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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Things that I learned in 2013

So-I have decided that instead of making resolutions (which I will do for the New Year), I will reflect back on things that I learned over the past year.

I make resolutions-frequently.  Usually when things turn out badly or when I suspect that I need to change my behavior in order to accomplish or gain something.  This year-lots of turmoil, lots of bad karma and it is time to turn this around. 

My 2013 education consists of the following lessons and yes, resolutions for 2014:

1. Do not settle for something sorely lacking in what you want.  I did this in a relationship and although I thought it offered me something I needed - it ended badly and I was quite distressed.  I would like to think that in the future that I will pay more attention to the little things (or the seemingly little things that do not quite measure up).  I am good at picking up the big things-like when I am in relationships or friendships where I feel criticized or chided, and I successfully have ended those in the past.  I am not so good at the subtle things-but as I have learned-those things too can do damage over time.

2. Set realistic goals.  I think that often I set my sights on something that I may never have and become a bit too future oriented.  I am going to try and take some small steps.  I am going to try and concentrate on the immediate future and let the long term dreams take shape as they will.

3. Be kind to myself, and leave the ego behind.  Is it enough to try hard and not succeed?  Sometimes it is.  I would like to try and put this in perspective.  How badly do I want to succeed at any one task?  Whose goal is it?  Again, small steps and try not to let context determine my worth.

4. Be moderate, and keep track.  Finances are an issue-so I need to be more discerning about need vs. want.

5. Get a handle on the stuff-get rid of things that no longer have the meaning they once had.  Do I really need to keep all of Bruce's Hawaiian shirts?  No.  Time for these to find new homes.

Well, my list of what I learned has surprisingly turned to a list of resolutions.  But ducks are in the oven and I need to turn them and pierce the skin.  I will give this more thought tomorrow.

Happy New Year?  I hope and will work to make it happen.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Men behaving badly, part 2

Okay so when I reread my blog it did not scream to me the "men behaving badly" theme enough so I thought I would elaborate.  Since I have been dating, 2 of the men on my "boyfriend" list told me that "they were men" in an effort to provide an excuse for their behavior.  While my husband and I frequently discussed gender issues, he never used his maleness as an excuse to get out of something.  It is both frustrating and interesting to me that I have heard this twice in the past year.  It was said as an excuse for not thinking about my feelings or as a way to explain why deep thoughts are not evident.  Really??? 
In general, men behaving badly is about narcissism.  It is me, me, me.  The men that I have known to behave badly (and this includes the latest feeds from the media), do what they want without regard for anyone else's feelings.  Sometimes the stakes are small, like the hurt feelings that resulted when my man friend informed me that he could not spend time with me because he would miss his cats too much.  But other times they are big big deals-and men behave badly with some severe consequences:
a president's transgressions with an intern, or the ending of a relationship with a long term love.
And so I ask myself-why does this occur?  Aren't men raised by women?  I raised a son and hope that in the future, he won't use the "man card" to get out of something or to do something he wants without regard for anyone else.  Maybe it is time to alert the other side that behaving badly is not to be tolerated.

And on that note-maybe women need to swing the other way-maybe I need to behave badly sometimes too.  Not necessarily to disregard someone else's feelings-but to assert my own needs and wants in the light of another's company.  I usually acquiesce-cause do I really care about which movie I see or what restaurant I eat at?  But I should and I will.......

Let's see what this does for me in the New Year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Men behaving badly

In the past, when I contemplated being on my own-it was fine.  There was some romantic English feminist woman image of me looking out the window at the Moors.  I tackled everything with confidence-ready to take on everything without a man.  So I was judgmental about women who dated or who seemed to "need" a man to carry on.  And then I was alone, and I finally got it.  I missed having an intimate partner, really really missed it.  I wanted a person to share my life with, someone to wake up next to, someone to share strange newspaper stories with, someone who would derive pleasure from my silly anecdotes, and who occasionally would be annoyed.  I wanted someone who I could be number 1 with.

