|My Birthday Card From My Parents 1986|
As my birthday approaches next week, I think back to my life and what hits me is not the thought that I will be 67, but that in all these years, this year has been my happiest ever. Yes, it has. When I reflect on it, I realize it is the first time in my life that I have ever truly lived alone. I did briefly a couple of times, but did not stay that way for long. I remember being very happy for those few months of living alone in the past. Now I am retired and do not have to go to a job, so my time is honestly my own. Basically I only have to do what I choose to do. That is a lot different than doing chores that are based on running a whole house or family. Even one other person takes up your time and energy.
|My Son's Apartment Door|
My son lives a couple of blocks away. I see him several times a week and if he needs something I am close by. He rides his bicycle to the stores and stops by to see me or to say hi. Living downtown in a small city was not something I ever pictured doing in a million years. I was a country girl, or so I thought. I could not tolerate my situation another year and had to take what was affordable and available. I had researched and studied many options. I have a very low income due to having been a stay at home mother while my son was growing up. I have seen many people staying in an unhappy situation due to finances. Many say they cannot do this or refuse to do that. Well, if you are unhappy and miserable where you are, at least make the effort to try something else. If you are still unhappy and miserable, then it is you. Then you need to make changes within your own self. Move out of your comfort zone.
|Parking Lot for My Apartment Building|
I found moving to a location that I was familiar with but had never lived in, provided me with a sense of adventure and excitement. Since I moved to a downtown location, I was able to scratch a car off my list of expenses. Now that I have been here over a year, I think a car would have been an unnecessary expense and a headache in the winter when parking is a big problem. Living here, I can take a city bus to stores like Walmart or Lowes that are outside of the city. It may be a small city, but it has two cab companies, which I see my neighbors use regularly. A choice I could never have made if I was not living alone. I think of those expenses a car represents and I am thankful I can live without it.
|Flat Screen For Videos|
Do not think that living alone means watching television all day. I only recently got a flat screen one as a gift, but I did not hook it up to watch as a television. I have DVDs and also am subscribed to Amazon Prime so I can watch Prime Videos. I have been watching them more than I would have due to having to elevate my legs in the afternoon for a bit. Basically though, I am a reader and a writer, choosing to do that over watching videos. I spend a good part of my time on Ancestry working on my family tree. I have gone back so far on it that I am finding kings and queens in my ancestral tree now. I would rather subscribe to Ancestry and Prime than to pay for a television subscription.
|Sonny & Me|
It is not that I am against human companionship. I am not. I am in a relationship with a man I love very much. I just see no reason that to have companionship you have to live in the same house. For me, this is what my dream has been for so long. To live in my own space, decorate it for me. Nobody else. If you are single, widowed or divorced, there is no reason to feel you have to live with someone else. Take the time to get to know yourself first. I know many couples move in with each other thinking it will save them money. Does it? Not all the time. In fact, it can work against you. I could not get any help for medical insurance for many years due to my husband’s income being too high for help. Yet his income did not cover all the bills and there was no way I could pay for anything extra. Once I got my Social Security though, I could at least get Medicare, paying out $134. a month out of my very tiny check. Now living alone I was eligible for help and do not have to pay for Medicare. I am able to catch up on all the health concerns I had and am working on them right now.
To be honest, I do not live completely alone. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I have a “house rabbit” who is named, “Rabbit”. He is the perfect pet in my 338 square foot studio apartment. His cage and various boxes (his toys) take up some of my space, but he is worth it. I see my neighbors taking their dogs out several times a day which is not something I have to do with Rabbit. His cage is probably the biggest chore I have to do. Every day. He appreciates it though, watching me clean it for him. It takes me only about 15 minutes at the most. Hay is the hardest thing to deal with since it is very messy. But what else can I do? Hay is 80% of his diet and I use it for his bedding and litter too. It is just a part of my daily routine like making coffee or washing dishes. I talk to him all day long and when I leave for several hours, he is always happy to see me return. Of course, looking for a special treat I might have brought back for him!
|Chenango County Courthouse & Offices|
Being a “senior citizen” there are many programs you have available to you if you are struggling to live with a very small income. If you are divorced or widowed, you might find that investments you were counting on do not exist once you are alone. Maybe they never did to begin with. So you must search for these programs yourself. I recommend going to your local Office For The Aging. Make an appointment for someone to help you see what you qualify for. Housing is one of the most costly expenses you will probably have. There are tons of affordable housing for elderly/seniors. Do not mistakenly think they are on poverty row! Most are not. They are usually nice and well taken care of and not owned by the government. The application though is a long, tedious chore but so worth it if you are accepted and will have a very low rent payment. Abide by the rules and you will be set.
|1986 Birthday Card|
Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole