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Lonliness, Solitude and Isolation in Life's Third Trimester

This topic was addressed last year, but because so many new members have joined, I though I'd repeat it here.  The 3rd Tri meetup in Oro Valley explored this topic and it was as illuminating to me as in the past.  So, I'm repeating it here too.  Enjoy.

Often I find that I can see how I exclude or include myself as a Third Tri.  It’s true for me that I enjoy solitude much more now than ever I did. But, I wondered, does that lead to isolation and eventually to that old bugaboo “loneliness” and all that entails? 

I found a wonderful blog post from and am taking the opportunity to quote some of her thoughts here about solitude, isolation and loneliness.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

“…we who enjoy a lot of time alone are often seen as suspect by the culture at large. Look at how negative are the words we have to describe such people: hermit, recluse, loner, lone wolf, introvert, outsider. It's not far from there to believe anyone like that must be lonely and therefore in danger of illness, even early death.

Not true. Not always.

Carl Jung's seven tasks of aging, which come to many elders quite naturally (without even knowing who Jung was), pretty much demand introspection and, therefore, solitude:

• Facing the reality of aging and dying 
• Life review 
• Defining life realistically 
• Letting go of the ego 
• Finding new rooting in the self 
• Determining the meaning of one's life 
• Rebirth – dying with life

It would be a mitzvah [a good deed] for all of us to be alert to signs of isolation and loneliness in friends and neighbors and to help when we can. But we should also be careful to make the distinction between those who are unhappy or depressed about it and others who enjoy their solitude.”

So I began exploring these ideas more for myself and found a few other things that relate to this topic.

I found that it doesn’t matter if you are married, coupled, single or have many or little friends. Experts have found that it is the quality of relationships that effect if we are lonely or not.  It’s also a matter of how we look at life.

For instance Barbara Dane, an 85-year-old jazz and blues singer who lives in Oakland, Calif., has seen this play out in her relationship circles.

“As you get older, you see the world writing you off,” she said, adding, “So you tend to become passive and think, ‘I don’t want to bother anybody.’ You lose contact with your own kind, your tribe. And before you know it, you’re feeling bad.”

“It’s kind of life a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your eyes start to fasten on the sunset, and you start walking toward it.”

So for this next Meetup, let’s look at loneliness, isolation and solitude.  Let’s tell each other what we fear about living alone (or not) about being older and how relationships may have supported or evaporated for us.  Come ready to talk about your own view at this stage of your life and what you have learned as you’ve aged.

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  • Dyan

    Was very good. But would hv liked Sandy to lead it. Primarily cuz of her background...

    August 7, 2014

    • Sandy M.

      I'll be back next time Dyan. In the meantime I'll be happy to bounce ideas around with you anytime

      1 · August 7, 2014

  • Dyan

    Was very good. But would hv liked Sandy to lead it. Primarily cuz of her background...

    August 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wonderful to meet everyone!

    August 6, 2014

  • Merna Z.

    A good meeting. Most participated.

    1 · August 5, 2014

  • Dan S.

    I learned a lot. Gee-gee (the lady who ran the meeting) was excellent.

    2 · August 5, 2014

  • Dennis H.

    Much better. The group was focused and host guided the discussions

    1 · August 5, 2014

  • Sandy M.

    Just a brief reminder that I'll be in Oregon on Tuesday. . Gee gee Smith will be facilitating and we've met to discuss the topic. She's excited to do it and I know you'll all support I e another beautifully. . See you next time. Topic will be posted. Soon.

    August 3, 2014

  • Dyan

    Thank you Sandy for doing this subject......

    1 · July 24, 2014

  • Dyan

    I'm looking forward to this Meeting. Whether thru Divorce or Spouse passing away, sooner or later we are all going to hv to experience this. I would like to know how other's hv dealt with this, especially those of us who Don't hv Adult children. I met a man the other day. who is 90 yrs old a Widower & he lost his 2 adult children & he still lives on his own!! Didn't get to ask him how he got thru that cycle of his life

    July 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am looking forward to this meeting! Also meeting everyone! Life has been soooo intersting to me now that the body is giving out! Simply amazed at the changes in my attitude about life and the next 15 years..and what "I" want to do with them!

    1 · July 23, 2014

  • Dan S.

    Anne, I am not finding you RSVPed for this meetup, and thus I cannot send you the Ghandi quote I mentioned. Anyone who has an email address for Anne should give to me at [masked]

    July 15, 2014

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