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

Saturday, January 30, 2016

From Car Accidents to Zhuangzi



My sweet, innocent little car that hadn’t lost its virginity yet got herself molested by a big bad-ass four wheeler. We were waiting in a take-out line at Culver’s for a North Atlantic Cod sandwich and a concrete mixer when the truck in front of us rolled back and my baby got smacked with a trailer hitch dead center in the front. I hopped out of my seat to look for damage and the woman driving the four wheeler got out to ask, “Are you alright?” I was, but I appreciated the fact that she thought about a human being before property damage. Me, I was just the opposite. I was busy searching my car for boo-boos. I didn’t find any until I got home and wiped some of the winter road crud off the car. There is was, a nicely formed square punched about an eighth of an inch deep into the nose of my Chevy Trax. 

I spent the next two hours pouting about my first world problem while trying to remember that the nice lady did something I could have easily done myself back in my bad-ass truck driving days. Sitting up high in a truck it’s easy not see a car sitting low behind you and it's easy not to put your car in park when you're waiting in line. And even if we had exchanged insurance information the damage wouldn’t have exceeded my deductible. Well, maybe it would have. It doesn’t take much to spend $500 on body work these days. Still, I’m not enough of a perfectionist to spend that much out-of-pocket to make my little car whole again. That didn’t stop me from pouting about the square tattoo on my bumper reducing its resale value even though I kept reminding myself I’ll probably keep this car until someone pries my driver’s license out of my wallet and hides my keys. Then resale value will be the least of my problems. At least I had a good reason to pout. Before the accident happened I was already having a regular pout-fest. 

Why was I pouting? I don’t know. I was having a doofus week, feeling sorry for myself, feeling fat, feeling like a failure, feeling all alone even though the morning of the accident I spent an hour talking on the phone to the son-I-wish-I-had. If someone wrote ‘doofus’ on my forehead with a magic marker I wouldn’t have been surprised. This week, even the dog looked fat and I only finished 7/8 of my closet cleaning project---I still have to vacuum the floor. And I can’t find a rug I want for my bathroom online. Damn first world problems! What I need is to spend a week living on a pile of raw garbage in Bangladesh. I also need to sleep one night without getting woke by a dream of my husband. Apparently, my sleeping self has been trying to contact him but he’s always just out of reach and I’ll wake up feeling frustrated that I couldn’t hogtie him to the bed so he’ll be there after I’m fully awake. At least long enough to have a conversation. He’d have some animated opinions about our current political landscape. We used to love the drama and craziness of election cycles and would talk them to death.

Before I went to Culver’s where my car lost her new car virginity---I’m still sad about that---I was at JoAnn’s Fabrics where I bought a tube of paint and some fabric for my bedroom. With the Naples yellow paint I no longer have any excuses not to start painting again. (It’s been almost 30 years!) I’ve been studying how-to books, I’ve identified and located everything I need. I even know what I want to paint first and have done a few rudimentary drawings, but I still have to screw up my courage to mix that first palette of paint. Color theory was never my strong suit. I won’t let myself start, though, until I finish the closet project which probably explains why I haven’t gotten the vacuum out of its cave. Doofus, yup, that’s me. Who cares if I vacuum the closet? No one goes in there but me and the dusty bunnies. That territory is even off limits to my cleaning woman and maybe that should change next time she’s here. Ohmygod, could my first world problems get any shallower?

The fabric I bought for my bedroom is to go in five picture frames that line up across the wall in place of a head board for my bed. I’m toning down the colors in there, getting rid of my red bed sheets, the red fabric in the frames and the red rug in the adjoining bathroom. I’m going subtle and Zen. I’ve hauled two yards of fabric home from Joan Ann’s and neither one does what I want it to do. Honestly. I should be ashamed to admit to the frivolous stuff that occupies my brain. 

“Flow with whatever may happen, and let your mind be free: Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” Ya, sure, that’s easy to say if you’re an ancient Chinese philosopher making a living writing wise and influential ditties but try letting your mind be free and staying centered when you’ve got a closet full of dust bunnies taunting your allergies. And try letting your mind be free and staying centered when your poor car is still sobbing over losing her virginity and the dog is yell, "Hey, I'm not fat! How could you say that?"

“Grasshopper…”
What?!
“Chill out. Remember what I’ve been saying for centuries, ‘Those who realize their folly are not true fools.’” 
Thank you Master. I keep forgetting. ©

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like a yucky week. I hate yucky weeks. They seem to go on forever.

    Hope you have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. It wasn't terribly yucky. Maybe a five out of ten yucky but it did seem to go on forever. LOL

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  2. My car was parked in a large parking lot last May while I was visiting a friend. When I got to the car, there was a note on it because someone had backed into it. It turned out ok in the end; I took it to the body shop and the guy paid. When I was on the phone with him he said he was sorry that he didn't see my car behind him. Granted I do have a small car (Toyota Yaris) but it didn't occur to me that he might be driving a truck and really didn't see it.
    The car lost its virginity when it was 3 months old because driving home from work at night I hit a deer. I was really pouting too because it was an unblemished car. Typically when I got to work the next day, no one cared about me or the new car...all they wanted to know was what I did with the deer (it landed on my hood but got up and ran into the woods)!
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. Parking lots are the worst. I've been parking defensively every where I go, especially at the senior hall where my last car got scrapped along the side by heaven knows who. You are lucky the guy left a note and you could get it fixed.


