For most of the so-called baby boomers, these are very trying times. Their offspring have grown up and left. Some have lost their spouses, as well as some good friends. They are lonely. It is ironic that one craves solitude in the middle of one’s life, as a respite from the daily stress of clashing of egos. But when those egos are not there to bother us any more, we feel isolated and lonely.
Isolation and loneliness are negative feelings. Being in this situation myself, I have evolved a four-point strategy.
First, I must nurture a healthy networking with my relations and, most important, friends. Some of these should belong to the generation next to mine. Interacting with younger minds is very stimulating. Second, I must develop some hobby or passion to engage myself fruitfully. Tutoring and mentoring students, especially those who cannot afford private tuitions, is a very engaging activity, typically occupying 3-4 hours each day.
Third, I must develop a hobby, to keep me going, when I’m left on my own. Reading and writing, one would find, are very worthwhile activities. Good books are delightful companions, and writing enriches the writer more perhaps than the reader. Fourth, and perhaps the most important, is to keep sufficient time aside for meditation. It purifies the soul, so that one can be at peace with oneself. One must keep asking the question, ‘Where do I go from here?’ till the path ahead gets clearer and clearer.