And I worked hard to have it.  I understood that I would not meet anyone sitting on my couch (my couch my new best friend with the TV remote)-watching Law and Order reruns.  I also finally knew that there would be no neon sign on the door announcing my availability so that I would have to beat men off with a stick.  I knew no single men and the married ones were not necessarily my type (JOKE).
I attacked the mission with a vengeance-went "on-line", emailed countless men and yes, some of them were not even remotely attractive.  My plan was to set up a coffee date weekly.  I liked coffee-why not combine my coffee habit with an hour long meet and look over.

I ended up with a number of "boyfriends" - although I cannot say that they were really boys chronologically.  I was extremely adolescent about it-experiencing actual dating for the first time in like forever.  I was married at 19-so never had the chance to experience the single scene.  Each man-friend was "sweet"-at least that is the way I described them although to be quite honest, they weren't.   My first "relationship" was a 2 week one with a widower who was ready to sell his house and whisk me away to the Grand Canyon.  He was politically conservative and expected me to cook and tend to his needs.  After 2 weeks I realized this and called it quits.  The next one lasted longer, 3 months with a man who was still bitter about his divorce and sour about his life.  He taught me to ride a bicycle and after 2 trips away with him-I could find nothing to say to him.  So I said goodbye to him and moved on.  After a couple of coffee dates and exciting trysts, I finally found a man who seemed to be funny and intelligent and affectionate.  We were together 14 months-although even this relationship was also flawed.  We saw each other 2 days a week and he seemed to find that enough and when I was not with him - he seemed fine with that too.  I knew the relationship had issues and maybe would have ended it myself after I finally got that he was happier alone.  But he ended it before I had a chance-and took me by surprise.  He told me he never loved me - and was waiting for it to happen but it never did.  He felt trapped, and had felt that way for the past year.  I was stunned, and hurt and angry.

Why do men behave badly?  Was it necessary for him to taint the whole relationship by looking back?  Before he broke it off, he called me daily, seemed delighted by me and even told me he loved me and reassured me even the week before he broke it off.  So, did he lie for a year?, when did he decide to call it quits?  How could he pretend and how could I be so blind to it?  Even now, I want to wonder if he misses me and then I realize that he is probably relieved.  And I am still hurting. 

I have been told that the first "real relationship" post widowhood is very painful-it brings back the loss of your spouse and is compounded by the loss of a new partner.  And I wonder if I will find a man who has integrity and all the other qualities that I long for......

One thing is for sure.  I will start looking again.  I have to believe that I have qualities that would appeal to some one and that some one will also appeal to me. 

Well time to get the tissues and do some crying.  Yes, eventually I will stop and pull myself out of the dark hole that I seem to have inhabited.   

And time to look on to a New Year.  2014, here I come.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reflections on 2013

2013, a year of promise and disappointments.

So the year is coming to a close.  Lots of things happened this past year.  I had a horrible injury, requiring 2 surgeries, physical therapy, and a medical leave.  I had a man friend, and had a great time with him in San Francisco, Colorado, and at home.  I realized that I could not catch up or keep up with work demands, and so am going to call it quits at the end of the summer.  I enjoyed my family, my grandson (just 2 years old), my children (the ones that I gave birth to and the ones that were married in), my mom, my aunt, my cousins etc...... I had lots of laughs with my friends.  I suffered my first big loss when my man friend abruptly said goodbye, and then the deaths of friends and family. 

All in all-as I look back, I am struck by how tumultuous life was.  I am sad that I am alone again after a 14 month relationship - only a reminder of what I lost when Bruce died.  I am hoping that 2014 will bring some joy.  Of course the joy has got to be orchestrated by me.  After I am done feeling sad-I will get back on line, setting up coffee dates weekly.  I will plan the second career that I need to have in order to keep up with expenses, and try and find some pleasure in the work that I take on.  It is time to rebuild, construct a life that minimizes the disappointments and capitalizes on the promise.

