Hi Brooke,
I feeling lonely and projecting even more loneliness to come. I am retired and don’t have a desire to go back to work even part-time . I basically make my adult children and grandchildren my days and do love that to a certain extent. I tended and still do to a certain effect fill a lot of my time with shopping. I really can’t do that now and really don’t want to. I have never been a person that needs a million friends and like you cringe at the thought of a large social gathering. I am an introvert. I feel like you when you described yourself on one your podcast about introvert and extrovert. When I was working in the education field I was a leader within the school with a lot of people that answered to me and had an excellent reputation to the point that parent’s would “threaten” the principle if their child did not have me for the next school year. I built up a program from 6 students to 75 which was a huge money maker for this small private school. I am project orientated and do everything all in. I too have no problem speaking in front of crowds on topics where my expertise is. But that is all history now and do not have a desire to go back to it. I have two close friends. One friend I have had for 20 plus years and she is the direct opposite of me in terms of being a social butterfly. I can’t even imagine how she keeps up with her life and I have no desire for that. I have another close friend that lives about 25 miles away and runs two very successful stores and lastly a friend a see a lot and love but she has her issues (but yet she knows the real me the best and I have only been friends with her for 4 years)…she is currently in rehab for alcohol and she comes with a huge platter of problems in her life.
When not with my kids or grandchildren I spend hours doing scholar work which I love (like a project for me in getting well). I probably spend more time on it than healthy. I might even be using this as a buffer because I have nothing else to fill my time and I am getting good things from it.I afraid by doing so much work on it during the day it might become a negative. But I am harboring a lot of negative feelings about my life in terms of loneliness now and for the future.
Iv’e thought about the things I enjoy and none of which require other people nor do I want to make a job or career out of them. For example I love interior design and even more so I love drawing floor plans. Iv’e done that for the 5 homes I’ve owned and for my kids homes. So that is a hobby but not a continuous one. I can’t think of any other thing that I’m really interested in. Isn’t that sad? My parents live with me in a very private full serving section of my home. They are 80 but fully independent and they are great where they make a point not to disrupt my or my husband’s lives. It is very unusual but it is working. I know someday I will be their caretaker and that depresses me as well (not just for the inevitable of losing them but my life will really be consumed with them then). Not just that but they moved here only a year ago and have no social life here but have each other and an excellent marriage. I fear the day when one goes and the other is left to be very independent with no one but me to be in their life.
I know I’m projecting a lot and know I need to live in the present which I usually do. However, the present is also full of loneliness without any goals in sight.
Thanks for your help