Trying to keep on keeping on!
(East Stroudsburg, PA)
I am 76 years old and moved from New York to Pennsylvania a year and a half ago and gave up driving about 4 years ago. Never thought I was moving but life takes turns you never expect. So not driving and living in an area where you need a car to get around is proving to be depressing.
My son lives in the same house and does run errands for me and takes me shopping and to the doctors but that also takes away my independence.
I can walk down the road to the supermarket (when my knees allow it) but I wanted to join some senior groups or other activities but nothing is within walking distance. I haven't even met most of my neighbors -- I never see anybody.
I was 51 and the company that I had worked for 17 years closed the New York office and moved to Washington, DC so I was out of a job. That wound up being a good thing because my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I was able to be there 24/7 for 16 months until he passed away. I got involved with volunteering to keep my sanity and then I found a job with a woman who ran Expos and I was able to work at home.
I worked for her for a number of years and finally realized that I was working many hours and making very little money. I took early retirement to collect my pension. I became a newsletter editor for two nonprofit organizations and found that very fulfilling.
I learned how to drive at 54 years because I had never learned and got tired of taking 2 or 3 buses wherever I had to go and I had our car just sitting in the driveway. I was very proud of that accomplishment. I was with the organizations for 12 years and eventually both chapters closed and I was adrift again.
At this time my mother was getting more and more confused and had numerous trips to the hospital. We had a two family house and she lived on the second floor so I took her downstairs and gave up my bedroom and slept on a couch in my office room. I took care of her for six years and she finally passed at age 95 1/2.
It took me a couple of years to get back to my routine and get over the loss of my mother. The loneliness started to get to me again.
In one year I had five episodes of water coming down in 4 separate rooms of my house and the walls had mold from all that water. I had holes in all the ceilings.
My son had sold his house and moved in upstairs and was going to redo my mother's apartment and move down to her floor but when we finally got the estimate, it was staggering and didn't even include what it would cost to fix my apartment.
At this point I said it was time to sell the house and move somewhere safe. He has always loved Pennsylvania and I surprised myself when I said "let's move to Pennsylvania".
We ran into quite a roadblock with the building of our house. What was supposed to be a six month job took two years. For eleven months I stayed with my son's friend in Pennsylvania and that proved to be horrendous. She made my life miserable. One of the problems is she has OCD and a very bad case of it so she was on me constantly. We had many verbal shouting matches.
So I am now living in our new two family house and are still having problems. The builder really didn't do a good job in a lot of areas, but at least we are finally here. BUT I am tired of being on the computer. I am tired of watching television. I don't know what to do with myself and when talking to my friends they all tell me the same thing. We all have health problems with limitations. I really don't know why they call it "the golden years".
When I was in high school I had a French pen pal and the thought just popped in my head that maybe I should look into that. And so, here I am. I don't know what exactly to expect but I hope that it will be something nice. I am the type of person who looks at a glass as being half full not half empty.