On to the New Year

Friday, December 13, 2013

Under Construction

It has been a hard month so far with the holidays approaching and the complete cut off from the new man in my life.  Almost a divorce.  Amazing how easily it brought me to the devastating loss of my husband and the hopelessness I feel when I gaze into the future.

And yes, I am getting every kind of help that is out there short of electric shock therapy (and I have considered that too).  All of the help keeps me from jumping off a bridge - but does little to take away all of the sadness.  On a completely rationally sane day, I acknowledge the drama queen in me and know that this too shall pass.  At night though, when I am in bed, I let myself feel the sad feelings.  I can cry and be done with it after a series of sniffles and sobs, and then turn over and go to sleep.  The sleep is of poor quality and this pattern too has taken up residence since Bruce died.  I wake every few hours and contemplate the universe and then go back to sleep.

Many of the widows that I have met, categorize their life as a re-invention post loss.  It is not so much a reinvention for me-but a site that is under construction.  I guess there are phases where we stand still and look at our place in the world-who we are, where we are and who we want to be.  It happens as a young adult-when our life is about to be written, and it happens when our children leave us and we are no longer primarily the "mom" and it happens with any gigantic life change as with divorce, illness or death.  I can rewrite the pages or start a new chapter.  Whatever the analogy, it is up to me - in some ways a freedom that is afforded us at times.  Is that good?  I guess that if I think of life as full of possibilities it is….. But (and of course there is a but), that moment is also full of anxieties and despair and not much energy to be creative and eager as we contemplate starting a new life.

So this page and I are under construction.  I will get back to you as the process continues.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

a solitary life

I have been wallowing.  Licking my wounds and totally feeling sad for myself.  I know that I need to stop and move forward.  I want to close my eyes and shut all of this out.  Too many traumas, too many decisions and too much work to do.  Is there hope for the future? Hard for me to see it now.

But I do know that there will be good to come.  Maybe not everything I want, but perhaps something good is around the corner.  I want to be hopeful, I want to believe that my luck will change, that my karma will start being positive.

Holidays ahead and the solitude.  I have got to hang on.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgivakah

Today is the first day of Chanukah and Thanksgiving.  Cause to celebrate?  Thanksgiving is my holiday and honestly I did not have my usual exciting feeling that usually accompanies the day.  Been so in the doldrums that I was sure that I would not be able to complete the task.  As is usual, I am having 20 for dinner.  All my west coast family members come: children, grandchild, cousins, aunt, and nephew.

But I seem to be okay and the day is proceeding fairly smoothly.  The 21 pound turkey is in the oven and is stuffed and smelling luscious.  As dictated by my grandson, I made an apple pie yesterday and that looks fine.  My daughter made a challah and ice cream-items usually made by my husband.

Bottom line?  This day will be fine and I need to be fine.  I need to stop wallowing.  The relationship that ended was pretty dismal-less and less of what I wanted.  It was bound to end, unfortunately it ended sooner than I would have liked because it was an excellent distraction and offered me some intimacy.  I try to have low expectations-but maybe I was happy with too little.

While I have been wallowing - I have been processing.  Or maybe over processing.  The ending of a 34 year relationship is reason to contemplate the state of the universe.  I wish I could just dog paddle along until I found something else to do but that is not going to happen.  I have no energy to keep all of those balls in the air.  Trying to find what interests me is overwhelming-I cannot even come up with a book to read or TV show to watch.  Life seems devoid of pleasures.  I need to engage but difficult to know what to engage with.  I guess I will just have to "fake it till I make it".  And remember the mantra-this too shall pass.

Horrible time of the year to be sad-but January is right around the corner with additional challenges.  Maybe I am not up for those-but there really are no choices.  Time moves on……...

