How do you approach difficult problems as you age?

January 5, 2018 Published by
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As older women, we face innumerable challenges that require adaptation; An ability to transition out of both small and difficult problems. Aging often comes with difficult situations that require problem-solving: Letting go of friendships in order to grow can be scary, moving to a new city or country, the frustration of family dynamics, losing your car keys in the onion bin, retirement and what to do next, no longer feeling you are in the spotlight(otherwise known as feeling invisible), getting injured, the loss of a husband, financial worries, etc..

So, let’s get positive. Let’s not wallow. Let’s be fierce in our quest to problem solve in difficult situations. It is a fact that solving all problems, large or small, erases the gloom and doom of the solving process and we mortals only remember the positive outcome. Joy in my ears.

For weeks on end, our televisions were on the fritz. My memory of the experience is two-fold; the defining moment when the fifth repairman looked at my husband and said, “I have solved the problem” and my husband’s attitude during adversity, his will to solve a most aggravating problem. I totally forgot the weeks (six) without a television in our bedroom and den. I could only remember the positive end result. This is the way the mind works.

 Therefore, my darlings, the biggest problem is often not the problem; but rather our lack of ability to work through problems.

There is hope, my darlings. After all, we have made it this far. We are 50,60,70,80 and older. Please, give yourself credit. Tap into your inner strength.

My inner strength is my tenacity, my will, to look at the positive and even dreamy side of problem-solving. 99% of my problems I meet with this thought: “It could be worse.” Those four words are my incentive, my adrenalin rush, to carry on.  One or two percent of the time, I decide the problem is no longer one I want to solve and I exit. I am not running away. I have come to the realization I am facing a situation that is sapping my positive energy.  This is ok. You are entitled to move on. This, too, can be very healthy and invigorating.

The following is my game plan for problem-solving

  1.  “This is not fair.” The minute thoughts like this run through your mind, you will get stuck and lose your will. This thought is not an option even though you feel powerless. You must remind yourself to keep going. The positive:  99% of problems are not black. They are gray.
  2.  Focus on your problem: This, too, is very hard. It is the time to put on your thinking cap. It is the time to be disciplined. You may need help. Don’t be embarrassed to seek out a friend, a relative or a professional to help you through the maze.  Well, thought out plans often need the help of others. The positive of this action: People like to help. You will have support and comfort.
  3. Take action: When you take action negative feelings turns positive. You are moving forward. You are making decisions.  Persevere, darlings.  You feel the weight of the world being lifted off of your shoulders. You are happy with yourself. The positive: You have found your will. You are in control.

I know that life is often not controllable. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball. I know a heavy challenge is tough to weather. The truth of the matter is, darlings, you are equipped to overcome your difficult challenges. You have years of experience on your side. Every time you solve a problem is a win-win; a positive. Realizing that problem-solving promotes learning and growth will add to a positive outlook. Darlings, you should never stop developing solutions to a problem.  You should never put on the brakes and give up. You should challenge yourself to solve all difficult problems remembering you are a fierce woman over 50.

What is your gameplan for problem-solving? How did you come up with your plan as an older, wiser woman? Share with me on Facebook or in the comments of this post!

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6 Comments

  • Terri Reynolds says:

    Misery is optional my mother always told us. I teach my kids by doing, I don’t take no as an answer, first I look at all the possibilities around no and when I have tried all those then I know I did my best and can live with the “no” and then make a choice to be happy since I tried.
    Sometimes the rough times later are the times we are thankful for because it lead to wonderful experiences we would not have had, had it gone another easier way.
    Gratitude at the beginning and end of each day helps get through those difficult times.

  • Susan says:

    Dear Honey,
    Yes my disease could be worse. I try to keep this in the forefront of my thoughts. You have encouraged me to seek out alternative therapies. Not that they have helped others with my condition much but even a small gain will be helpful.
    Your fashion advice is so much fun, on a lighter note. You are a wise and lovely lady.

    Susan

  • Jeanne says:

    Opting out of friendships. We are a new group of friends in a new town and new community. Moving in we began to develop friendship and group dynamics evolved. Seven couples get together often and one couple seems to be a negative force. We would like to walk away but enjoy all of the other couples. We don’t want to walk away from the other couples. How can I navigate this without hurting feelings and staying connected to the couples of preference?

  • Carol says:

    Honey,

    Thank you for this empowering and cheerful post on dealing with adversity. It’s a youthful perspective that acknowledges the wisdom of age! We are surely a mixture of both. 🙂

  • Deedee says:

    Thank you for today’s post. Honey! Just what I needed to hear. My approach is pretty much like yours with the first step sething aside the emotion. Then I can work on a solution. It’s not always easy as it sounds.

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