© Copyright 2019. UnderstandingXYZ.com,  All rights reserved.
Old Anima
Growing old with love, loneliness, sadness, happiness, and work Love. . . What a word! Here’s my problem with it: I take that word very seriously and use it only when I have a very strong relationship with anything – you, this, or that. Many people, if not most people, freely use that word. They typically use it indiscriminatingly, however, but they still use it many more times than I could even imagine. Hence, when someone says “love” to me about anything, I have learned that it really does not mean what I define the word as meaning. Okay, so here’s the obligatory definition from Webster: “Love is an intense feeling of deep affection.” As I grow old, numerous people who once inhabited the “love” sphere in my life, have disappeared, some from natural causes and others just unexplainable, except to say, many of these people have taken paths that do not intersect with mine and vice versa. Such is life. Solitariness For me, I have become more semi-reclusive and solitary in old age, which most psychologists and sociologist say is harmful to one’s well- being. I’m not utterly reclusive and solitary, as those whom I love – my immediate family members – either live with me or are close by. As far as friends go, I have none with whom I can visit with, as the few I did have are at least a six-hour drive away. I am in many ways living kind of a Henry David Thoreau existence. Thoreau and his Walden Pond story are often misidentified as a hermit existence. To the contrary, he had many visitors. Plus, he lived on the Pond for only two years – not his entire life, which is another frequently misidentified element of his fame. Like Thoreau, I am also “a sojourner in civilized life,” which is what he claimed to go back to after two years on Walden Pond. It’s just that my sojourn is very limited. So, the amount of daily social, face-to-face interactions I have are confined to only a few family members. A big part of the reason for this is that I am a free-lance writer. I interview people on the phone, attend video conferences sometimes, use email and my smart phone, participate in social media, and chat online with customer service issues for some of the electronic tools I utilize for my work – none of these things, as you can see, entail being physically in the same room with anyone. I do go out – usually it is to a restaurant or a grocery store, and then nothing more other than an occasional shopping trip for an article of clothing I may need or some office supplies. Even that, however, is converting over to ecommerce. I just purchased a long-sleeve, Hawaiian-style, tee-shirt for instance through an online store. Another relatively rare occasion comes when I am lucky enough to attend a conference that is work related. I only go, however, if I know I will get some huge learning benefit from listening to intelligent people give presentations about what they “love” to do. I do not go for the social interaction. I haven’t been able to do this for several years, but I keep my options open on this particular possibility. I do get lonely, but, then again, how lonely, really? Consider this cartoon I recently saw showing a guy in a meeting pointing to a chart. Below the image is the following: “Are you lonely? Tired of working on your own: Do you hate making decisions? Hold a meeting! You can: save people, show charts, feel important, point with a stick, eat donuts, and impress your colleagues.” WaHoo!!! On Crying Sadness is another emotion – when you get older it becomes easier to put enough mental effort into intently thinking about something to a point where it makes you cry – sometimes uncontrollably. This is an amazing feat actually – and I think it has numerous benefits. When you have finished crying, you get a surge of energy and relief with a renewed mindset that repeats “okay, keep moving forward, keep going, enjoy.” At least that is how crying works for me. Is this a symptom of aging? For others, I presume, the mental anguish is too much and feels more like a burden than an energy booster. Crying is definitely a complex transcendent experience that can surprise you at any moment. Happiness Then, of course, there’s happiness. What really constitutes happiness? With age I think it becomes more seriously about having meaning; your significance, no matter how small or large, becomes your raison d’etre. When younger, insignificant things just happen and are accepted without giving them much thought. With age they are not accepted anymore. You want the truth, how it applies, where it was and where it might be going. Meaning and happiness become your closest allies. Whenever I do anything that somehow helps anyone, be it through an article I wrote, or through some kind of friendly action like the simple act of opening a door for someone, I feel happy. Work Last, there are your feelings about work. When will all this BS be over, and will I still have enough money to pay my rent? How can I do only what I truly want to do? Should I get on a routine to become more productive? What do I need to do in order to keep the nature of my work in a zone that is pleasing – something I can look forward to every morning while at the same time paying my rent? These are all important questions that have become more prominent in old age. So, love, solitariness, crying, happiness and feelings about work – these are the emotions that seem to grow in significance when we age. Of course, numerous sub categories fall beneath each (for a later discussion perhaps). Thanks for stopping by, George
psychology of aging
“True love stories never have endings.”   -Richard Bach
Old Anima
© Copyright 2019. UnderstandingXYZ.com. All rights reserved.