      I wish I had asked for the woman's contact info but being in a line that was moving I was too hurried looking for damage. I might stop by the dealership body shop just to see what it would cost. If the part is metal, they could fill it in and repaint. On plastic, I'm betting the whole front end grill area is one big piece would have to be replaced.

      I've never hit a deer but I'm guessing that is a very scary experience!

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  3. What a week. This stuff happens (remember how Forrest Gump said it!)! And I HATE that first wrinkle on a new car. But I would probably invest the $$$ and fix it. This whole blog reminds me I should just keep this big honkin SUV because it already has a few (alright, MANY) nicks and dings so I'm not afraid to park in a parking lot.

    I can't wait to see photos of Zen and serene bedroom. I'm doing serene, minimalist beachy shabby chic. So far I have four throw pillows!

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    1. I should at least look into fixing it. It gets more expensive the older a car is.

      I'm not doing much redecorating in the bedroom...just what I listed above. I did find some fabric I like though---full of texture and it looks great. But what I'm doing really changes the room! I have enough fabric left over to make a few throw pillows on my newly accessible sewing machine.

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  4. You can try and fix it, but once you've lost your virginity, there's no putting it back! I am sooooo sorry! Remain a Slug for the rest of this weekend and then-get those bunnies and get that room into shape! We need to see photos!!

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    1. I know what you mean. The color isn't always the same when you fix something or the after market material isn't the same.

      I got my framed fabrics done tonight and they turned great, but I want to wash the wall before I hang them back up. My allergies are starting to bother me at night so it's time to deep clean my bedroom next week. I hate that you can't get a cleaning service to deep clean!

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    2. By the way, when I get done in my bedroom I have at least one friend who will like the before photos better than the after photos. LOL

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  5. Who called you Grasshopper? You just now? What a sweet creature grasshopper is, even if she can't see the forest for the trees for the grass.

    Red is such a sexy color. I'll bet Sue Kreitzman would like your bedroom the way it was. Not doubt she'd throw a few zesty mannequins in there. But ah, I believe she's married, so sexy red is in.

    Calm is calm. Calm is good. Calm is not how I might feel without a sweet dream or two. Calm is not how I might feel after my virgin car gets her first ding. OMG Is it contagious?

    Do you have Zen music in your studio? Or you looking for a marching band?

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    1. I've had red sheets in my bedroom for over ten years and I'm thoroughly tired of them. Not much color otherwise. This is just a temporary fix to change up the room. I'd really like to go beach cottage decor in there but my bedspreads have too much sentimental value to me still----wool Indian blanket designs that I spent every bit of a $1,000 prize I won in a writing contest for a story about my husband's stroke. I put the spread on a shelf in the closet and will be using a dark gray blanket for now and only haul the spread out if I expect a lot of company. I'm hoping that if they are out of sight, I'll be able to let go of my attachments and do a real room make over including flooring and paint.

      My studio has no media at all in it and I need to do something about that. I just don't know what.

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    2. Forgot to add, the person who called me grasshopper in my imaginary conversation was Zhuangzi. The two quotes were his. I knew I should have done more than just put his name in the title of this blog.

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  6. I've barely stopped crying this week. Wonder what's in the air? I know better than to let my anxiety and occasional depression get the upper hand, but boy it's a battle sometimes (especially with a death in the family like I've had) and now I'm slogging my way back from the abyss. So, yeah, I relate to a yucky week.

    Sorry about your car! My first scrape on my new baby was when I let the garage door down and the door hinge scraped my bumper! That taught me to back in a bit further! But the little scrape is still there. :(

    I always make myself do the 'chore' stuff before the arty creative stuff too. I've come to recognize it as a not so cleverly disguised procrastination. Get in there and PAINT! LOL

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    1. You've got a good reason to feel the way you do. Grief takes time and it's not a straight line to get through it. There are hills and valleys to cross. You'll make it but it takes a LOT of time.

      I spent the day in my bedroom cleaning but I'm not finished. I washed two walls, got the skirts off the bed---no small feat for me. I also got my frames hung back up and half the furniture polished. I also rehung some prints to make room in the laundry room for my three, new cottage themed prints. I'm on a roll. I just counted---I have 57 framed pieces of art hanging in this house plus some in the basement and garage. I think the walls are going to come down. LOL

      My cleaner comes on Friday and I'm hoping I can get her to help me put the bed back together so I have my work cut out to get everything washed in time.

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  7. Oh, my! So sorry about your car. You got your car about the same time I did, I think. I'm careful about where I park it, trying not to get a scratch, but I know it's coming. I'm always that way for a couple of years with a new car, then I relax a little.

    I love red. It's my favorite color. My kitchen is red, but I've gone neutral in the rest of the house. My walls are Nantucket Dune, a very easy color to live with. It's in the beige family.

    I have more Zen in my life... for now. I know it's a lot easier when daily stress isn't at high speed, and of course, daily stress can change at the drop of a hat. Life is fickle. I do know that.

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    1. Red makes more sense in a kitchen than in a bedroom in my opinion. Red's not a good color to evoke sleep and kitchens are full of energy and red would add to that.

      I still hate that my car got smacked but if that's the least of my problems I count myself lucky. I will still go on being careful about where I park. LOL

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