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Older, childless and happy

By Nina Steele 

Florence is in her 60s and has lived in the same community for over 30 years. Her husband passed away about 10 years ago and she now lives on her own. Like many people her age, she is astonished at the pace of change and has had to adapt as quickly as she could, by for example learning to use the computer. Being childless has never been an issue for Florence; it was a choice she and her husband made all these years ago and she is keen to point out that she has no regrets and that she would not have it any other way.

There are many others like her and what brings them together is their determination not to be bound by what society calls the norm. They seem to understand one key ingredient in life and that is to always strive to live a life that is authentic.

Like Florence, Philip is also in his 60s, childless and has lived alone for many years. He is very keen on healthy living and gave up driving many years ago and cycles everywhere. He exudes self-confidence and loves nothing more than to discuss current affairs. The similarities between him and Florence are many, including the fact that they are both financially well off and enjoy a good quality of life. As mentioned previously, what strikes me most about both of them is how free they seem to be from the chains of society. Their attitude is a reminder that we really do make our own life.

Instead of complaining about feeling excluded from mainstream society, they have embraced their path and are determined to make the most of it, while they still can. Their attitude is one that pretty much says: ‘what is the point of complaining? What good is it going to achieve other than make me unhappy?’. It is a philosophy that I share. The other thing that they have mentioned many times is how fortunate they feel, compared to the many people around the world who have nothing and can barely feed themselves. I totally get that too. Expressing gratitude is part of my daily routine.

As I have said many times before, being happy in today’s world requires a great deal of courage and these two are the perfect example of that courage. Yes society does have an impact, but ultimately, we as individuals have the final say in how our life turns out. You cannot say on one hand that you want to be happy, yet spend most of your time worrying about what other people think of you and desperately seek to fit in. No one has ever achieved long lasting happiness that way and never will.

That both Florence and Philip are totally at ease with their lives as it is, is why they are happy. They could have made themselves small because they don’t fit the image of what is expected of people their age (being a grandparent springs to mind) but instead, they are walking tall. How refreshing and inspiring!

Childfree

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