|“We all have complicated histories. When was the last time your past experiences informed a major decision you’ve made?”Complicated is a simple word for it! I’ve been thinking about how people fill their retirement. One can become invisible after leaving the work force.
Christopher and I content ourselves in painting, writing and gardening with occasional family gatherings. After busy lives, we’ve chosen to retire into our own peaceful environment. Others have been far more adventurous, travelling and discovering new things.
I have been totally impressed by my friend Sandy, who has overcome an abusive relationship and now lives in a small coastal community and has brought about positive changes to others around her.
Sandy joined the local choir, a journal-writing group, and then became a member of the Country Women’s Association. (CWA)
Sandy became secretary of the CWA, and after several monthly meetings, where people sat listening, empty handed, Sandy suggested a knitting project. This then became a weekly gathering. Knitting squares developed into making blankets for the ‘wrapped in love’ project, which have been sent overseas, or fill more local needs.
A physio attends the CWA, and through her work met an elderly obese woman, who was confined to her room in an old age home. Previously she’d sat eating and watching TV. The physio found out that she enjoyed knitting, and suggested joining in with the project of knitting squares. This she has done and became so involved with it she lost 15 Kg.
This project has become a wonderful community project, and has filled a place in many, what could have been, lonely lives. I do admire what Sandy has achieved in a few years. I had hoped to insert a photo of the wraps, but it doesn’t want to do that, sorry! One raised $150 for the local hospital last year. They are colourful squares with diagonal stripes on some making patterns.
Inspiration and creativity can change other’s lives. I’m sure many of you are doing that through your writing. Good books, a short story, an article, a post on your blog, are all ways in which others might be inspired. I found Sandy’s story very inspirational. Do you have any stories that you can share?
Of all the technologies that have gone extinct in your life- time, which do you miss the most?
Technology isn’t the highest factor in my ‘to miss’ list. In fact technology has changed our lives in many ways to our detriment, combined with many other social changes.
Firstly, a sense of community:
- Television seems to be responsible for much isolation.
- Losing touch with our neighbours/ community/ family.
- People being put away in old age homes can create isolation.
- Children in daycare are vulnerable to more illness.
- Closure of libraries in universities seems to me a retrograde step with computers replacing books.
- Texting has taken the place of conversation.
- Letter writing is becoming a thing of the past.
- People are losing the art of conversation.
- Technology has brought change and unemployment.
- Unemployment has brought lack of worth and self esteem, and can lead to crime.
- Young people expect to start with as many commodities as their parents had at the end of their lives.
On the positive side:
- Travel has brought acceptance of other cultures and ideas.
- Machines have decreased hard toil.
- New careers are needed to discover new medicines, for instance, what will replace penicillin?
- Creativity is needed to help create new and diverse work opportunities.
- Bring asylum seekers into our country and make them welcome.
- Human qualities need to be nurtured, rather than idolize machines.
- Technological changes will continue; hopefully not at the expense of human interaction and love for one another.
Such complex issues; there is no right and wrong.
How do you think we can make our society better?