What is the meaning of authority for elders when our children have left home and we have retired from jobs and careers? Whatever our life experiences, claiming our authority as an elder citizen can be very empowering.
When you think about true friendship, what does that mean to you? Not so long ago, I would have said that true friendship is when someone is always there for you when you need them. I would have also probably jumped to the conclusion that it means someone I see, or at least talk to, on a regular basis. But recently, I’ve had a situation arise that made me stop and ponder the definition of true friendship.
When my husband and I separated, I felt that, being 70 years old, I would not find another lover/partner again and that senior dating was not for me. I wasn’t even open to it because I felt that I needed first of all to deepen my relationship with myself. I no longer knew who I was because I had been identifying with the role of being a wife for so long, and besides, was it too late to date?
Recently my husband and I were invited to a wedding where the bride and groom were in their seventies. This is not unusual in itself but what fascinated me was why they had decided to marry after being together for more then twenty-one years. As we chatted about how they had come to this decision, their story became even more fascinating, as you will discover as you read the interview with Marie and Neive, starting with how they met.
This is an email thread that naturally developed over several days amongst a few members of the Joy of Ageing website team. It shows how true friends can express to each other how they feel without fear of judgment or reaction and be open to another’s reflection. When we are held with such understanding we are inspired to take an honest look at our life and it is easier to let go of what is not working for us and move forward.
For twenty-six years I was in a relationship with a man – he was the ‘love of my life’ and it felt as if we would be together forever. We enjoyed being together, worked well together and our love was deepening. Then, imperceptibly, things started to change. We stopped appreciating each other so much, we let work become the priority instead of our love, and gradually our relationship got stale – the joy had slowly gone.
I now live a life where I am inspired by friends of many ages – but it wasn’t always this way. I held the common belief that the older I get the more I should know. Those younger generally know less, and those older know more. Pretty straight forward and if I were to evaluate this based on life experience I could not be faulted. The younger a person was, the less ‘life experience’ they generally had.
What is Love? This is a question that I am sure everyone has wrestled with in his or her lifetime. I have always questioned it. My mother loved me I know, but her love was very needy and thus it was smothering for me and for my two brothers. We recognised that for her, this was her expression of love, but for myself it was not what I wanted from her and it was not what I felt ‘love’ meant to me. So what did it mean?
Recently I have been in the process of cutting a life long energetic cord that my son and I have had between us. This happened a couple of weeks ago, and since then I have been amazed at the simple changes that have come about as a consequence. The changes I have noticed are in the way I relate to my son and people in general.
"How did you do this?", and “How did you find such a beautiful man?”, was what many friends asked me. Honestly I wasn't busy looking for a relationship, and strange as it sounds, it just came to me. I am 61 years old and I really thought that I would never meet a man in this lifetime. I have had a few relationships in my life but they didn’t work out.