Morning Thoughts

Participant or Spectator?

Last night, while watching The Crown, a line Philip’s mother said resonated with me as truth for my own life. The line is “When I turned 70 I realized I was just a spectator not a participant.” As I look at my life, I find this is mostly true.

I am a spectator. I’m not complaining, just observing. Most of my time is spent alone. When I’m with a group of people, mostly I’m a spectator. I’ve lost the quick wit and spontaneity of youth. My life offers little in comparison to a younger generation.

As the conversations fly amid laughter, I’m usually a beat behind. Sometimes I open my mouth, but what emerges falls flat. I’m much more comfortable interacting with people of my generation…once I get to know them.

I lost participation when I retired. I wonder how many others my age feel the same. With age comes a bevy of body breakdown which removes the possibility of standing for long periods of time, lifting weighty objects, and endurance. How does one volunteer with a heart willing, but body unwilling?

And so, I sit at home, writing words on a keyboard, participating in a passive way…alone. Not that I’m sad about this stage of life. It gives me more time to spend getting closer to God.

Lifting my cup of tea, grateful I can do this with ease, and asking the question: Are you a participant or a spectator?

4 thoughts on “Participant or Spectator?

  1. I agree, Carol, at 86 I am also a “spectator” – even at family gatherings. The young 30is grandchildren gather and share talk, the great-grands play together, the parents of these all converse. Since I am not with them often i am usually not “in the loop”. I tell them, as I think I mentioned to you before, “The baton has been passed to the next generation”. We enjoy watching them interact but have little to contribute. That being said, I thank God for the family He has given me and am proud of each and every one of them.


      1. I was becoming a spectator before I decided to become more Proactive! Widowed for 2 years and not having anyone to dine out with apart from family, through a local Neighbourhood site I started a Ladies who lunch club so have made new friends.
        I started a blog to keep myself occupied and it’s lovely to find another blogger “across the pond”
        Do have a look at my site


      2. What a great idea, Barbara! I belong to a group of seniors through our church called The Sweet Life. We get together once a month for various activities and fellowship, though most of the participants are couples. I
        also enjoy meeting with my women’s small group for Bible Study once a week. I meet with other close friends for lunch several times during the month. Thanks for stopping by, for following, and for leaving a comment. God bless!


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