I read as much as I can about healthy aging, and one of the elements always stressed is maintaining social relationships. Older people can easily become isolated, as our friends move away or die and the challenge of meeting new people grows harder. I don’t feel isolated in any real sense, as I have friends here in Seattle and my family is close at hand. But I did reach a point a few weeks ago of feeling that I’m entirely too comfortable with my own company, and perhaps spending too much time puttering around doing the things I enjoy but that don’t involve other live humans: reading, exercising, writing my blog, following the political news, emailing long conversations with friends at a distance. As a balance, I revved up a number of activities: lunches with friends, some volunteer consulting at the Seattle Foundation, a lecture at the ACLU, concerts, a play. Well, because I wasn’t very focused on dates, they are all happening next week, the week before I leave for Panama.
My trip details are in place other than packing and last minute steps like notifying credit card companies of my overseas travel. But between next Monday and the following one, I have very busy days indeed. Each thing I’m doing is something I want to do, but I didn’t necessarily want to do them all at once. I’m a bit into, “What was I thinking?” mode.
At an earlier point, when I was juggling a marriage, two kids, work, friends, community service and slivers of time for myself, I focused a lot on maintaining balance in my life. Now I need to focus on it again. 🙂