‘I’m quite happy being a recluse but my daughter’s worried about me’

Dear Anne

I’m 66 and I am worried that I’m turning into a hermit.

I know I am not depressed – I just love my own company and my quiet life.

But I have found that I am turning down invitations more and more, going out far less – even to the shops, and I hardly ever use the car where once I used to drive all over the place.

My daughter’s worried about me – but I say I am quite happy watching TV and being on Facebook. Which one of us is right?

Anne says

Neither and both! Your lifestyle is all about YOU, and not what anyone else thinks about you and how women (or men) are expected to live in our culture.

Some people prefer to go and live in utter solitude in the Outer Hebrides.

Others go to kibbutz in Israel or mountain tops in Japan (where apparently you can live on rice and meditation for well over 100 years).

It’s entirely up to you – and so it should be. The only question mark is your own mental health and the care of those around you.

Are you really happy? Turning down invitations and becoming more reclusive isn’t itself a danger sign – perhaps just a recognition of who you are and what you want.

You say you are worried you are becoming a hermit. If you are truly concerned, talk it over with your GP or even see a counsellor.

Perhaps maintain a few club or society memberships… but ultimately do what makes you happy.

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