31 Mar Love After 60
is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. www.janfowler.com. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.
“Love After 60”
By Jan Fowler
By Jan Fowler (The following is an excerpt from Jan’s forthcoming book.)
I will never forget the day I learned that loneliness is a growing crisis. In fact, it’s a killer. It was several years ago when I first became aware of this horrific fact while watching TV when Dr. Vake Mirthy, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Public Health Service, was being interviewed about his newly released book, “Together.”
To my astonishment, I learned that millions of studies involving millions of people have now led doctors, counselors, and psychologists to conclude that loneliness is a proven risk factor for illness in later life. Dr. Mirthy was helping to spread the word that loneliness is capable of weakening the immune system, raising blood pressure, putting us at risk for heart attack and stroke, contributing to dementia, and leading to depression — which, in itself, can cause suicide.
And unfortunately, too many seniors who feel depressed rarely recognize that they are coping with symptoms of depression, which are often treatable with the help of counseling or anti-depressant medications. In fact, senior community centers have begun to offer free mental health counseling and emotional support to seniors with depression, generally by collaborating with counseling services offered at nearby hospitals and clinics.
Furthermore, I also learned that it has now been universally proven that people who do not suffer from loneliness but who feel connected to and loved by other people—including a mate—live longer and healthier lives!
This then is the motivation behind my soon-to-be released book, which is the third book in my Hot Chocolate trilogy. (The first book was titled “Hot Chocolate for Seniors,” next was “Hot Chocolate for Senior Romance ~ How Sweet It Is.” And the third has been named “Hot Chocolate for a Hot Love Life After 60.)”
At our age, we don’t have to marry, you know. The important thing is to offset prevailing loneliness by finding ways to spend time with a special person—a son, daughter, grandchild, or friend–to share a few sparks of chemistry with. Someone who is pleasant, enjoyable, comfortable to be with, and who appeals to us. And hopefully, it’s a cheerful person who brightens our life with fun-filled smiles. But most especially someone to talk to and go places with.
I am both widowed and divorced and understand firsthand what it feels like to endure long stretches of empty days and lonely nights—all while living alone, secretly longing for someone to talk to, reach out to, and touch. And then it occurred to me that from now on I must practice believing that the very best person will show up in my life. So this is what I did.
I made a conscious shift in my thinking when I realized I had developed the habit of parking my car in the center of my two-car garage, thereby never allowing any room for a second car.
So I made an immediate effort to begin parking on the left side of the garage with the expectation that a wonderful man would soon enter my life and park on the right. It worked! Just two months later I met David, a perfect match for me.
David and I soon combined households and have been enjoying a warm and loving relationship ever since. That was more than 15 years ago.
I know that by changing my thinking patterns and feeling deserving of the very best I helped lift limits that I had inadvertently placed on my life. Plus, I breathed new life into my dreams without giving in to “battle fatigue.”
You too must live like you believe you truly deserve the best and by expecting the very best to show up in your life.
Please don’t miss next months’ topic: “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life!”
Jan Fowler is an award-winning columnist and author who may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. After a brief medical leave Jan is returning as Senior Moments columnist with a new focus on “Love After 60.”