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Doldrums

Horrible Sunday-just horrible.  I was sad and there was nothing to distract me.  I searched for Law and Order reruns and could find nothing.  I needed to work but had no desire.  I did not even want to knit.

How can I get past this-this absolute I hate life feeling?  What do I want and how do I get it? I realize that I hold the key but do not even know where the door is.  I need to generate some excitement but am at a loss as to how to do it.  It does not seem to be enough to just put one foot in front of another-I have lost the path and am just wandering.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Both Sides Now

I have been making plans to change my life - really change.  With that comes lots of anxiety, and some sadness.  Am I leaving my old life because I could not measure up, is it true that with the death of my spouse, there was a death of my motivation and passion?

I could turn this around and say that I am making a choice-a choice that I have been contemplating for a long time and that the decision is made from strength not failure.

But if does not feel that way.  In addition, I am concerned about finances, how will I live without my position-aren't I too young to retire and too old to switch gears?  My self-concept was that of a professor, can I truly recreate my identity now?  What will I do?  How can I recover from this burn-out and recapture some joy?

Can I really not look back and feel comfortable not knowing what is ahead?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Revisiting the Past

I have been contemplating the past few weeks and still am trying to figure out what happened.  It seems to be a theme in my life that loss events are sudden and unplanned and I am unprepared to handle them.  The death of my husband was a sudden shocking thing and I still look back and wonder if there were any clues.  Did Bruce not feel well the day before?  Was his minor surgery a few weeks before a catalyst?  If we had not gone to the gym - would we have averted the massive heart attack that claimed his life?

Similar to that is the sudden break-up of a 14 month relationship.  When did he decide that our relationship needed to end?  Why?  I understand that it is not productive to try and figure this out-but I still end up thinking about it.

As with Bruce's death, the evenings are the hardest.  I come home to the empty house and am despondent that this will be my future.  Alone and lonely.  Wanting but not getting.  I never thought I was that person who needed an intimate partner-but I guess I do.  I wonder if the many years spent married - led me to want that connection.  I wish I did not want this so badly.

  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Law and Order

I have always been a big fan of Law and Order.  Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: SVU.  When Bruce died, I would hug the couch in the afternoon and wrap myself in a blanket and watch Law and Order.  These days I find myself doing the same thing.  Definitely, Law and Order time as I continue to be assailed by crises and catastrophes.

Today I woke up and did not feel like crying.  And then I backed out of my garage and hit my neighbor's car.  I feel like the universe is against me.  Too much to deal with.

So I am crawling into bed and turning on the TV.  I bet you can guess what I am watching.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Adjustments

First weekend alone in a while.  It occurred to me last night, as I was trying to sleep, that this all is a period of adjustment.  I guess you get used to everything, and I will too - get used to being alone again.

Yes, I am really sad and really anxious about the future. Not just the singleness of my life but the changes that I need to make and the very uncertain journey ahead.  Bruce would say that I should be excited not nervous-but I have never been too good about forecasting or envisioning things.  He would have also agreed with that as well.

I will plan and keep fingers crossed that the adjustment will be okay and that time will take care of things for me.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Being capable of love

I have thought a bit lately of people I have met who are incapable of loving another.  The last two men I have dated seem to fit in this category.  Is there some warning label that I missed when I first had coffee with them? 

I guess I am lucky because I can love another deeply as evidenced by my lengthy marriage.  Our relationship was not always easy but we hung in there-using each other as anchors in a world fraught with challenges and disappointments.  But the other side of being able to love deeply is to want to be loved deeply as well.  Is it commitment-phobia?  Maybe.  But I think it goes deeper than that.  Maybe it has something to do with how we define love.  I am not sure-but I become concerned as I contemplate the future and the possibility that the only men out there are ones that do not have the ability to love another person.  They have been alone for awhile, have had failed relationships and continue every now and again to try and assuage their being alone with a companion.  After awhile, that relationship fails as well.  I am the damaged goods-the product of at least one experience with a person incapable of love.  I only wish I had read the signs.

