I have a friend in her 70s who is a very reluctant driver, and she has been like that since at least her 50s. For over twenty years, her longtime boyfriend drove her almost everywhere. Since he’s moved out, she mostly drives to work, the doctor, and to neighborhood businesses. She does not like to travel alone and has curtailed many things that she has enjoyed doing for years like taking the train to New York to attend the opera. (She does not like to drive from the close in Virginia suburbs to Union Station in DC for starters.)
I have another frend, also in her 70s, who has bought a new car with all of the safety features like accident avoidance cameras. She’s a widow and is used to travelling by herself or with family or friends. She wans to keep driving but wants to do it safely since an accident involving older driver is often perceived to be that driver’s fault.
I have another friend, in her late 70s, who will drive her minivan almost anywhere (with or without her husband.) She is very active with many friends, hobbies, and interests.
So is an unwillingness to drive as we age, psychological or common sense? (Each of these ladies is in good health and to the best of my knowledge has no reason why she should not drive.)
I used to love to climb on rocks and explore tidepools. I am now afraid to do that. I can’t decide if that is commonsense or a self-imposed pyschological barrier. Yet I see dozens of volunteers in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who climb up and down from the tidepools with no outward signs of trepidation.
There are many things that we can no longer safely do as we age. So not doing some of those things make sense, especially if we have a medical condition that precludes doing them safely. For other things, why do we allow ourselves to do things we could easily accomplish if we gave ourselves permission?
What have you given up as you age and why have you given it up? Is it fear or reason that keeps you from continuing a previously beloved activity?