Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years 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 ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

$100 Days, Psychic Apps and Free Ice Cream

Every four weeks I get a haircut and every eight weeks I get a pedicure and the dog goes to the groomers. Monday was our mutual day of beauty. I got up at the crack of dawn so I could get a shower and show up on time for my haircut. Then I raced the five blocks back home, picked Levi up and took him to the nature trail for a short walk before dropping him off at the groomers for his bath, haircut, doggie pedicure and whatever they do to his butt---I don’t even want to know. I’m just glad I don’t have to do “it”---whatever “it” is. After dropping him off at noon I grabbed a quick lunch at a drive-through Wendy’s that has a lake behind it. I like sitting back there as I eat, listening to the seagulls but I often wonder if they feel deprived because they consume more French fries than fish. Do they ever get out to Lake Michigan? Is this lake next to a parking lot a ghetto in the Kingdom of Birds?

The pedicure place is close by and while I was waiting for my nails to dry I read an article about sleep research. After sitting in their back massaging chair for over an hour, I could have fallen asleep but I had to pick Levi back up before they sold him off to a cat food cannery or a medical research lab owned by Dr. Evil. They have five groomers, one bather and two desk people working at the doggie beauty parlor and it’s always busy and bubbling over with canine energy. For some reason Levi and another schnauzer seem to get booked on the same day. The other dog is so cute and lady-like and I think Levi has a crush on her. I know I do. I call days like this my hundred dollar days but they actually cost closer to $120 to get us both “prettied up” and that doesn’t even include tips and lunch. First world problems, Jean, remember how lucky you are to have them instead of second and third world problems.

Today was the annual ice cream social at the senior hall. A local creamery donates the ice cream and all the sundae fixings to honor us oldies-but-goodies for reasons all their own. It’s the best made ice cream in area and usually it’s so hot in July the ice cream melts before you can get to the bottom of your dish. Not this time. It was 60 degrees! Can you believe that? The cool weather we’re having coupled with the back-to-school advertising blasted out everywhere is making me sad. I’m not ready for summer to end. I’m not ready for a lot of things. They will come anyway. But if I’ve learned anything in my 70 plus years it’s that life is constantly changing. The ebbs and tides, the yin and yang, the positives and negatives all do their dances to keep the world turning which means no one can stay sad for long at the senior center where they book bands that tell corny jokes like this: An old guy using a walker made his way up to the window at Tasty Freeze and ordered a sundae. The clerk gave him a kind smile and asked: “Crushed nuts?” and he replied, “No, arthritis.” You can always count on old people humor at the senior hall.

All of us at one time or another wonder about life, what it’s all about and why do some suffer and others don’t. I compare my first world problems with those from around the world and wonder, why me?  Why am I lucky enough to have hundred dollar days and free ice cream? Why am I lucky enough not to have the sound gunfire over head? I’ve been thinking too much about this topic lately and even when I try not to it comes knocking on my door. Turn on the eerie music while I explain that one. I have a Buddhist Mediation app on my cell phone that I like to use in the car if I have time to kill. It gives you a phrase you’re supposed to repeat each time a Burmese gong or Chinese hand bell rings and before the ice cream social I turned it on. The phrase they gave me was, “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”

Usually my Buddhist Mediation app puts me in a mellow state, almost on the verge of sleep. Not this time. After spending four minutes repeating, “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it” I was analyzing and wondering if we truly wouldn’t recognize the intrinsic value of good if not for the evil in the world. Do we all know the perimeters of those words, or are some of us still in the dark ages and truly don’t know that doing good is better than doing evil? I decided the latter is true. Since time began, we’ve gotten a lot better though. We no long burn girls at the stake because a neighbor’s cows went dry. We no longer shanghai boys to work on pirate’s ships. We have a world court to try crimes against humanity. And we have eerie mediation apps that seem to be psychic and make me focus on Truths as old as enlighten thought and written language. And one of those Truths is the fact that all any one of us can do is our best to leave our tiny slice of the world a better place than when we found it. ©   

14 comments:

  1. Ah yes, Grasshopper--you have found the truth. Actually, we wouldn't know what happiness is, if we lived in Utopia all our lives. I guess we have to know the bad, so the good seems so much---gooder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would like to try Utopia just to find out. LOL If I ever find the place I'll send you an invitation to join me.

      Delete
  2. i hear you honey. i have to wonder though why, it seems, that all the hate and war is because "my god is bigger than your god". never made any sense at all to me. but, as you say, we are in a first world country and are very fortunate. have a great day!

    smiles, bee
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've come up with the same conclusion and it makes no more sense to me than to you. I'm off to Balance class today. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Even when we dropped the bomb on Japan, we justified doing evil by saying it was for the greater good. For OUR greater good. Seems weird the way our greater good isn't for everybody. When someone dehumanizes us, as in war, or rape, or bodily attack, what is the good response? What is the evil response?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My take on it is that it's not OUR response after being dehumanized that constitutes the evil or good response. It the response from the support system (friends, family, strangers, etc.) that steps up to the plate to help...like THAT'S the counter weight to the evil done to us.

      Delete
    2. Also, for the person who was dehumanized....for them to not let the incident change who they are at the core, to find forgiveness, is my take on the what would be considered a 'good' response.

      Delete
    3. There are so many conundrums to ponder. Maybe you could dedicate a special time each day or each week to think down through these deep chasms. Might free up your time for HAPPY.

      Delete
    4. I already do that, AW. It's my blogging time when sort out the conundrums and ups and downs of life.

      Delete
    5. Me, too. Blogging helps me tune into who's here all along... human beings in this together, sparing each other from operating on survival instinct alone. Yes, freeing each other up for HAPPY time!

      Delete
  4. I, too, find blogging or writing a way of sorting through things, sometimes just taking my mind off my worries. I have so many of the same feelings you do about my life being so good while others live in such strife. I think I can't become more disappointed in congress, and then they take me to a new low. I need to get that app.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully the mid term elections will change things in congress. It can't get much worse.

      The app I use is the one in the one pictured above and its called Buddhist Meditation. It's free. I'm only at level two, but it goes up to a 10 minute meditation. You can pick your sounds but the sayings they give are random and often they "fit" something I've been thinking about.

      Delete
  5. Back from my trip and getting caught up….beautiful way to begin. Thanks, Jean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, you are so kind! I hope you had a great time on vacation.

      Delete