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Will you be growing old alone?

Old 04-24-17, 08:30 PM
  #1  
spinnaker
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Will you be growing old alone?

Been sort of down lately thinking about my life. I have no one in my life now except for my mom. And she will be gone soon. That is just the order of things an while I will miss her that is just the way things have to be.

I have my brother but he is thousands of miles away.

I will likely be growing old alone. I don't regret my choices. I see the misery some of my friends and co-workers have gone though with their spouse. I would not trade my life for theirs for anything still all the same it still sucks when I think about the good life other have with their spouse and lots of kids around to help with the transition to old age.

By no means am I old yet. Still god willing I have a number of years to go before I get there but it is just around the corner. I do for my mom (along with lots of her friends) what needs to be done. It would be nice if there was someone to do those things for me.

I should join a church. That is what my mom did any where she met all of her friends. But I am not much of a church goer. Plus if you ever met my mom you would see that she is just like a magnet to people. I am more like my dad, more revered and pretty much keep to myself. If it weren't for my mom, my dad would have never met all of those people at church. She really was able to get him out of his comfort zone and he was the better man for it till he passed last year.

So anyone in my same boat? If so what are your plans?

I really should count my blessings. I am actually a lucky man by some respects. The first wife of my boss passed at a fairly young age. Kids now adults have been a handful and continue to be some what. Now his second wife is gravely ill I don't know how he copes. The guy is amazing.
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Old 04-24-17, 08:42 PM
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I'm part time in the same boat. I'm married, but some years back deb decided she'd rather be in Cozumel full time, while I'm not willing to give up life up here. So, we're together part of the time and apart the rest.

I don't mind because I've always been sort of "self contained" anyway.

But now that I'm retired, and have no place I have to be, or have people who'd miss me if I didn't see them daily, and Deb and I sometimes go a while without speaking by skype, I start to think about what would happen if something happened.

I imagine I'd be lying here getting moldy, and feel bad for my poor nephew who'd likely be the guy drafted to check after a while.

Maybe I could write a will leaving all my bike stuff to whoever finds me first.
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Old 04-24-17, 08:47 PM
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As some touchy-feely type once said, "Being alone doesn't mean you have to be lonely."

And I actually get that a little bit, because I've been married 25 years and have two tweens-- so most days, I'm just hoping to be left alone. Being alone sounds awesome.
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Old 04-24-17, 10:56 PM
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Hopefully yes. That would be better than dying young.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:05 AM
  #5  
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At 59 and single for almost 20 years I don't think about it much anymore. The loneliest I ever felt was in two marriages, the first that was bad from the beginning because we were too immature, the second that started out really well and went bad for reasons I never could quite make sense of. Probably as much my fault as theirs.

Most family I was closest to are dead -- my grandparent on both sides of the family, my younger brother, my eldest uncle, my dad. My mom is fading away as dementia overcomes her, although she still has relatively good days. My kids were estranged by the usual divorce drama. I wouldn't mind hearing from a couple of them, but whenever we heard from my oldest kid it was always some sort of melodrama, fabricated crisis, substance abuse or lie. Frankly I got tired of it and just let it all go. I've watched other relatives go through hell for the sake of similar problem children and I can't see that it ever did anyone any good. On the plus side the eldest child has remarried, started a new family and seems stable now. I'm grateful for that. I have other relatives but we're not very close.

If anything I'm looking forward to more time for myself. For more than 25 years I've been a caregiver -- sometimes part time, sometimes full time -- for a series of three older family members so they could stay home as long as possible. My background was in nursing so I was the logical and closest relative -- or at least the default choice due to proximity. Both my paternal grandparents. Now my mom. We tried nursing homes and long term physical rehab centers and the experiences were uniformly awful. There may be good nursing homes out there but I've never seen one.

I'm glad to be able to do that for them, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. If I become incapacitated I won't impose myself on other family.

If I fit the average age pattern for men in my family I have another 20 years. If I'm lucky 10 will be pretty in pretty good health, all things considered. I might even do better, considering my only chronic ailment is Hashimoto's thyroid disease, with annoying occasional weakness and fatigue, but not particularly serious or debilitating. I have some chronic pain from an old neck and back injury, but I can manage. Overall, I'm doing better at 59 than my dad, grandfathers and uncle were. No cancer, no COPD, no diabetes, no repeated strokes and heart attacks, no addictions to booze or drugs, no schizophrenia. I'm pretty fortunate compared with some folks in my family.

