Tag: friendship

We All Need Support to Maintain Our Equilibrium

We All Need Support to Maintain Our Equilibrium

Support, given and received is essential to maintaining our equilibrium through life. I am not an optimistic person by nature. That’s my husband’s job. My job seems to be to temper his enthusiasm with a healthy dose of reality. It doesn’t always work. Some days he goes completely off the rails, and some days that’s my role to play. The best moments in our long and challenging marriage have been those moments when we pick up each other’s slack.  A perfect example of this took place recently.


Support makes a difference.

Several weeks ago, he informed me that he needed cataract surgery. No big deal by most people’s standards. Still, I am easily triggered by health issues, particularly his. He’s generally a very healthy individual, active and energetic. In some ways he runs circles around me. Like the tortoise and the hare, however, my slow and steady nature keeps up with his race to the finish line and we tend to both collapse at about the same time. Offering each other support along the way is more of a challenge.

When he told me about the scheduled procedure, I fell apart. By the time the moment arrived I was back on my game. I drove him to all of his appointments, gave him pep talks and encouragement when he needed them, managed meals and shopping and all the various chores while he slept off the anesthesia. I listened patiently while he described in great detail what he learned about the procedure and followed him around to make sure he was doing what he needed to do to keep his eye safe as it healed.


Next Step WorkshopThis morning he woke up healed and ready to go. So it was my turn to have a let down. I don’t know why I’m always surprised when it happens. We could set our clocks by this rhythm in our relationship. I had a good cry. He held me, listened to me, comforted me and now we’re back online. We were able to give each other the support we needed, when we needed it.

Everything about life happens by this very same rhythm and cycle. We’re up, then we’re down, then we’re even. Equilibrium. It’s one of my favorite words and has been since my days studying economics in college. As we strive to maintain our equilibrium from day-to-day, we often wish we didn’t have to endure the valleys, and yet without them the peaks would be less appealing. Equilibrium must be recognized as a guideline, not a goal, for it describes only things that are by their nature fluid.


Laughter makes the world a better place.

Having company along this up and down journey called life makes such a difference. We all benefit from support; from having someone laugh at our jokes, hold us when we are at a loss for words, listen to us vent and for whom we can return the favor. In fact, I believe we benefit from having several someones. Life is hard! It’s not for sissies, as they say.

The Aging Abundantly Community is fast becoming a place where members can go to find a bit of this sort of support. I hoped it would be like this when I started it, but you never know what chemistry will take place when you mix strangers together. Like previous experiences I’ve had with women of our ilk, I’m once again blown away by the caring, compassion, strength and courage that women display.

Please don’t go it alone. You don’t have to. If you have everything you need that’s wonderful. Good for you. But, if you don’t, if you could use an understanding friend, join us. Joining the community is absolutely free. An option for an enhanced membership that offers price breaks for workshops, books, and products is available for a nominal membership fee.

After all, even if you have a husband or partner, they can only do so much!


Devotion is a Gift of Aging

Devotion is a Gift of Aging

Devotion is a gift of aging.
Devotion is a gift of aging.

When I see elderly couples together it warms my heart. Whether they are husband and wife, or friends walking arm in arm offering support and comfort to one another, I am lifted up. Aging doesn’t have to be a lonely, miserable venture. It can be a time of building trust and lowering our defenses as we come face to face with our utter humanity.

Our culture is one that reveres independence. It heralds the valiant individualist. Women of our generation, in particular, fought hard to gain respect as individuals. We worked diligently to stand on our own two feet and not be depending on a man for our survival. We are a generation who is fiercely independent. Perhaps that is why we feel so threatened by the aging process.

We fear aging because we fear that sickness or frailty will rob us of the  independence we fought so hard to achieve.  We will become dependent on someone, or something other than ourselves. We will, in the end, somehow not be able to be there for ourselves.

Independence has its value, but what we really sought was the freedom to live up to our fullest potential as people, regardless of our gender. Independence, self-sufficiency was often a mask we wore to make sense of the surge of power with which we were not yet comfortable. We had to pretend we knew what we were doing because we didn’t. We were learning.

Perhaps the lesson to be learned as we age is how utterly interdependent we are as human beings, and how fortunate we are to be thus. Love and devotion, tolerance, sympathy, empathy, compassion are beautiful things to experience, both coming in and going out. It is our interdependence that provides the richness and texture to life. It’s not Hollywood perfect, but sharing life with another person in any given moment is rich, meaningful, and often even necessary.

As we age and lose our ability to maintain our independence we have the opportunity to learn humility, respect, gratitude and trust. What wonderful lessons to be learned.

© Dorothy Sander 2013