I guess as I move into the years after career building and child rearing, I am more sure that I do not want to live the rest of my life alone.  I knew that I would feel this way soon after being widowed.  And I do enjoy having a warm body next to me when I wake up in the morning, and my dog is not the warm body I crave.  I seem to have been willing to take what I got when I really wanted more.  How do we negotiate this?  Is being alone worse than being in a relationship with someone incapable of emotional intimacy?  Is that the choice that I need to make? 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Finally

I am slowly coming to some decisions about my life as it is now.  Yes, I was devastated by the losses in the past few weeks.  It has made me feel a bit hopeless and alone.  I enjoyed the daily calls and the weekly distractions.  This coming weekend will be difficult-my first alone in a long time.

It has pushed me into making some big life decisions.  I need some excitement - some enjoyment from the day to day.  I no longer find this in my work and in turn since my work has been so difficult and unsuccessful-it only reinforces my misery.  I would love to think that I can find something to do that I could love.  That I could wake up each day and look forward to something, rather than waking up to the awful realization that there is nothing in the day that will bring me joy.

I realize that it is up to me-that I could work on re-framing this all, but it is just too hard and it has been for awhile.  It has been a rough trek, first Bruce's death, then injuries, and then the recent losses.  I would like to stop focusing on all the bad-and stop counting the catastrophes.   

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another in the series

Today I had another loss.  The man I had been seeing for the 14 months called it quits.  It came as a surprise to me - and of course is accompanied by lots of sadness.  So I mourn for the relationship I had with him as well as the life that I had previously.

I feel hopeless-I guess a common response to this latest event.  I wonder how I can continue to put one foot in front of another.  I have been lonely-even though I had this relationship.  It was a 2 day a week thing-and at times frustrating.  But it was something-someone who was at the other end of the phone-someone who I felt loved me.  Not only do I feel betrayed by him-but I also feel a bit betrayed by myself-that I continued in a relationship that seemed to offer me so little.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday blues

For as long as I can remember there was always something sad about Sunday eve.  So tonight I am sad.  Alone and sad.  Overwhelmed and sad.

Finally heading to bed and hopefully to sleep.  More tomorrow.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Narcissism

I was always proud of the fact that I could put my own needs aside for others.  And it may be that I have always been a bit too willing to be other directed.  Since Bruce died though, I am much more focused on myself and my needs or on the fact that my needs seem to be like a dry well with no apparent bottom.  Every now and then, I come to my senses and confront my narcissism - and ask "is this really all about me?" And then I try and think beyond myself and acknowledge that we are all struggling with our own personal issues.  Quite frankly, mostly alone, and mostly just trying to deal with the challenges coming our way.  Often too, without consideration of other people-because if you cannot help yourself-you really cannot think about anything else.

Case in point-my need to bring closure to loss and to be present to acknowledge the loss when so far away.  I am very focused on losing people I love - so ultra-sensitive about this because of Bruce.  But the loss may belong to others and I may not be included in the acknowledgement.  How do I deal with that?  Where does my need to deal with a loss interfere with the coping mechanisms of others-especially those who really own the loss.  I missed a Memorial Service, but this was not mine to plan or be part of - yet I acutely feel the loss.  How will I deal with getting over with it and moving on.  How do I leave it behind?




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Loss

My dear friend Robert died tonight.  Robert was married to my best friend and I knew him since 1974.
He was sick for such a short time, and now he is gone.  I am so sad, sad for him, sad for my best friend, sad for his children.

I am also overwhelmingly sad that my friend has to make the same journey that I made 4 and 1/2 years ago. I would not wish this path for anyone-but especially not the people that I love.
Lil and I met in summer camp in 1972 and we totally bonded.  She has been more like a sister than a friend.  And now I am so far away, so distant, and so unable to be more than a text message.

