• Denise Lazenby

The spider in the corner of the bath

Solitude is the new black and it’s something more of us are facing as we get older. As with all things, how it feels is subjective.

In a world where we are bombarded by mobile phones, email or social media… solitude can be joyful. An oasis of calm… the space you need to clear your mind and balance the competing priorities of work, life and family responsibilities.

For those who find themselves alone in their older years either through divorce, bereavement or by choice, it can also become bone crushingly lonely.

Even the determinedly independent can find managing the upkeep of their home, the daily chores and juggling finances exhausting.

The stats

Women continue to outnumber men. The 2016 census shows women making up 51% of the population in 2016 and the proportion of women in the population increases with age. Of those aged 65 years and over, 54% are female, compared to 63% of those aged 85 years and over.

Lifeline statistics show that 60% of people accessing their services identify as being lonely. Interestingly it is not the exclusive domain of singletons… 60% of married people (globally) also identify as lonely.

So whether you consider living alone as the ultimate luxury or a virtual nightmare, solitude does come with a range of challenges. Things like cooking for one, solo travel (with the dreaded single supplement), eating out alone, juggling finances, all while trying not to succumb to the siren call of wine or sitting on the couch binging Netflix. Finding a spider the size of a dinner plate in the corner of the bath at 10 o clock at night and having to deal with it on your own can be the last straw.

Staying connected

Living alone and working from home can be extremely isolating. It’s certainly something I failed to factor in when I resigned my well paid job to start my own small business. I was always someone who was happy with my own company and completely overlooked the daily motivation of having to get up and be somewhere by a certain time. I also overlooked the mental stimulation and socialisation that goes hand in hand with working in a busy office environment.

Throw in some life events like not having family nearby, the breakdown of a relationship and bereavement and it’s easy to find yourself flat on the floor and wondering how the hell you got there. To steal a line from a song by Nickelback “Not like I need to depend upon anyone, since I can see the lack of need for me to be here at all” Depression is real, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.

Share, Support, Connect

In many ways social isolation and the associated loneliness was the genesis of Womenspace. A chance conversation with a wonderfully wise woman, who has since become a dear friend made me realise that there are a lot of people facing similar challenges for a variety of reasons. It reminded me that women empower each other when we connect without judgement, share friendship, common interests and most importantly, fun.

To connect with a group of wonderful women in the South Perth area and surrounds, drop us an email womenspace.perth@gmail.com or find us on Facebook. We look forward to welcoming you to the circle of friendship.

#wellbeinghealthwalking #friendship #loneliness #solitude #socialisolation #women #womenspace #empowerment

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