The last time I tried sorta-dating I realized I just wasn't interested anymore in the burden of building and maintaining a relationship, or dealing with the baggage most women I've met drag into new relationships.

Since resuming bicycling a couple of years ago I've met lots of great folks locally, most of whom are a bit younger, so that suits my preferences for occasional casual socializing.

I tried churches, often. I still consider myself receptive to the concept of a superior creator, initiator or intelligent entity, if only the programmer of our simulation. But every church I've encountered or been invited to has become increasingly politicized, polarized and more interested in tribalism than in saving souls, making the world a better place or whatever it is most religions purportedly set out to do. The last good congregation I was a member of was more than 20 years ago and it was in the process of becoming corrupted by the taint of secular politics.

If I do happen to outlive my mom I'll probably end up doing more volunteer work, so I won't necessarily have more free time. It'll just be different. Perhaps more of a predictable routine than caregiving, which tends to be unpredictable, making it difficult to schedule anything other than medical appointments.

My only concern is ending up like Burgess Meredith's character in the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last". Mostly because it's often mistakenly cited as a lesson in hubris when it's just tragic coincidence and example of an indifferent universe. Besides, the atomic bomb blast probably fused some sand into glass so he could grind a new crude vision aid to help look for or make a new pair of proper eyeglasses.
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Old 04-25-17, 02:41 AM
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I have a whole heap of nieces and nephews and cousins who are younger than me. I might suddenly get to know them better if I found myself in an "all alone" situation one day in the future.
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Old 04-25-17, 06:35 AM
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My wife and I get along amazingly well, and she is certainly the better part of me. I love spending time with her, so for as long as she and I are both alive I don't see growing old alone.
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Old 04-25-17, 06:54 AM
  #8  
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I'm pretty similar to cankle in many ways. I believe in God, but don't do organized religion. People corrupt & distort things too much, especially when they can't understand the concept of parables.
I'm also pretty much of a loner, married once too young, then grew tired of the game. I missed a couple great opportunities, with good women, when I was still young, but mostly I'm pretty content with my life. Some of us just aren't meant for that settled down home life, I guess.
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Old 04-25-17, 10:10 AM
  #9  
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Wow, so deep in this thread. Very un-Foo. But it's great to read people's stories.

I'm happily married, and have I guess an average amount of family around, so I can't really relate to OP's situation.

But I would toss out advice; or maybe just call it suggestions, take it for what it's worth...

Don't get married just so you can be married. Marry a person if you can be good roommates; live together, deal with each other's messes, do a lot of things together, yet be able to maintain your own independent interests/hobbies.

Since you're active here on BF, I'd suggest that a good element to have in a marriage would be a shared interest in cycling. I love that my wife is a strong rider, and we can go out riding together.

Apart from marriage, I would strongly recommend you set up a living will, or deal with whatever documentation is necessary to make sure that, if God forbid you are incapacitated, you are treated the way you would want to be but might not be able to express, or have anybody express for you; whether that's 'don't pull the plug for any reason' or 'don't keep me hooked up to machines if I'm not really "alive"', whatever 'alive' or 'quality of life' might mean to you.

As for going to church, my recommendation to you (and everybody) is to look for a church that focuses on being a church, not a social club. "Being a church" means preaching the gospel, from the whole bible (not cherry-picking verses or phrases as launching-points for comico-motivational-speeches). Any historically confessional Reformed (OPC, URC) or Lutheran (LCMS, WELS) denomination is a good place to start. That's not going to necessarily find you companionship, but I would look for other social organizations for that. Join a volunteer organization, look for meetups for activities you enjoy, maybe even try online dating?
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Old 04-25-17, 10:48 AM
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Get a partner. You never know. You might end up spending the rest of your lives together.
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Old 04-25-17, 01:08 PM
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Two marriages ended in divorce, now living with someone. We have agreed that we would like to be together long-term, but neither of us is hip on marriage again.

Life is long. Things change. We could split, either of us could die. There could be other partners in my future. Or none.

