh the negatives.

I live alone and could so easily sink into the blues when I think of past events but as I get older I ration the self pity, it's an indulgence that is such a waste of time and energy and nothing will change history.Such a shame I didn't realise earlier.

rubylady Mon 08-Jun-15 20:55:04

I think having some younger people in your life makes you look at life differently too. Plus the dog or another animal is a good idea, maybe a cat or a budgie if you cannot get out to walk a dog often. Plus you can have a befriender call in on you, maybe ask at Age uk about details.

Also, I have found that I have to be very careful what I watch on tele. It can so easily be that I record only the depressing stuff so now I make sure that I record happy programmes, comedies, comedians, light hearted programmes, along with soaps which I like (I've dropped Emmerdale). i don't watch the news, apart from a quick update morning and last thing. It can be so easy to take on the problems of the world when we can't do anything about it. Keep it light.

Eloethan Tue 09-Jun-15 01:49:38

Falconbird My guess is that people who do fall into this negative state of mind are unlikely to be very self-aware and so are therefore less able to recognise and counteract feelings of bitterness and discontentment.

You sound to me like you are an insightful and resourceful person who realises that it could be easy to fall into negative habits, especially as you have not had an "easy ride" yourself. I think you deserve a pat on the back for doing your very best to remain positive and cheerful even when it is not always easy.

There is a lot of good advice on here and I hope it has reassured you. I particularly agree with Elegran's last paragraph in her 10.51 post.

nannieroz111 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:06:56

Elegran you have no idea how profound the effect of your posting Mon 8th 10.51am has had on me. I have been feeling like I am scrambling around in the dark and now you have switched on the light. Nothing has changed for me........ except my thinking! Thank you. flowers

Elegran Tue 09-Jun-15 13:43:53

I am so glad that my experiences have been helpful to you.

Bellanonna Tue 09-Jun-15 13:55:37

I so agree. I am going to remember that last sentence. Elegran, was that your own maxim or a quote I just haven't heard of?

Elegran Tue 09-Jun-15 14:09:28

Did you hear that story about a house that was up for sale?

A couple who had been to view it took a walk around the area, and ctatted to someone they met

"What are the people like around here?"
"Well . . what are your present neighbours like?"
"Oh, everyone is so nasty - we are always having to complain about bonfires, and barbecues, but they mutter to themselves when our teenage children are larking innocently with friends in the garden in the evenings. We never get a civil word from anyone, so we just keep ourselves to ourselves."
"I think you'll find the people here much the same"

Later another viewing couple stopped to chat to the same man.
"What are the people like around here?"
"Well . . what are your present neighbours like?"
"They are so pleasant and helpful. If anyone is ill, there is always help available. We get shopping for the old lady next door, and she takes in parcels for us if we are at work."
"I think you'll find the people here much the same"

Coolgran65 Wed 17-Jun-15 13:28:00

DH made me laugh this morning..... he attended Diabetic Eye Clinic and had drops in his eyes which are a bit stingy and affects his focus for a few hours. So he is wearing sunglasses and watching lunchtime news.

The window cleaner was at work.

I came in from the garage and DH was up in the bedroom....then into the back bedroom.

He was only moving around the rooms to avoid the window cleaner - thought he look a bit odd indoors in his 'shades'.

Lona Wed 17-Jun-15 13:44:23

coolgran my son suffered that stinging after his eye injections, so they used something different to the usual iodine and he had no problem at all.
Might be worth mentioning. smile

Coolgran65 Wed 17-Jun-15 15:26:07

Thank you Lona