Redundant - to me such a strange word. When you look up the meaning or definition it says, "no longer needed, superfluous, unnecessary, not required, dispensable, expendable, useless, etc."
I've heard it used more in England (in movies and books) referring to retirement... and it makes me sad. I never thought of retirement in that light. In fact, I always looked forward to the freedom retirement would afford... and does.
But lately its come more to my attention that as time goes on, we are redundant in the sense that women as they age after having spent so many years caring for their children and spouses - can suddenly have that role disappear. Children grow up and away, husbands may no longer be in the picture (due to death or divorce) and then, who are they? With any careers they may have had gone with time and age, with children off living their own lives, and husbands no longer by their side - they have to refind their focus.
It is a matter that needs addressing. How does one do this?
My children are all married with families of their own - living their own lives as they should. Luckily for me, my spouse is still by my side. But so many of my friends or acquaintances have lost theirs... and are continuing on their own. Those that have children may have grandchildren - and that involves one change of focus.
Being a grandparent is a new role... a wonderful heart filled complicated role that I'm more than happy to take on. Not having known my own grandparents, I find this a fascinating journey where there's more pure enjoyment and less responsibility than parenthood held. But at the same time, it does expand your 'worry quota'. Yes, parents still worry about their kids, whether they're 5 or 50... and now you worry about grandchildren too.
But there has to be more, right? You could argue that your grown children still 'need' you. Yes, to some extent... but it's more as emotional support... perhaps more for stability and unconditional love than anything else. This is good of course, but physically one has to accept the fact that they are grown, independent people that can do just fine without you. And that is how it should be. It's something to be proud of.
it leaves an aching hole somewhere inside. A hole that must be filled with perhaps - a new focus? We need to look inside ourselves and try to remember who and what we were before we took on the role of wife and mother. Or perhaps we are no longer that person at all, perhaps we need to find out exactly who we are now.
Think about it. Now we have the time to think about it. Health and finances may be an issue, but refocusing our lives and figuring out what brings us joy at this stage is important.
Do you think about these things? I would imagine that anyone who has reached a certain age has. If so, how do you deal with it? Sharing your ideas may help someone - and helping others (IMO) is an important part of this stage of life.
Thanks for listening... or reading... or just being there