A recent conversation with an older lady left us amazed and delighted at her outlook on life. She shared that with no family locally, she was finding it increasingly tough to achieve her normal daily activities. Shopping, going to church or the hairdressers, getting to the GP’s, meeting friends, doing the housework – each simple task was becoming more like climbing Everest every week! Yet she shared this ‘My horizon is shrinking, but I still enjoy the view!’ Instead of us feeling sorry for her challenges, we left feeling uplifted by her attitude.
It’s clear to both of us, as we are maturing gently(!) that life doesn’t get easier, instead it seems to be more complicated. The world is moving at a faster and faster pace, or so it seems. What we confidently knew how to do can be wiped away once the latest technology ‘upload’ is processed and we are left feeling silly all over again as we try to understand exactly why we can’t do today what we did yesterday! Even shopping can be more complicated, do I self scan as I shop, self scan at the till or wait until staff are on the till and let them take the strain? From blue badge renewals which can only be done online, to 2-factor authentication, the world is moving ever more towards a totally digital reality, but are we?
Even within family relationships things are getting more and more complicated. There are blended families, step families, children who pursue careers overseas and so are no longer able to come and cut the grass or help with shopping, families that experience trauma or who simply can’t agree and fall out – the list goes on.
Each challenge will require a response from us, will we ‘still enjoy the view’ or give up and turn away? There is no doubt that through the course of meeting with many older people in Felixstowe and the surrounding villages there are great examples of people who, whatever life throws at them, insist on dusting themselves off and carrying on. Of course, this doesn’t always mean things go on as they always have done, changes have to be made, accommodations made, but they keep moving forward, more slowly perhaps, but always with one eye on that far horizon.
So, as 2019 draws to its colourful, Christmassy climax, what will you reflect upon? Opportunities taken, or missed (such as the Christmas lunch at the Salvation Army.) Challenges accepted or rejected? Necessary changes made or ignored? Coffee invites offered, or refused? Conversations enjoyed, or avoided? Here at Hope Trust we are always on hand with ideas for things to do, ways to get involved, next steps for you to explore. As we wish you all a ‘Happy Christmas’ we leave you with the gift of the words of Socrates, who said ‘The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.’