Ask Goldie - February 2007

By Goldie Carlow

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Dear Goldie:

I don't know how to get out of the mess my life has turned into. There must be somewhere I can find a bit of happiness.
I am 65, no children, but still work as a secretary to finish paying our mortgage. My husband is retired on a small pension, but just sits in front of the TV and waits for his meals. I have tried, but we rarely have a conversation. I go to the gym on Saturdays. That's my life.

Dear P.M.:
Your life does sound bleak.
It sounds like you have been unsuccessful in changing your husband's social habits, but that is his choice. You need to put your efforts toward improving life for yourself. You will need friends to begin attending community events such as concerts and theatre. You could even audit an interesting course at university. You mentioned the mortgage, so I presume you have lived in your present neighbourhood long enough to make friends there as well.
I realize your situation is depressing, but if you are healthy enough to work and attend a gym, you are likely able to become socially active too. Do not settle for less! Otherwise, you will become seriously depressed even to the point of needing medical attention.
Start today. Phone a friend and plan to go for lunch or to a show after the gym on Saturday. You are in the workforce, so you are already aware that an attractive appearance and interesting conversation will encourage interest and new friendships.
Good luck! I'll be interested to hear how you make out.

Dear Goldie:

I am in my 70s and quite active. I understand the frustrations of P.T. and T.K. who wrote to you about the difficulty of meeting other active seniors.
Hopefully something can be done to get people together in the Parksville-Qualicum area.

Dear L.S.:

I contacted several senior centres on the Island, and there are many programs for seniors to meet and activities for them to participate in. The centres commented that more programs are started at the beginning of each new year. Surely this is an opportunity for lonely seniors to meet.
Recently, I attended a tea at the senior centre in Duncan and was informed it was specifically for lonely seniors in the community. There was a warm welcome, good entertainment, food and conversation. I met old friends and made some new ones.
Meanwhile, I will continue to search for more opportunities for seniors to meet.

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