A Joyous Journey Is About Coping

Having a joyous journey doesn’t mean your life is obstacle free.

In fact, it is more likely the opposite. I know I, and I suspect many other seniors, get depressed when we visit a typical retirement blog on the internet. Almost all of them are about the great time the blogger has experienced. They travel to many foreign places and tell you how mystical they are. They tell you about how strong and supportive their families are. They often bring up their spouses as those who support and agree with them 100%. Life is just great! Life is joyous!

How come it is not so great for some of us!

  • Are we abject failures when it comes to having a joyous retirement?
  • How come our daily focus seem to be about the aches and pains of old age?
  • How come we can no longer sprint a mile at a time when all those bloggers around seem to do it everyday?
  • Am I the only one with bad hips and knees?
  • Why do my spouse and I disagree on almost anything?

I realize that often the same thing happens with our social media accounts. Our Facebook friends don’t seem to have a unpleasant moment. Instagram is full of pictures of people smiling and enjoying life. Life couldn’t be better, especially for us in our senior years. How depressing it that?

I see that suicide and depression are running rampant today and I think much of it comes from how we how perceive the world around us. I am going to put on my old person hat now and tell you that much of my early life was spent in serious poverty but I just didn’t know it. We ate meat only a couple of times a week as we could not afford it more often. The rest of the week was generally mac and cheese or spaghetti. My total wardrobe could fit in less than 12 inches of closet space. The thing about it was that

I thought most everyone else lived as I did.

I just didn’t have much to compare my life to. Today, via social media, we are surrounded by words, pictures, tweets and such that appear to be very different from our circumstances. We can’t help but know that we are poor, not particularly good looking, and without much money, and probably not many “friends”. It is driven into us daily by our social media feeds.

Getting back to the story as hand, yes, it’s nice to see that others can travel the world with little concern for resources or health issues. We can at least on some level enjoy the experience through their stories. But…

My “Joyous Journey” special project here on RJsCorner is not going to be about typical retirement blog topics. I will to show you that despite our troubles in life with mobility, health, resources, spousal disagreements, and such, we can be joyous if we keep the right perspectives. I am going to give you stories about how I now stumble when trying to get up from a squat, sometimes to the verge of falling. I’m going to tell you about some of the many places where my wife and I see the world very differently now. I will sometimes tell you about the good times but I will also tell you about my typical times and how I cope with them. In the end, life is about coping. No matter whether we admit it or not, none of us can escape the aches and pains of old age. It eventually creeps up on all of us. I kinda see it as you gotta have the bad times in order to fully appreciate the good times. As part of my 10 Pillars, I want to assure you that you are not the only one who has troubles in their senior years but that doesn’t keep us from having a joyous journey.

Adversity builds character but it also can build a Joyous Journey in our retirement years, if we just let it.

6 thoughts on “A Joyous Journey Is About Coping

  • I sure agree about the blogs by retirees. Also they climb mountains, hike 20 miles, sky dive, run marathons…etc. some do, but most don’t or can’t. All these articles, blogs and social media can put undue mental stress on people making them feel less than.
    I see it in the young generations too. Always posting their family outings and lavish kids birthday parties. It must make their less fortunate friends feel bad.

    So the key is realizing life is ups and downs and not comparing yourself to others. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses.

    Arguing with a spouse and growing apart, was one tough one I had to deal with, when reading about blissfully happy older couples…long story..

    Good post..

    Like

  • I’ve always been up for seeing both sides of any coin. I’m not sure why some people (old and young) on social media only post the positive sides of their lives. Could it be their way of coping? After all, the downs of life can be unbearable for many, especially those that don’t readily understand that we need both to truly experience balance in our lives.

    Personally “coping” isn’t how I prefer to think of what’s happening in my almost 64th year of retired life. I still hold fast to the belief that I can do much better than that, and thankfully still have the energy to work towards finding the joy(s) in life that I know exists despite periodic off-putting spasms in my little toe, arthritis in my wrist and shoulders, phantom pains here and there, etc. etc. etc.

    Looking forward to reading more on your “Joyous Journey” special project RJ. 🙂

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    • Balance in life is the real secret to a joyous journey. It’s impossible for it to be all positive. I call it coping to accept both the positive and negative as part of your journey. But you are right, the word does have some negative connotations. I truly believe that we can all find joy despite the negatives. Sometimes I say I am going to say what part of my body doesn’t feel bad. It takes a lot less time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  • “If you have more then 100 “friends”, you are looking to impress.” That is my sil’s motto. I love reading senior blogs with lots of travel and “fun”. They are inspiring. I am, simply, not interested in doing those things anymore (or my body says NO). I enjoy well written pieces on the blogosphere. People don’t have to read them if they don’t want to. I only read one that tends to only have a perfect life…and he probably does. Otherwise, everyone seems to be realistic in life.
    Continue in joy!

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