Category Archives: Health and Well Being

Loneliness, Solitude and Isolation in Life’s Third Trimester

After our last Topic of Exclusion and Inclusion, I began seeing 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?

lone person on pathI 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 leave a comment on 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.  Share your own view at this stage of your life and what you have learned as you’ve aged.

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Filed under Aging, Change, Choice, family relationships, friendships, Health and Well Being, social, Spiritual

INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION: How is it for you now and how was it back then?

During a recent conversation with some 3rd Tri’s we began to talk about how we were in our teen/hs years and the cliques we belonged to or didn’t.  


We also explored some about how we treated others who weren’t in our clique during that time.  This then led us to look at how it is for us now.  Most of us agreed we are more tolerant now of differences in age, sex, interests and possibly even political outlooks. But at the same time, we find we make friends with othersour own age and with similar interests in much the same way as we always did.

Let’s take this time to explore the topic further.  How have you changed or how have you not changed when it comes toinclusion and exclusion.  Were you excluded at some point in your life and what was that experience for you?  Is it easier now for you to tolerate differences in others and what do you think may have precipitated that in your life? Is is possible you have become less tolerant and if so, why?  I bet there are some stories to tell here. We can expand this topic to explore all kinds of prejudice, and the more current controversy aroundbullying.


It can also be interesting to discuss ways we are more or less tolerant of ourselves as well.  It seems to me as I age I find I enjoy my own company better.  And, I’m always looking for more and interesting connections with others.  How are you doing with that? Comments are always welcome. 

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Filed under Aging, Change, Choice, exclusion, friendships, prejudice, social

Setting Goals — Then and Now


If you are like me, sometime in the past you learned to set goals either personal, business or both.  For me it was a difficult task and I came to it later in life. I had to practice and get a lot support around doing it.

Some of us had parents who taught us goal setting in the family.  We may have been taught well or harshly.  Perhaps we were  rewarded or punished for the results.  Perhaps we handed these ways of goal setting down to our own children.

These days I find my goal setting is less and less difficult and more and more I set very short term ones.

What about you?  Have your goals become more realistic as you’ve aged?  How did you learn to set goals and do you still do it and if soaround what? What place do goals serve in your life now? How have your goal setting habits evolved over time?

Let’s look at Goal Setting Then and Now. Did you set any goals for yourself 10 or more years ago for this time in your life now?  Have they come into being? Are you still setting goals for the future?

I think we can have a good discussion around this topic of Goal Setting Then and Now.  At least I have a goal to dig into it for myself.


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It’s no secret that age brings new challenges that are often seen as aging quoteobstacles.  During the first decade of our Life’s Third Trimester (our 60’s) we see many changes in our bodies, our social and work connections, how we pace ourselves.  The habits we fall into, even new perspectives on life seem to emerge everywhere.

I’ve often equated the 60’s as the adolescence of Life’s Third Trimester.  Of course, that’s not a hard fast rule, but it does seem to bring as many physical, social and emotional changes as we experienced in our teens!

So how do you view these changes?  How does your family, society as a whole see us during this time? Often there are prejudices, mistaken beliefs.   These attitudes have  been labeled “ageism” from not just others, but ourselves as well.

Here’s an example.  If we are slower now, people may consider ususeless or boring or infantilize us unjustly. Seen as an opportunity,slower paces can bring wonderful new perspectives (just imagine the difference between a hike and a car ride).  We may find our thoughts slow down enough to actually become more creative.  Perhaps we begin writing more poetry or are able to express deeper emotions.

What challenges can you come up with seen from this angle?  What are the commonly held attitudes about those changes and what if any can you begin to see as an opportunity as a result of them? We can explore those challenges and changes, the attitudes that seem to surround them and the opportunity they may actually hold for us as we continue on our journey of Life’s Third Trimester. Leave a comment or send me an email with your thoughts.  I’m on facebook as well and always willing to converse with substance and purpose.


Filed under Aging, Change, Choice, friendships, social, Spiritual, Wisdom

Stages, passages and Other Lessons Learned

stages of life hands

So here we are in our Life’s Third Trimester and there are plenty of new experiences to discover.  But, we didn’t get here without all that went before.  Our previous Trimesters contributed successes, failures and opportunities that have gotten us to where we are now.   Each stage along the way has held lessons, triumphs, losses, growth and of course, regrets.

I want to  explore those previous stages and how they have led to our current life.  Let’s begin by looking at how relationships (yes, and sex too), careers, beliefs and our views of the world were before we turned 60 and if they have changed. What parts of your First and Second Trimester have you let go of and which ones have deepened into who you are in this your Third Trimester?

I have found that people are very different in how they learn lessons from the First and Second Trimester of Life, but often the lessons learned are held in common.  I frequently hear people report that they have learned things will always change: that you won’t feel this way forever. Also that sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. Many people have found real joy only after having heartache. 

Passages often come with the Trimester Shifts.  Age 30, 60 and 90 are common times for major passages into new ways of being.  This, of course is not a hard fast rule, and I’m only reporting what I found people I’ve talked with (plus of course, my own experience) have said.  Still, I think if you look at your own experience, then read some of the research on this topic you will find that those times are times of passage, when attitudes, ways of life and even physical changes shift and are more pronounced.

This being the case, what lessons do you still want to learn and which ones have you learned that you hadn’t even planned on?  What are some of the major passages you’ve taken during the turning of the Trimester period?  There is so much more to think about and share.  I recommend starting conversations with old and new friends on this topic and see what is similar between us though the outer form may vary.


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Filed under Aging, Change, friendships, telling stories, Wisdom