How can we endure such pain and still keep on going?  The losses add up and still we must be able to manage the day to day "stuff" that in the larger scheme of things seem so unimportant.  But I guess that to a certain extent, the mundane tasks distract us from the loss.  We get buried in the little things-walking the dog, shopping for milk, taking out the garbage.  Maybe those routinized chores enable us to move along.

I keep on thinking about the losses though, and the minutiae that we are preoccupied with.

Robert is now out of pain, I am hoping that eventually the pain will subside for those of us left after the loss.




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Anticipation

When I was married, Bruce and I would regularly plan some sort of vacation or trip so that we could look forward to something.  He reasoned that we worked so hard (and we did) that having something to look forward to - helped to make it through the trauma of everyday life.  Not that life was so traumatic but there are the usual stresses that accompany the day to day.

And then after Bruce died, it was hard to find something to look forward to - I could not plan very well.  Occasionally I enlisted the aid of my daughter, who is perhaps the best planner world wide.  We went on a number of trips and they were a lifeboat amidst my "sea of despair".

And now?  I have run out of energy to keep this all going.  The only thing that I am anticipating is going back east for a funeral.  I have nothing ahead of me these days and even keeping what little gives me joy is an effort to put in place.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

So Tired

I am trying hard to get things back on track and continue to ask myself - when will things get easier?
It seems that I work so hard and yet so little comes back.  I am very tired of working so hard, and it does not seem that there is much to look forward to .....  I know that I need to create something that will be sustaining and good and that I can derive some pleasure from, but I am out of steam.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I have recently thought a lot about saying goodbye.  I really never got a chance to say goodbye to Bruce.  It has been like that for the losses I have faced.  They have happened in my absence.  It is definitely more about what I need than about the person I am saying goodbye to.  But I would have liked to send my love and appreciation before the end.

But I wonder-do we ever really get a chance to express all of this?  In some cases, probably most often we don't.  Is it possible to ever really acknowledge our love before we know that we won't get another chance?

I lament being unable to be there as my friend is dying.  And to say goodbye.


Monday, October 14, 2013

attributions

While it is true that I can be in touch with my emotional climate instantly, it is also true that I have difficulty understanding what is behind the feeling.  I can usually name all that is going on, but how much I can blame each event or activity for my emotional distress is questionable.  I think that this is common.  I have witnessed friends mislabeling their unhappiness and changing something in hopes that their life will be better for it.  Getting divorced, moving, changing jobs...... and often the feelings come back after the newness wears off.  So mis-attribution is something I have seen and understood.

So I am stuck in this incredibly sad hole and there are many issues that cause me turmoil. My friend's husband is very ill and dying-I have known her forever and him almost as long and the feelings that accompany his illness are resurrecting the big gaping grief that will forever exist in my heart.  But life around me is also fraught with negative energy-the potential of my children moving away, the change on the job front, the difficulty with new relationships, my neediness and the issues surrounding my loneliness.  All of these issues make it difficult to move along.  I want to put the blame somewhere.  In reality, I guess the answer is to just move along-continue the slow shuffle and hope for the best.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hills and Valleys

My emotional state can best be characterized by hills and valleys.  Sounds bipolar?  But the hills and valleys are not always impressive in the highs and lows.  Except for the occasional despair-like the one experienced this weekend - I usually can deal with the emotions that seem to drive my life.

And I wonder, as I have in the past, whether this is who I am and my ultimate challenge is to try and keep my emotions in check.  I can, at any given moment, tell you how I am feeling.  And I do.  When people ask how I am-I honestly tell them.  Most of the time, people do not really want to hear how I am.  They want the stock answer, which is "fine".  And I have decided finally to give people the answer they want.  I find that when I honestly answer, people then criticize me or comment on how frequently I answer this way.
When Bruce died, and people asked how I was doing, I told them that I was not doing too well.  I wasn't.  I did not want to worry about what others would think, or say.  I was not doing well and I wanted to respond truthfully.  Why ask if you do not really want to know?

