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

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"I’m a Lazy Slug," Confessed the Widow



If you look up the term ‘Lazy Slug’ you’ll find my picture and this explanation: Lazy slugs can’t be motivated short of using an electric cattle prod. Lazy slugs know there are things to do and places to go but instead of doing and going they live inside their heads. Lazy slugs spend so much time playing on their computers they wear the letters off their keyboards and can't help wishing those keys came with heaters like seats in automobiles. And lazy slugs have been known to erase the word ‘Monday’ at the top of a job list and write ‘Tuesday’ or ‘Wednesday.’ 

Yup, here it is Wednesday and I’m still working on Monday’s job list. Worse yet, it’s almost February and I’ve yet to complete December’s goal list. I had planned to deep clean the entire house this winter and all I’ve gotten done is two rooms with five to go. Or is it six, seven or eight? I can never decide if the laundry room and the dining area get counted as rooms since they’re connected to other rooms with no door to close them off, and since the two bathrooms are small, should they count as one on a cleaning chart?

Lazy slug that I am, I read the words of Sue Kreitzman on a Post-it note above my computer with no reaction. “Be bold, be adventurous. Do profound things, dazzle yourself and the world. Contribute to society, and live large. Life is short, make every moment count. It is never too late to find your passion.” I read those words then I go back to picking lint out of my belly button. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Everyone knows you pick at your belly button lint in the bathroom where you have a magnifying mirror.

I wish I could be bold and adventurous but someone has to deep clean my bedroom closet this week. The only way I’m going to find adventure in there is if I fall off my step stool and break a bone while surrounded with red hats from the box I smashed in the fall. I know why I’m dragging my feet about cleaning the closet. I still haven’t lost the five pounds I gained over the holidays and I’m afraid to play the game of what fits and what doesn't. I still have a box of too big clothes sitting in the garage ready to donate from the last time I cleaned the closet even though I go past Goodwill once a week. I have a serious problem letting go and believing in my ability to maintain the size I'm wearing. Even my Fitbit has lost faith in me. It gives me a weekly report that I’m not meeting my goals. Get in line Fitbit, I’ve got goals all over the place that aren’t being met. If I ever win the lotto---which won’t happen since I haven’t bought a ticket in years---I’d hire a personal assistance to meet all my goals for me. And that day-dream has Lazy Slug written all over it.

In all seriousness, how is it even possible to take Sue Kreitzman’s advice to live large, dazzle yourself and do profound things making every moment count when the mundane chores of life keep getting in the way? If I don’t go to the grocery store, for example, the dog and I would eventually have to eat that back-up box of Bisquick in the cupboard or starve to death, and if I don’t do the laundry I’d be a smelly old lady trying to live large and that won’t work well in this age of grooming products galore, including belly button brushes. (Yes, I have one. I’m obsessed with belly button lint. Where does it all come from and why is it sometimes pale purple?) And if I didn’t take time out to be a lazy slug I’d never hear my inner voices debate the meaning of life and what it’s going to take to make me truly happy. Without my lazy slug down time, I never would have figured out that if I want to paint my niece-in-law's portrait it doesn’t matter if her eyes are hazel or gray because either way I’m going to have to buy a damn tube of Naples yellow to mix both those colors.

Have you ever admired someone but no way on earth would you want to live their life or be them? That’s the way I feel about Sue Kreitzman. She’s an artist who says that “color is like a drug" that she can't live without and "it makes life possible." She’s flamboyant and walks the talk but if I lived in her house or clothes I’d go stark raving mad in a month. I’m the anti-Sue and I suspect that if everyone was like her she’d become as subdued as a Rembrandt painting…all raw sienna, burnt umber, lead white, yellow ocher and bone black. What I admire, though, is she knows who she is and what it takes to make her happy. We should all be so lucky as we negotiate the life changes that come with aging or loss and as we live small while dreaming big. ©

                                                                 Sue Kreitzman

24 comments:

  1. OMG. Brilliant. Your words, my life. I wish I'd written this, it's so spot on. Glad YOU did! Seems we are one brain sometimes. LOL

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    1. Well, I'm hoping there is a lazy slug in most of us. Otherwise my confession will sound stupid to most who read this. LOL

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  2. Well, you're doing more than I am. I haven't even done one room yet. Hit and miss for me.

    OMG on Sue's place. That made my eyes bleed. I couldn't live in that clutter. Just saying.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I love that term "made my eyes bleed." (So true!) Don't be surprised if I borrow it in a future blog. LOL

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  3. You are SOOO human! I used to be obsessed with belly button lint! I think I'll get back into that. Save it up and ask Judy to crochet me something!!!

    And I used to have one intense accent wall in most rooms ... now I'm into pale shabby chic kind of beachy colors. Ahhhhh....so serene!

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    1. I could send mine to Judy, too! Obviously we're not alone in our obsession.

      I love the serene beachy colors. I think that was half the reason I wanted to move, so I'd have an excuse to get rid of perfectly good living room furniture and go beach cottage chic.

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  4. I admire Sue for the same reasons you do, though I wonder where I'd set my coffee cup down in her house. As for goals - some are best sauntered toward, some are best danced with. I personally want to leave no stone unturned. I propose that navel gazing is one way to detect a fine stone or two amongst one's lavender bellybutton lint.

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    1. I'll bet when I was a kid I stored a few stones in my belly button...just saying.

      I seriously don't know how she does anything in that house. You'd lose more than your coffee cup. I'd probably lose Levi. LOL

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  5. +1, all above comments.

    I'm a sloth/slug. I come across my old shirts - bright palette colors/designs - no way I could wear them now (tho' still like the colours). Used to love op shopping but no more - had enough of clutter. Like beige with the odd bit of color (cushion, fresh flowers).

