NOW WHAT DO I DO FOR ENTERTAINMENT?
After having browsed the Community Board for the Entertainment postings, I found that most of the comments were about various television shows. One was about a trip to an amusement park which stirred much debate, but basically, everybody sits home in front of T.V. and “that’s life”.
This prompted me to admonish you all for your lack of enthusiasm over life. I say this because of my own personal experience.
As a couple, my husband and I have been active all of our lives until five or six years ago. He played basketball and was involved with music as he was a jazz musician for many years with his own band. We have a nice group of friends and we have lots of family. We were use to going out on the weekend to dinner or music festivals. We went to sporting events. We took weekend trips with our friends. But, we are both in our 70’s now, and much has changed.
It began when I had lung cancer surgery 6 years ago from which I have totally recovered. Then he had CHF and kidney failure. We more or less became housebound. This sudden turn of events for two active people was very difficult. Probably more so for me than for him. But then, he was a lot less able to do things than I. He has always enjoyed T.V. so having that as his main source of entertainment was acceptable to him. On the other hand, I have lots of energy, I get bored easily, and T.V. puts me to sleep.
One of the first things I got involved in was writing. I wrote my first book and it got published. I found Helium and a few other sites to write for on a regular basis. But these were still “at home” activities.
In order to keep my sanity, I needed to become involved in something that would be worthwhile and meaningful. I found Beta Sigma Phi and joined a local chapter of women whose purpose is to seek out and share the cultural aspects of life and to continue the learning of all things new. We meet one evening a month to plan for social/cultural events for fund-raising.
At the same time, I joined the “frivolous” group of local Red Hat Society women who just spend the day, once a month, having fun. These fulfill my needs to be socially active and to ensure friendships that will last into my twilight years.
This is not the only entertainment in my life. On behalf of my husband, I plan gatherings at home, inviting our friends to dinner and seeing to it that my husband stays involved in what goes on. We have cookouts with friends and family at home. Very seldom is he able to go out to these functions, but occasionally will spend a day at one of our children’s homes. The holidays are always family gatherings at our home. We have family visit from out of town quite often. Thus, life has once again brightened for both of us. The T.V. is an afterthought, not a major source of entertainment. Occasionally there will be a good movie on T.V. that we will both enjoy watching. I have a few favorite T.V. shows, but seem to miss more of them that I get to watch.
Perhaps young couples feel less inclined to be socially active when they have small children to care for and to entertain. But a word of advice… keep your friends. Try to stay involved with life and the real world around you. The day will come when you are experiencing the empty nest syndrome, or worse, finding yourself the surviving spouse. At least in my case, I still have my husband even if he is not able to be active. He does enjoy seeing me able to get out and enjoy the things I do. We have done so many things together over the past 30 years of our marriage, and we have those memories to share.
If you have any talent in a particular area, continue doing it. If you think you would enjoy learning a new craft, pursue it. If you are devoting your entire life to your children, remember one thing. As they get older they get involved with their school activities and friends. Little by little they are going to spend less time with you. Before you know it, they will be grown and gone. They will either be off to college, or getting married. You and your significant other will be left to become reacquainted with each other and with a whole new way of life. Do you really want it to be in front of a T.V. living the rest of your life vicariously through a make believe world from your couch? Television can sap your strength, drain your energy and it’s a waste of time. Get up and live your own life. You can thank me later!