So how I am-I am okay.  Am I really okay?  Today I am.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Life on Grief Street-checking in

Long time between posts.  Monday, Bruce would have been 59 years old-almost 60, and it struck me and I cried all weekend.
And at this point, the tears came easily, and after a "tear storm"-I did feel better, for a time and then it would start again.

I am surrounded by loss these days.  And maybe that is the state of the world for me.  My best friend's husband is very sick and it does not look like he will grow old with her after all.  We have been friends for decades, and at 15 we sat in a rowboat at summer camp without much to complain about (although we did).  Now with childbearing, childrearing, career building behind us-we both contemplated some quality time with spouses after many many years of marriage. Bruce died almost 5 years ago and now Robert is so sick...., so suddenly her life is changing.  All hopes for the future - gone.

And there are other losses as well and I am overwhelmed by the weight of them. 
I need to work on lifting my head above the rapids approaching and try to feel something beside bereavement.

More tomorrow, I promise.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Control

I have always been a bit of a control freak.  I do not like getting too inebriated because I do not feel in control of my self.  And I have always been very disciplined about my schedule.  Since Bruce died I have been struggling with control.  It is almost as if I went on autopilot after the death.  The result: everything is totally out of control.  My schedule, my workload, my finances etc. etc......

Time to take charge but I find myself somewhat without the motivation to do this.  My lists lack specifics, and I am trying hard to make my calendar ordered with things to do and time earmarked for each task.

Is there a magic pill for this too?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Life revisited

Ugggh.  I have been feeling down lately and licking my wounds.  Brings to my mind such a visual of a wounded dog licking a huge gaping bleeding wound.  I am dramatic these days.

Recently I was told that I was undisciplined.  That comment made me sit up and take note and I realized that it was true.  Did Bruce help me structure?  For sure, and since he died my attempts at organizing my life have failed miserably.  He grounded me, he goaded me into being productive.  He was a motivating force for all who knew him.  With his co-authors, he was without mercy on deadlines and with his family, one of his favorite sayings was "just do it".

So I need to get some structure-even though I want to crawl under the bed and pretend that everything will get done without effort.  I would rather just lay and lick those wounds but nothing will heal that way.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Insights

Transitions, as I wrote about yesterday deserve and dictate introspection.  Not that I have ever needed an opportunity to analyze my life.  I know that I am too analytical-that I take apart every aspect of my life and that has been problematic for me in the past.  Of course, the death and subsequent change in my life was accompanied by lots of thinking.  I have tried to let my mind wander and not censor my thoughts.  I do not believe that I seek to find meaning in the events that have occurred-many aspects of our life do not hold profound secrets for us.  They are just random events that happen.

I think I engage in the analysis to find my way for the future.  I have been so derailed by the events of the past 4 years-so many challenges and so little energy to move past the obstacles.  But the most important question is the question about the importance of climbing the hurdles-what lies on the other side and is it worth the effort?  Is this really what I want in light of who I am right now?  Where should I put the precious sparse energy that I have lately?

So events have led me to a place where I can hopefully begin to ask these questions.  I am on a medical leave as my recent health problems have devastated me.  I am overwhelmed most of the time and realize that the loss has added a layer of emotional turmoil that easily spills over and leaves me unable.
I also have just completed some training to become an integrative nurse coach and that also enables me to gain some interesting insights.  The questions that have been posited include:

What is your hope, your deepest hope?
What gets in the way of realizing it?

I need to think about this and move towards it.......