    Your blog brightens my day, and broadens my knowledge. Appreciate that you respond to all, albeit most tactfully at times.

    Libby

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    1. I'll bet we all change our color palettes as we age. I know I have. I used to wear a lot of red but that morphed into a lot of purple and I never wear prints anymore. My old house used to be creams and peaches and my current house is grays with art that spices it up. I long for beach cottage colors---light and airy. I do fresh flowers a lot, too. They make me feel good.

      Thank you for mentioning my moments of tactfulness! It's the best quality I got from my dad and it warms my heart when someone notices that in me. He was such a good father.

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  6. Jean :

    your writing cracks me up, I am biggest sloth we are planning to move soon & I can't look beyond my day to day job like laundry cooking. I know I m procrastinating & will dump everything in the box in last moment thinking I will sort out in new home fat chance didn't do that in our last two moves. I also find you very tactful you must have amazing dad.

    Asha

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    1. Where are you moving? You got through two moves doing it your way so it can't be too bad to procrastinate.

      I should write about my dad sometime. He was the kind of man who literally had little kids tagging at his heels when he'd be working around the yard and house. He was so patient explaining things. In my entire life I only heard him raise his voice in anger once. Thank you (and Libby) for giving me a reason to remember him today.

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  7. My goal is perfecting the art of Slugginess.
    Sue may be a fine woman, but I'm glad I am not her friend--she would drive me right up the wall. I do not like clutter and although, she calls it art, to me it is TOO much clutter.
    BTW--I do not have belly button lint. Why is that? Is there something wrong with me? Should I ask my doctor why I don't? AND in order for me to crochet or knit your belly button lint, it would have to be spun into yarn first and I don't know how to do that.

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    1. I suspect you don't have belly button lint for one of two reasons: 1) you have an outie, or 2) you wear jeans all the time thus you don't have fuzzy-lined sweat pants depositing lint where you don't want it. LOL

      I should do some more research on Sue. I wonder how successful she is as an artist. She definitely has a lot of fun.

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  8. Should, in the interest of full confession, add that said flowers are from my backyard. Even a bunch of glossy green camellia leaves/twigs with the odd wild rose, stuck in a clear glass vase looks colorful and cheerful. As you say, house should be clean! (when not, its not the same). sorry, idle thoughts..

    Libby

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    1. Hay, I like idle thoughts. It's mostly what I write about.

      My flowers come from the super market. In the spring, though, I have lilacs, lily-of-the-valley and hyacinths from my yard and mums in the fall. I'm not a good gardener. I wish I had camellia leaves!

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  9. One of the things on my to-do list for Sunday was to make a to-do list for the week. Here it is Thursday, and I still haven't gotten that list made. Oh well, I guess I'll just skip ahead and make a list of things I need to do next week. ;-) -Jean

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    1. Every Sunday I make a To-Do list for the next week. Next Sunday I'm going to include 'day dream' and 'play' on the list so I get a sense of accomplishment when I'm able to check them off. LOL

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  10. Is slugginess the same as procrastination? I procrastinate, sometimes. And I can wander off into the depths of the internet and forget the dishes, but that's minor.

    What I can't abide is too much of too much, and the nice lady in the video is too much. I got as far as 1:16, and quietly closed the door as I left. Honestly? It took less than that minute for me to feel like I was watching a cross between Hermione Gingold and Coffee Talk with Linda Richman. Ah, well.

    I'd never make it in the crafty circles, either. I see some of it, sometimes, on blogs, and I always start to feel claustrophobic. To each her own, as they say.

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    1. In my mind slug-ness comes from a different place than procrastination. With the latter you know you're going to do something eventually, it's just a matter of when. But with the former you just know you should do something...anything....but you don't care. LOL

      I think of Sue as a hoarder with a color scheme. But she does write some great inspirational stuff. We're all so different and the internet lets us see just how much different.

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  11. I know some of those people. My brother in particular. He's always known who he is and embraced it. He lives the life he wants. As you said, "He knows who he is and what it takes to make him happy." Knowing who you are is admirable, but the willingness to embrace it fully requires courage. That's what always gets me. The willingness to take risks, to have faith that it will work, but I always wonder how some people do that so easily. Are they born that way? Do they cultivate it? It is fascinating to me. My brother tells me, "Tomorrow is not promised."

    This made me laugh out loud. "Get in line Fitbit, I’ve got goals all over the place that aren’t being met." Golly, I wish I didn't understand that sentence so well, but I do. It's a new year and I'm still a lazy slug.

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    1. Don't you think it's easier for men to know who they are and what makes them happy than it is for women? Up until recently they were judged on what they did not on how they look. Woman have always been judged more harshly so we pretend more often when we're out in public. That's changing now, of course, but traditionally they got their value self value from what they did for a living and could take risks other places. Interesting topic to think about---are they born that way or do they cultivate it?

      Glad to see you on the web again. I've been worried about your health!

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  12. I have some lung issues and it's always hard for me to recover from lung problems, but I'm getting better. Thanks for thinking of me.

    I think you're exactly right abut the differences between men and woman and the pretending. My D-I-L grew up in a country that has less respect for women's rights than we do. We had a conversation one time about how American women smile sometimes when there's no reason to smile - on television, particularly when their position is being attacked. She said she doesn't notice it so much anymore because she's gotten used to it. I also heard an expert on abduction/rape/ violence against women say that women are socialized to be more polite and will often override their first impulse to flee, choosing to be polite instead - allowing the guy to help with her groceries, etc. even though she feels the hairs on the back of her neck bristling.

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    1. Interesting comments by your D-I-L and the expert. So right on both.

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