We all die alone.
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Old 04-25-17, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
recommend you set up a living will, or deal with whatever documentation is necessary to make sure that, if God forbid you are incapacitated, you are treated the way you would want to be but might not be able to express

I would point out that in our modern medical system living wills, DNR's ect are completely worthless compared to the signature of a (almost) blood relative willing to foot the bill, or that has POA.
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Old 04-25-17, 01:31 PM
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At 58 I've been happily dating someone for over 10 years that's close by, fun to be around yet likes her privacy as much as I do. I don't see anything changing soon.
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Old 04-25-17, 03:30 PM
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Pretty much, It really annoys me that I can't even have a dog.

I am married; but for work related reasons I spend most of the year in Kansas and my wife is in Salt Lake. Visiting my daughter doesn't work well either, she lives in China.

This works better than when I lived in China, but not much better. I go to work, then go home and play video games. Some weekends I go to church; but not all the time.

I try to get to the Amateur Radio club meetings; but they frequently clash with work related meetings. Sometimes I consider joining the Masons just to be sociable.

This is something I miss from China. There I was a member of the foreign residents association and the chair for two years. I was also a member of the cycling club. We met for rides (almost 100km) ever Saturday. We also had a real nice after work loop that took us through a nice regional park with a lake shore road, over the top of a dam, then downhill on a super twisty, fast, road. It was a common loop so we frequently met, and rode with, other club members as we were going along.

Yes, I was sociable there. The bike club was great. . . here in the states. . . go home and play video games.
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Old 04-25-17, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I'm part time in the same boat. I'm married, but some years back deb decided she'd rather be in Cozumel full time, while I'm not willing to give up life up here. So, we're together part of the time and apart the rest.
I LOVE Cozumel but I agree with you. I would not want to live there. The slow pace would drive me nuts. It is a lot of fun in bits a pieces but not long term.
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Old 04-25-17, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
As some touchy-feely type once said, "Being alone doesn't mean you have to be lonely."

.
And being with someone does not mean you are not lonely. I know lots of people in that boat. Sort of going through the motions of a relationship but don't want to try something else.
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Old 04-25-17, 05:52 PM
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I'm 64 and can't seem to get rid of these damned people no matter how hard I try! Maybe I need stronger poison or something...
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Old 04-25-17, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
I LOVE Cozumel but I agree with you. I would not want to live there. The slow pace would drive me nuts. It is a lot of fun in bits a pieces but not long term.
Cozumel is interesting. Generally I don't have anything I need to do, but somehow it takes all day to get that done.

The truth is that I'm a serious diver, and have stretches where I'm diving daily. That kills half the day, then a late lunch, then a bit of a nap because diving can make you drowsy. often the timing is thrown out of kilter, so we end up skipping dinner, and going our for a snack and drinks in the late evening, where we hang out with friends.

So, the fact is that time flies down there, but I don't think there's enough different stuff to do, which is why I need to spend time up north.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:10 PM
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I'm 58 and been with my wife since birth. Seriously. We were born a week apart, and her mother and mine were friends. We played together as kids, and started dating in high school. We got married at 18 and joined the service together. Started having kids at 21. I can't imagine being without her.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Cozumel is interesting. Generally I don't have anything I need to do, but somehow it takes all day to get that done.

The truth is that I'm a serious diver, and have stretches where I'm diving daily. That kills half the day, then a late lunch, then a bit of a nap because diving can make you drowsy. often the timing is thrown out of kilter, so we end up skipping dinner, and going our for a snack and drinks in the late evening, where we hang out with friends.

So, the fact is that time flies down there, but I don't think there's enough different stuff to do, which is why I need to spend time up north.
We used to joke about the fact that the bank was only opne a few hours a day. Back then it was 2000 pesos to the dollar. The joke was they had so many pesos to count it took them all day. Hard to believe they would still have coins down to the penny which would be 1/2000 of a dollar!

I remember watching a guy removing the varnish from a banister with a pane of glass. He would scrap a bit throw that piece away break off another piece then repeat.

Another time we were having breakfast in front of the Vista Del Mar (not even sure if it is still there). They were chipping away at a wall to install a new fuse box. Every once in a while you would hear the clink of a piece of concrete hitting your plate.

And once we we at a remote beach (San Francisco Beach maybe? ) for lunch. Enjoying chicken and barracuda at a picnic table on the beach. There were a few dogs about (very common). Someone dropped a chicken bone under the table. Next thing you know a dog fight broke out under the table. No one screamed or even mentioned one word. Everyone just got up, stood on the table and finished eating. Probably the most surreal event in my life.

I''ll bet things have changed big time since I was there last. When I was there last, there was like one pay phone on the island that rarely worked. If you wanted to call home, you had to go to one of the dive boats and they would place a ship to shore call for you.

I remember the supermarket. They would keep the refrigeration so low the meat would start to rot. It really stunk back in the meat section. Then there was the open air market with animal carcasses hanging in the open air markets.


Is that tree limb still sticking out of that wall on the main street near the center of town? Down near the Vista Del Mar.

One thing I remember was the people. Some of the poorest but most generous people I have ever meet.

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Old 04-25-17, 07:18 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I'm 64 and can't seem to get rid of these damned people no matter how hard I try! Maybe I need stronger poison or something...

Well I hope you are just kidding.

But it is strange. Part of me is glad I am alone. I never really felt comfortable having a lot of people around. Being by yourself, you answer to no one. I do what I want to do when I want to do it. But the other part wishes someone was there.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Well I hope you are just kidding.

But it is strange. Part of me is glad I am alone. I never really felt comfortable having a lot of people around. Being by yourself, you answer to no one. I do what I want to do when I want to do it. But the other part wishes someone was there.
Of course I'm kidding.

I would never poison anybody. I prefer booby traps.
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Old 04-25-17, 07:44 PM
  #23  
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Im truly blessed. With two adult sons, a husband and a house full of animals, I think I'm going to be the type to WANT to be alone, at least for an hour or two a week.

It's all about choices.

I can CHOOSE not to take in 3 rescue dogs, 4 rescue cats and 5 rescue tortoises. I can CHOOSE not to be in close touch with my kids. I can CHOOSE to not be married all these years.

And trust me, there are times when things get tough. I'm not made of money, but somehow I'm able to feed all these mouths. I have a tiny house but as my son said, "It's full of love". But all of the struggling is worth it.

Remember. You are you, you are not your friends. What your friends go through with their relationships is not a mirror of what you will go through. You have your own ideas, your own structure, your own idiosyncrasies that make you who YOU are.

Choose to adventure and reach out. Choose to experiment and explore. Choose to have fun and see what being in a true relationship is all about. Because you know what? I'm there. And I'm truly joyful. I'm complete. And you can be too! Just be brave.
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Old 04-25-17, 08:22 PM
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In all seriousness, though, in life you can never tell what is next up for you. When I was 38 and single I was pretty well convinced I would never meet a partner for life. I'd played house a few times, had some serious love affairs that were doomed by careers or creeping co-dependence. I'd pretty much written off the whole-settling-down-with-the-right-girl thing when I met my wife of almost 26 years now.

We both had never been married and preferred living alone. We did slowly ease into the settling down thing often living apart for periods due to my work - I traveled a lot. We still tend to live a little separately and after our son moved out to his own place our 'comfort' has greatly improved. She has her side of the upstairs and I have mine.

Having said all that the thing about a living partner is having someone to help and be helped with some of the challenges of getting older mentally and physically. For example I just had some little cancers cut off my back and I have her to dress them. I've learned how to listen to her. Sometimes she just wants to rant and doesn't want my opinion, just a grunt or two will suffice and other times she wants an interpreter of the situation.

The minefield in our relationship has always been money. I get it and spend it and she gets it and saves it. We have learned the hard way how to work that dynamic and just don't talk about it unless we have to. April 15 is a day I hate because we are forced to talk about 'our' money. Of course without her I probably have ended up a homeless bum and without me she would have ended up a miserly old spinster.
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Old 04-25-17, 09:33 PM
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This is not a complete answer, but if you are able to take in a rescue pet like a cat or a dog, you change their whole lives and in doing so, you feel so much better about yourself, that you help to create the vibes that make you more attractive to someone who could become a potential partner.

Plus they are such joyous company.
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