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Transitions

All of us move through transitions in our lives...... Some of them seemingly go unnoticed, some are celebrated, some bring about grief.  There are small changes that have an impact beyond the magnitude.  There are tsunamis like the death of a spouse-and the transitions continue to occur long after the actual event.
I once said that since I was married for 34 years it might take as long to come to get a handle on the loss.
I think the largest transition is the solitary life that accompanies the loss of my spouse.  It has been more than 4 years..... And yet on a daily basis I am struck by the emptiness in my house.  I have written before about the loneliness.  It goes deeper - I miss the offhand remarks made in response to the world as we live it.  The fact that the weather outside is cold, the latest news flash about the bombing in Boston, the fact that Twinkles will be back on the market......  Some of these events are trivial, and don't require commentary.  But by and large the fact that for many years there was someone there and now there is no one-saddens me.  I need my alone time but do not like living alone.....

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sometimes it is the little things......

This week is a hard week in general.  The end of the week marks another year for me on the planet, another day to reflect on the years behind and the years ahead.  This past year has been full of challenges: a broken foot, and my latest catastrophe-my poor right hand.  I feel beaten down and I need renewal. 

This week also was the week I remortgaged the house.  Yes, I finally took advantage of the lower rates and signed all the papers.  As I was signing, I thought back to the countless times I did this with Bruce.  We would sit at the table and pass the papers back and forth.  We did this so many times that I had a pang as I was doing this alone.  And I also found out that I again owe many thousands to the Federal Government. 

Hard times, wish I could get a momentary respite and get some really good news. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One foot in front of another

Obviously I continue to be challenged by my life on grief street.  The landscape of loss is vast, and brings with it all of the issues that follow us throughout our lives.  We are colored by our past and it is difficult to shed those things that have shaped us-even if unhealthy, even if we know that we need to move forward.

I struggle with being invisible, with honoring my commitments, with being the best I can be and with taking on too much.  In a few weeks I will be acknowledging my 38th wedding anniversary-and the man that knew my foibles and could anticipate the thin ice before I walked on it is gone.   It is not that my life is only full of new challenges - it is that the newest challenge is that my life is very singular.  Yes there are some new challenges, lots of new challenges, but there are common themes that some of the new challenges can be organized around. 

I guess that after years of therapy-I can say that this too shall pass.  Bumps in the road are common-especially in my life.  Yes, it defines me somewhat-those patches where catastrophe ensues.  I do need to move forward-one foot in front of the other.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Black Hole

Is it the time of the year that makes me so contemplative?  I am glad that I have survived some of the pain of the loss but it is hard to keep my head up these days.  I am overwhelmed lately-an emotion that is not unfamiliar to me.   Too much to do, too little energy-sometime too little control over things.  My schedule is relentless, and the fact that I cannot always function - having one hand partially out of commission, is both irritating and a bit frightening.  How can I manage?  How will I move forward?  What do I need to do to move past these hurdles that seem impossible?

I try not to think about such things but my days are full of worries.  Money, time, disability-and me-only me to deal with it.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life On Grief Street

Four years ago today-I woke up and went to the gym with my husband.  By mid morning my life had dramatically changed. Although it may seem this way-today is not only about the death of my husband - it is also about my journey since.
Today I am acknowledging me as well-that I am still standing, and that my life is okay.

It has been a long time between entries.  Many challenges still confront me  and I continue to heal from  my dog bite injury in November.  I had a second surgery and much pain and disability.  I still struggle with the recovery process-doctor's appointments, catching up on work that was already overdue when I was injured.  Dismal when I dwell on it and I try not to dwell.  For awhile I was counting the things that were going wrong in my life and decided that I needed to let those things pass me by and try and capture the good things.  There are good things!

My grandson will be 17 months old and is an awesome little boy
My family and friends are a great source of help and comfort-so lucky to have wonderful people in my life
I have a special man who has helped to nurse me back to health

All in all- I have emerged from the nightmare intact.  Yes, if I had the chance I would go back to my life the way it was four years ago-but there is no time machine to do this. 

So today I will think about my husband on this four year mark.  My children will be with me and we will visit the grave and tell stories about time past.  I imagine that we will laugh and cry.  He was my love for 34 years and we grew up together and raised two fantastic people.  I miss him so much.