Gratitude in the face of uncertainty (50-59 year-olds)

Square Holes recently spoke with four 50 – 59 year olds to hear their thoughts on adapting to life at home.

It has not been an easy transition for many. Several participants mentioned feeling down and missing social interaction. Cancelled social outings and more free time at home has many looking forward to the day public spaces open again …

I’ve got less structure in my life, because I don’t know what to do with those days I normally do things. I’m used to going and doing those things each week, going bowling and keeping up with people. I find I’m making more phone calls with friends. I’m trying to get into some kind of routine but I’m hoping all those things will go back eventually anyway.”

It would be nice to see life back to normal. As funny as it was to see a kangaroo down King William Street, I don’t really want to see that again. I’d hate to think I’m still doing this in twelve months’ time because I’m doing ok now I don’t know where I’ll be in twelve months’ time.

The thing I miss most about being at work is the interaction with everybody and the banter. Without that I’m certainly finding I’m getting through things a lot quicker at home here. I think I’m working a bit smarter because I don’t have access to everything I normally would have at work. It’s been good for me in that way. There’s part of me that desperately wants all this lifted so I can go back into the office but then there’s parts of me that says it’s not bad getting up at five to seven and starting work at 7 you know.”

50-59 year olds discuss how COVID-19 impacted them

Gratitude and empathy have been two positive lessons to come from the chaos …

I’ve probably realised just how lucky I am compared to others through this. I certainly feel a lot more grateful for the position I’m in than perhaps I did before. Work is a chore but it would be a lot harder if I didn’t have to get up and work at the moment.”

I think I have changed a little bit over the last few weeks. I think I’m being a lot more tolerant than I would be normally. I just feel like I’m making more of an effort to not blow up, not get frustrated things. We’ve got the three of us in the house here, we’re right on top of each other. So I think I’m just very conscious of making sure that we all get the best out of this as we can.”

Like other groups, the 50 – 59s are worried about the future. However, there seemed to be a greater concern for the economic fallout …

“I think we’ll find a lot of companies going out of business. I went down to my local shopping centre and one out of ten shops were actually open. You just wonder how many of them will actually come back when things change. I think we’re going to see a lot of changes when we come out of this. Some hopefully for the better but I think we’re going to have a very long hard economic road ahead of us and we’re going to have problems with unemployment for some time to come unfortunately.

“Probably how we’re going to come out of this economically. They’re talking about this being the biggest recession since the great depression. The thought that more people will be out of work, there’ll be less employment available and more people homeless as a result of is frightening. I have faith in the medical side of things that we’ll be able to come up with something down the track, hopefully. What the future holds – partly for me because I’m getting closer to retirement age –  but more so for my kids, they’re going to paying back this debt for a long long time.

Follow along with our other discussions as we speak with other age groups to make sense of our world today.

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