Loneliness can hardly be considered the prerogative of the elderly. And yet it is precisely within this age group that we find it most prevalent. The combination of old age and the incumbent problems of aloneness are often perceived as insurmountable by people already compromised by their situation and powerless to seek help. This sense of isolation is no more acutely felt than during holidays and the festive season.
“The very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our life is towards happiness.” ~ Dalai Lama
Everyone, whether they realise it or not, makes a bucket list in life. It’s called dreams. What we dream is sometimes mere fantasy, totally unattainable, but often we are circling a range of possibilities that, if we only made plans, sacrifices and determined decisions, we could actually add to the experience of our life with joy and satisfaction.
We give thought to those afflicted with Alzheimer’s on World Alzheimer’s Day on the 21st of September. As we age there is one disease that we fear more than any other – and that is the gradual unravelling of mental capacity that whittles away at memory, identity, the most basic sense of self. There are variations of dementia but Alzheimer’s is the most common and also the most feared because of the loss of independence, control of one’s life, and ability to make decisions – along with the tragic disconnection with loved ones.
Playdates, meetings, cooking, counselling, caring. The life of a woman can be challenging and full, to say the least. For many of us, ‘wearing many hats’ comes naturally, but it can become difficult when we try to wear all our hats all at the same time.
Why do we do this? Sure, society puts excessive amounts of pressure on women to be everything to everyone. To be the world’s best multitaskers and to successfully (and obviously gracefully) juggle everything. That's all so unrealistic and unfair. In reality, to be ‘successful’ in the eyes of the world is something completely different to what success looks like in the life of each individual.
Mental fitness is not really about what you think about all day. You might think you’re mentally fit because you’re shopping, driving, finding parking, carrying parcels, planning the evening’s supper, working through business meetings – but even with all that engagement you may mentally exhausted, running on auto with your mind cluttered with other chores, commitments or intractable problems. The result of all your busyness may be something forgotten, a mistake in calculations and some confusion over an arrangement, or depression about a range of circumstances in your life currently. Sound familiar?