The Holidays For Older Folk: A Challenging Time by Marjorie Dorfman
Put Yourself in New Situations:
Join a club and dont worry about what Groucho Marx once said about any club that would have him as a member. Join anyway or take a class. Taking part in activities that interest you not only helps to pass the time, it also provides an avenue for possibly finding other people who like the same things you do.
Helping others will get you out of yourself and is an easy way to meet new people and build new friendships. It can also build self-esteem.
Learn to Take Risks:
This is not a call to run and join the circus to work as an acrobat or lion-tamer. Some risks require less energy but are even harder to take; namely smiling a little bit more to people you meet or introducing yourself when you are in the company of strangers. (If you are at a black tie dinner honoring hit men with high performance records, keep your cool and DONT smile. Everywhere else, consider it.) Let down your guard unless you are being fired upon. Let people in and they will come despite your heavy entrance fee.
Adopt an Accepting Attitude:
When dealing with new acquaintances, try not to be judgmental. Everyone comes from someplace and has their own baggage and their own reason for carrying it onboard the airplane of life. Its not your place to tell someone they are wrong if you have not walked a mile in their moccasins as the Indians used to say when they were still talking to the people who stole their land from under their walking shoes. Learn to accept people for who they are and not for what they should be in your eyes. Give new relationships a chance to bud and they will blossom.
Consider Seeking Help:
Maybe you are too overwhelmed to deal with your feelings of loneliness or despair at this time of year by yourself. This is nothing to be ashamed of and if that is the case, seek the aid of a counselor to help you cope. Maybe even talk to your new pet. You would be surprised what they have to say about the human condition, that is, if you take the time to learn their language.
Most of all, remember that help is out there. All you have to do is stretch out your hand and ask for it. Dont suffer now or at any other time of the year for that matter. Get up and out of yourself; live, laugh and boogie!
Happy serene holidays to all and to all a good night.
"The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age." Lucille Ball in Uncommon Scold by Abby Adams
"The best way to forget your troubles is to wear tight shoes."
. . . Anonymous
Click for a printer friendly version of this article.