Becoming irrelevant is easy. The phone can stop ringing for a myriad of reasons: we become ill, our children left the nest, friends moved away or got too busy, etc. We can no longer look to our family and friends for validation. Believing that whatever we have to say or give is no longer of worth can be a dispiriting feeling.
I once gave a performance for one audience member. I gave that one person the same performance I'd give to a filled house. He paid his money. He deserved my best. In fact, the pressure was off. He probably got a better performance.
Human beings are reliably unreliable. This is merely a fact of being human when we are blessed with aspirations, whether those desires are to tend to a family or a career.
Remaining reliable is a test on its own. Setting priorities is an important lesson. So, if we understand that our offspring and friends have their own activities, families, and paths to travel, this can save us from dwelling on useless self pity. These feelings often lead to destructive bitterness and anger if we let them bruise our egos.
Those with healthy egos can weather these storms, easily laughing at personal foibles if unjustifiably suspecting friends are being deliberately neglectful. If they are ignoring us, when we have a sound sense of worth, it won't matter. When we truly love ourselves, we can more easily live without love from others. When we work only to do good deeds, we are worthy of love whether appreciated by others or not. Living comfortably alone without a crutch of validation from others requires much practice.
Only one person will always be there for us. That is ourself. Whether because of illness or age the phone or doorbell stops ringing, we can rely on ourself.
Forget antidepressants, doing something constructive staves off depression. Making the world more beautiful, one flower at a time may be a small thing, but the cumulative effect can work wonders. Even if we live in a concrete or brick apartment with no way to grow flowers, keeping it clean or redecorating is uplifting. Sometimes small things make a big difference.
Hobbies aren't limited to growing flowers. Activities might include traveling, baking, sewing, crafting, woodworking, restoring junk automobiles, etc. Any constructive hobby is worthwhile.
When we are busy with activities, though helpful, we won't need to chant positive affirmations or meditate on being positive. We are already being positive by our actions when they are inspired ones. Inspired activities don't have to be grand. They can be simply reading a book when it takes us away from dwelling on negative thoughts that drag down our Life Force.
It is understandable that when we are ill or older our functions diminish so that doing something constructive becomes difficult. The mere attempt to do something, however, telegraphs to our cells to hang in there: we aren't quite finished.
I'm no expert, but the scientific journals I've read suggested that our cells have innate intelligence. This makes sense. They formed to get us here. They don't speak as we do, but they communicate intelligently with each other. Meditating is surely one way of directly expressing our wishes to our cells.
Aging is inevitable. Though scientists try to outsmart cells, at a certain age our cells begin to lose minute pieces of DNA when they divide. As above so below, in that, our cells lose their memories of how to function just as do we with age. Is it the chicken or the egg? Therefore, without our telling them to, our cells get the hint from physical activities that they are to work harder to keep us here. It seems that cells also have Life Forces.
Taking multiple medicines to counteract effects of other medications focus us on dying simply because we realize we are ill when perpetually swallowing pills. Mental recognition or fear of dying goes along with the act. This might send conflicting signals to our cells. While trying to save ourselves, we constantly focus on illness and dying. Obviously, for example, ignoring a stone passing through a bile duct isn't at all easy. This kind of pain can be excruciating and last for hours. If we can learn not to fear death, perhaps, our cells won't get mixed signals.
Cells are here to do our bidding in a mutually symbiotic relationship. When we engage in positive activities to remain relevant, our cells get the message that, though dying is ultimately our fate, our Life Force is active. Therefore, our cells are as relevant as we are.
... stay tuned ...