Transitions are a part of our life whether we like it or not. Some transitions are beneficial while others are not. In fact, they can be downright painful. Transitions are inevitable and we all have to deal with them in some manner. Here are some of our important transitions:
- We start our lives as little babies and progress through childhood
- We transition from early childhood to our teen years
- We are students who then transition to our careers or lives post school
- Seemingly all too soon, we are adults with all the accompanying responsibilities.
Other transitions we may face can include job changes, loss of spouse or other loved ones, health issues that leave us less mobile than we expected. Then, more transitions as we move through the decades and into our senior years.
Many transitions we deal with feel like we are going through painful growth spurts while other transitions cause us bewilderment.
Now that I’m an “aging senior” I’ve found there is a transition that seems to be more painful than any other I’ve ever experienced in my life. What I’m seeing as a senior is the loss of respect afforded to those of us who are older.
I’m seeing and experiencing a loss of respect to seniors by their families that is causing great emotional pain.
Depending on how old we are and the family units we have around us, such as older siblings, adult children and grandchildren, etc., our place as a valued member of the family may diminish as we grow older.
We are no longer the decision makers, the movers and shakers of the family.
Suddenly, we realize we are no longer consulted when important decisions are discussed. We may not even know the result of those conversations unless we ask. Those in our family who are coming up behind us have taken over, and when we look back we don’t always realize when or how that happened.
What we do know is that it hurts. It hurts to be left out of conversations. It hurts to have our children and even their significant others discussing what to do with “mom” or “dad” as they make plans. It hurts to have people make decisions for us and tell us later, without us being able to share our opinion.
It hurts not to be consulted about our own future.
And, we wonder how and when this transition happened.
- Was there something we could have done to prevent it?
- Is this just a part of growing older?
- Has this been happening to others throughout the years and we just weren’t aware?
And one of the most painful questions yet?
Is this what we did to our own parents?
Finally, is there anything we can do now to turn the situation around? Can we regain our place in the family order? Or is it too late?
What do you think?