“True love stories never have endings.”   -Richard Bach
Growing old with love, loneliness, sadness, happiness, and work Love. . . What a word! Here’s my problem with it: I take that word very seriously and use it only when I have a very strong relationship with anything – you, this, or that. Many people, if not most people, freely use that word. They typically use it indiscriminatingly, however, but they still use it many more times than I could even imagine. Hence, when someone says “love” to me about anything, I have learned that it really does not mean what I define the word as meaning. Okay, so here’s the obligatory definition from Webster: “Love is an intense feeling of deep affection.” As I grow old, numerous people who once inhabited the “love” sphere in my life, have disappeared, some from natural causes and others just unexplainable, except to say, many of these people have taken paths that do not intersect with mine and vice versa. Such is life. Solitariness For me, I have become more semi-reclusive and solitary in old age, which most psychologists and sociologist say is harmful to one’s well-being. I’m not utterly reclusive and solitary, as those whom I love – my immediate family members – either live with me or are close by. As far as friends go, I have none with whom I can visit with, as the few I did have are at least a six-hour drive away. I am in many ways living kind of a Henry David Thoreau existence. Thoreau and his Walden Pond story are often misidentified as a hermit existence. To the contrary, he had many visitors. Plus, he lived on the Pond for only two years – not his entire life, which is another frequently misidentified element of his fame. Like Thoreau, I am also “a sojourner in civilized life,” which is what he claimed to go back to after two years on Walden Pond. It’s just that my sojourn is very limited. So, the amount of daily social, face-to-face interactions I have are confined to only a few family members. A big part of the reason for this is that I am a free- lance writer. I interview people on the phone, attend video conferences sometimes, use email and my smart phone, participate in social media, and chat online with customer service issues for some of the electronic tools I utilize for my work – none of these things, as you can see, entail being physically in the same room with anyone. I do go out – usually it is to a restaurant or a grocery store, and then nothing more other than an occasional shopping trip for an article of clothing I may need or some office supplies. Even that, however, is converting over to ecommerce. I just purchased a long-sleeve, Hawaiian-style, tee-shirt for instance through an online store. Another relatively rare occasion comes when I am lucky enough to attend a conference that is work related. I only go, however, if I know I will get some huge learning benefit from listening to intelligent people give presentations about what they “love” to do. I do not go for the social interaction. I haven’t been able to do this for several years, but I keep my options open on this particular possibility. I do get lonely, but, then again, how lonely, really? Consider this cartoon I recently saw showing a guy in a meeting pointing to a chart. Below the image is the following: “Are you lonely? Tired of working on your own: Do you hate making decisions? Hold a meeting! You can: save people, show charts, feel important, point with a stick, eat donuts, and impress your colleagues.” WaHoo!!! On Crying Sadness is another emotion – when you get older it becomes easier to put enough mental effort into intently thinking about something to a point where it makes you cry – sometimes uncontrollably. This is an amazing feat actually – and I think it has numerous benefits. When you have finished crying, you get a surge of energy and relief with a renewed mindset that repeats “okay, keep moving forward, keep going, enjoy.” At least that is how crying works for me. Is this a symptom of aging? For others, I presume, the mental anguish is too much and feels more like a burden than an energy booster. Crying is definitely a complex transcendent experience that can surprise you at any moment. Happiness Then, of course, there’s happiness. What really constitutes happiness? With age I think it becomes more seriously about having meaning; your significance, no matter how small or large, becomes your raison d’etre. When younger, insignificant things just happen and are accepted without giving them much thought. With age they are not accepted anymore. You want the truth, how it applies, where it was and where it might be going. Meaning and happiness become your closest allies. Whenever I do anything that somehow helps anyone, be it through an article I wrote, or through some kind of friendly action like the simple act of opening a door for someone, I feel happy. Work Last, there are your feelings about work. When will all this BS be over, and will I still have enough money to pay my rent? How can I do only what I truly want to do? Should I get on a routine to become more productive? What do I need to do in order to keep the nature of my work in a zone that is pleasing – something I can look forward to every morning while at the same time paying my rent? These are all important questions that have become more prominet in old age. So, love, solitariness, crying, happiness and feelings about work – these are the emotions that seem to grow in significance when we age. Of course, numerous sub categories fall beneath each (for a later discussion perhaps). Thanks for stopping by, George