Tue, Oct 16, 2018
Home Town Debate
Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Sheaffer: Isolation

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Once upon a time..

And they lived happily ever after..

For many, "once upon a time" is not something they like to think about. They're too busy looking ahead.

And for some, "happily ever after" is still too far in the future to accept as reality.

The rest of us are very likely in between the two points and are doing our day to day keep on living dance. And this can be an ongoing effort versus a semi-conscious 'let the river flow" existence.

One very strong dynamic that contributes to the "effort" part is isolation. When family is around, when work takes a big portion of our days, when being active and out there is the norm, we're busier than we realize. It's much easier to meet expectations and think about what we need to do tomorrow and gear up.

Remove work, family and the ability to get up and get about whenever you want to, and the world takes on a different hue.

Sometimes it's not a huge leap from:

It's just me and the dog now. I can do whatever I want to do. My schedule's my own finally..

to:

It's just me and the dog now. TV can get old pretty quickly, and the dog really isn't much of a conversationalist. And if he suddenly becomes one, I may have bigger problems than just being alone...or is it being lonely?

It can creep up on us due to the aforementioned lack of enforced schedules, health issues or a combination of both. Consider: If it's difficult or even painful to get out and about, you tend to pick and choose what activities you choose. And many times, it devolves into medical appointments as the primary one.

Of course for those who have computers--and have friends who do also--social media has been helpful in keeping the feeling of isolation at bay, be it skype, email, facebook, whatever. There are definitely benefits to keeping connected in any capacity.

I don't have a computer and prefer writing letters and using the US Mail, thank you. So now what?

What about previous groups you were involved in, such as churches, fraternal organizations and so on? Chances are, some of the people you know are still involved. How about giving them a call and catching a ride? Face to face conversation with people tends to stimulate thoughts and ideas--and even sometimes laughter!

Dial-A-Ride, or the same friend, can also get you to one of the Senior Centers for a meal and conversation. Take some time and consider: Your previous life of schedules and interests doesn't have to stop.

It just may have to change regarding how to access them.

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: (360) 642-3634/(888) 571-6558

Raymond: (360) 942-2177/(888) 571-6557

www.o3a.org

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