Over the years, as we grow older, this sense of purpose can change. For some it is taking care of a family, others doing something in their lives that helps others - anything that makes it necessary to get out of bed. I believe that we could help many depressed people get out of depression by helping them to discover a sense of purpose that does not involve their depression.
My own sense of purpose has changed over the years, and now that I am a senior it has been much different. I never had children and I am not close to the few relatives I have. Not their fault – mine. I have devoted my time and efforts on several endeavors that in turn gave me a purpose.
A few years ago, I became very ill and was not supposed to survive, much less live a full life. I did both, and for the last few years my purpose was to take care of the family I had – my two dogs. A little over two years ago, I lost Courtney who was a Shih Tzu rescue at 6 years old. She was 15 years old when she died. I was left with Bobby Socks, a Pekinese, who was then 8 years old.
Very recently I lost him and through the intense sadness, I realized that I was not only alone, but my purpose in life was gone.
I am now much older than I was the last time I was all alone, and I seem to be at a loss for what to do now. I am still grieving, but I know that soon, I will need something to satisfy this sense of purpose of mine.
Health conditions keep me from doing much of the senior part-time positions that are out there, so I have tried for the last few years to create my own career. It was quite profitable until recently, and now that sense of purpose is gone, too; and now the loss of Bobby Socks. I am in the position of many seniors who have nothing to do but wait for death. I am not content with that prospect.
So what to do? I need to be needed, obviously, I need to be as active as I can, I need a good reason to get out of bed every morning, and I need a challenge. So, there is my dilemma. I guess that is my purpose now – find another sense of purpose. Wish me luck.