When we think about our own independence, we often equate that independence with our day to day living. Can we get to the store, to work, to school? Is the weather a problem? Will there be a traffic issue? Am I running late?
And with our day to day living we sometimes forget that Independence equals freedom, and, in this country, we have an abundance of freedoms. We can speak out. We vote. We are free to worship as we choose. We can assemble when and where we want. We can move about as we choose.
We are very fortunate to live in the United States and have these privileges.
But back to our personal independence.
I found the definition of independence to be – the ability to live your life without being helped or influenced by other people (Cambridge Dictionary)
Now how silly is that – of course we are influenced by others – the news is just one example. And we are helped by other people on a regular basis. And who might they be – the doctor, your lawyer, your neighbor, a friend. Someone holds the door for you. They are helping you.
But there are the times when that independence is compromised.
Our personal independence can become very limited if say the car breaks down. We have a sick child at home. Our eyesight fails. We don’t react as quickly as we once did. A car, the insurance, gas, etc. becomes unaffordable.
Our mobility. Our ability to get around can really define our life style. Our world can get very small if we no longer have the freedom to get about as we choose.
What do we do then? How do we get places? What are the resources available to us?
Who can I ask for a ride? Do I have too much self-pride to ask? What about shopping and all those appointments I have?
Enable yourself to ask and to find out what resources are out there. Visit or call your Senior Center. Call 211. Use SeniorCenterCt.org. Ask at your Church. If you are a veteran or member of an organization, see if they give rides. And don’t overlook asking your family and friends. They probably would love to send more time with you.
But remember you need to be flexible and fit what you want and need into someone else’s schedule. You don’t have to go shopping on Tuesday and running errands on Wednesday. Look at this all as a change in your life style – not that you lost your freedom. Embarrass your new methods of mobility as an adventure!