Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the double-ass ugly. Comments welcome! Jean

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

iPods and Vacillating Widows


Have you ever bought something then wished you’d gotten a different model? I just did. I bought an iPod Nano 7th generation and after shopping accessories I wish I’d gotten the 6th generation because you can turn them into neat watches with after-market wristbands and the clock app. They sell a cheaper silicone wristband for the 7th generation but who wants to look like you’re wearing a credit card on your wrist? I never guessed that going smaller than a credit card could actually be an advantage, or that someday I’d own a tiny device that could play pod casts, movies, books or hold a thousand songs and also be a voice recorder or a radio for when I’m out walking. I love the recorder app because I get a lot of good ideas when on the nature trails and this device will keep me from forgetting stuff.

In my garage I have a 14” x 20” radio built when radio stations first started broadcasting in the early 1920s and it was popular to send away for tubes, knobs, wires and plans to build a radio to receive their signals. It has earphones the size of the Titanic to listen in private and a horn style speaker to use for group listening. The speaker stands two foot tall and was designed by Thomas Edison himself. Amazing isn’t it, the technological changes that take place in roughly 100 years. I can’t wait until the next little kid comes over for ‘show and tell’ so I can compare my new iPod to the walnut radio. If I was tech savvy enough I’d figure out a way to hook the iPod up to the two foot tall horn speaker then go out walking with that combo in tow. That would be a head turner, wouldn’t it? I know someone who took a 100 year old manual typewriter and turned it into a computer keyboard. It’s mind-boggling what kids can do these days.

Lately I’ve been vacillating between feeling like I have a lot of quality time ahead for new goals and panicking because I feel like time in running out. Back and forth I go. The reevaluation of priorities and options that most widows seem go through in their second year out has me back on the train to Crazyville. And still other times I think the Prime Country radio station is conspiring to tie me to the tracks as an approaching train is coming at full speed. Yesterday on my way to the grocery story Clint Black was singing, “There’s no time to kill between the cradle and the grave.” No shit, Sherlock! Too bad you didn’t tell me that fifty-sixty years ago. I’ve wasted too much time in my life.

“Father Time still takes a toll on every minute that you save
Legal tender's never gonna change the number on your days
The highest cost of livin's dyin', that's one everybody pays
So have it spent before you get the bill, there's no time to kill.”

Even the March weather seems to mirror my vacillating moods. Two days ago it was like spring. Today I’m looking at five inches of snow outside my window. I want spring! I want clear and solid decisions regarding what I want my future to look like. But then again maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself. Maybe life is meant to be fluid and flowing from one place to another, less structured and free of stressful decisions and schedules.

“But I can look ahead and see that time ain't standin' still
No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I've been in
And quit this work and worry lookin' back at where I've been
You don’t look ahead nobody will, no time to kill, no time to kill.”

I almost wished I’d heard those lyrics before I bought the iPod. Do you know how much time you can kill at iTunes? How do I get myself into time robbing stuff like this when I have other dragons to slay? Four years ago President Obama gave Queen Elizabeth II a personalized iPod that has video capabilities---she already had one that had audio and had expressed a desire to upgrade. He took a lot of criticism from Republicans for giving that gift but from all accounts, she loved it. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only old woman on the planet who lusted after an iPod. I only wish I had the staff she has to upload music into the tiny thing! I just want to play it, not spend my life setting it up, and I’ll bet my husband’s uncle felt the exact, same way when he built the radio that sits in the garage. The more things change, the more they stay the same. ©

Painting above:  Salvado Dali's Persistence of Memory 1931


9 comments:

  1. Once again you read my mind. Lately I feel rushed to go somewhere, do something, start a new hobby? A little voice inside says what now? The little voice constantly reminding me life is slipping thru my fingers. I've spent two years on hold. All types of new possibilities await me. That thought in itself is daunting. Sooner than later I have to take a chance and step back into the world. The thought is thrilling and frightening all wrapped up together. I wish us all enjoy today!

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  2. Wow, Denise, you said it so much better than I have and with a whole lot less words. The possibilities are both thrilling and frightening all wrapped up together. And I have that same little voice in my head telling me the same things as your little voice is saying. Thanks for sharing that.

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  3. Remember that carefree glee we felt about the future? Well, I have lost 'carefree', and ask if losing it is inevitable.

    I sometimes glimpse 'glee' out of the corner of my eye. Then I turn to look straight on at it and - it's tethered to hard work.

    Am I doing something wrong?

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  4. I don't think you're going something wrong. It takes time and we all have our own ways of figuring out how to get back to "carefree" again after the loss of our husbands, best friends and lovers. But I also think it's unrealistic to expect to feel as carefree as we did when we were younger and had our whole lives ahead of us. We need another word instead of "carefree" for what to look for...maybe something like finding contentment again?

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  5. Mama is curious about the Blurb program. She was wondering what made you decide to do a Blurb book. She is considering looking at the affiliate program.

    We also have a new "four legged" child in our family. Her name is Jessy and she is mostly a labrador retriever. We posted pictures of her on our blog.

    Love -

    Hershey and Kaci

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  6. Hi Hershey and Kaci! Tell your momma I choose Blurb over Blog2print because you have more control over the finished product. I actually tried the Blog2print software first but you can't edited ANYTHING once your blog is uploaded in their software including deleting photos to cut the cost down which is what I wanted to do. Whatever is in your blog is what you get and it places some photos in strange positions. With Blurb you download their software to your computer and it 'slurps' your blog up into the software. Then you can go over it page by page to edit, delete or add to it, re-size photos or fonts---however you like. I spent quite a lot of time editing to get it under a certain price point of 180 pages. I won't say it wasn't frustrating at times because if you edit something on page 20, you have to check all the pages after for unnatural breaks in text, etc. If you've ever worked with the genealogy software at MyCanvas Blurb is just like it, so I didn't have to learn the process. You see each page exactly like it will print. Both of these are free to try and both are print on demand after you decide to print. Blurb's service has been great for me. I didn't offer colored copies for sale, but I got some for myself and they are wonderful quality but cost 3 times more. I'm going to run my other blogs through Blurb this summer. There are 3-4 similar companies out there but I didn't check them out other than read reviews. If you don't want to spend a lot of time getting a book, the Blog2print would probably be more to your liking BUT make sure you re-read your blog before you upload because you can't edit much of anything after you get it in their software other than to eliminate complete posts using a check list.

    Congratulations on the new baby in the family. I love the name Jessy.

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  7. Thank you for responding to Mama's questions. It has been one of Mama's dreams to write a book someday.

    We are glad that you like the name Jessy. She is a very young pup - not yet a year old.

    Love -

    Hershey and Kaci

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  8. You won't be sorry if you do a book. It's a very special feeling to hold one in your hands that you actually wrote.

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  9. Nice to see this article and i like website design thanks for sharing it

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