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, November 2, 2016

Repeat After Me: Every Thing is Going be Alright



October is over and I spent the weekend recuperating from being over scheduled all month and from having my emotions shot around like a steel ball inside a muddy pinball machine while we try to elect our next president. I reached my breaking point on Saturday and I ended up taking a rare, three hour nap in the middle of the day and I spent the rest of the weekend alternating between taking the Hallmark Movie Channel anecdote of all-Christmas-all-day-long and reading a book about an autistic savant who, when the world gets too much for him to handle he hides, covers his ears and repeats numbers in his head. The movies and reading didn’t help. I think I need to go to the humane society and pet some puppies.

Not surprisingly I suppose, is the fact that a new week has started and I’m still in a funk and with that comes the woo-is-me need for a good widow’s weep. I feel tears behind my eyes every time I think of a future. I feel tears behind my eyes every time a song on the radio reminds me of the past. And I feel tears behind my eyes just because if I do cry there's no one to wipe the tears away with soft words or to kick my butt with a reality check that I've been through far worse and survived to thrive afterward. So I keep telling myself, “This too shall pass.” Ya, I know, I’m a drama queen inside my head. 

But it won’t pass quickly because I’m still over scheduled this week with something going on every day although some of it will be fun. For example, I’ll be going on a cityscapes tour and lunch at a cider house pub with twenty-five others from the senior hall and the next day I’ll be meeting a woman for lunch that I met through The Gathering, a group for people looking for friends. She lives a bit north of town so we’ll be having lunch at a half way point, in my husband’s hometown. This will be our second outing and I’m crossing my fingers that we will continue to click. In the mundane column of activities already checked off the list this week are: Levi needed transportation to and from the Foo-Foo Doggie Beauty Parlor, I got my pneumonia booster shot, ghosts and goblins came begging for candy (Halloween is not my favorite holiday), and I had to pick up the house ahead of my appointment to get my house cleaned. If you have a cleaning service you’ll know what I mean; you don’t leave your valuables and dirty Kleenex laying around. Ditto on the clean clothes still hanging around in the laundry room.

Like the autistic savant boy in the book I’m reading, we all have our ways of coping when the world around us seems to be spinning out of control. I sleep. Then I write, hoping solutions to issues and stresses rolling around inside my head will reveal themselves in my stream of consciousness. With problems like tech issues with my Fitbit syncs quitting as did the On-Demand function on my bedroom TV---they all get put on the back burner until I have the time and patience it takes to call Tech Hell to straighten them out. In other words I prioritize and if I had ice cream in the house eating it would be at the top of the list.

On cdc.gov they have tips for coping with stress and number one on the list is to “eat healthy, well-balanced meals.” When I couldn’t find ice cream in the freezer, I scored a T-bone steak instead. Not exactly healthy but I balanced it with broccoli and called it close enough. Number two on the list is to “exercise on a regular basis.” Oh, please! I’ve been working on that one my entire life and I’m not there yet. Recently I did add 140 steps---done in a figure eight around my three stall garage---every time I let Levi out the back door. No kidding, that adds nearly 1,000 steps to my day. The third thing on the coping-with-stress list is to get enough sleep. Well, duh, when I find myself napping in the middle of the day I think, “Damn, the devil’s darkness got me again.” It’s how I know when I’ve reached my limit; it’s my version of putting my hands over my ears and counting numbers in my head.

Other tips listed at cdc.gov were: Give yourself a break and the article actually said, “Take a break from listening to news stories” (give me another week and I’ll do just that); talk to someone, share your problems (I don’t talk, I write); avoid drugs and alcohol (thankfully ice cream isn’t classified as a drug); and recognize when you need help from a professional. Who needs a professional when you’re part of a blog community that can join in singing a few lines from Bob Marley’s Three little Birds: “Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing is gonna be alright.” And if that doesn’t help turn down my stress level there’s always the humane society. ©

Three Little Birds

24 comments:

  1. "Its always darkest before the dawn".

    "This too shall pass."

    "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."

    “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” [Your blog is a bright spot in my week.]

    "...and to dust thou shalt return"

    The above are my personal pillars. ~ Libby

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    1. I can remember my mom saying, "It's always darkest before the dawn." Haven't thought of that in years. Thank you for that memory!

      These are all good "pillars" to hold ourselves up when we need it.

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  2. In reality, it's also always darkest before the storm.
    I don't mean to be negative, but how can you not be stressed, angry and scared. This past weekend did me in with that FBI/email crap. There is a strong possibility that he might win the election...how can we not be in despair?
    Most people that I have spoken to are in a similar state. One of the hardest things is feeling so powerless.
    I attended a wonderful faculty concert last night...piano, violin and cello...Beethoven and Brahms. I am so grateful for living close to a music school. I'm glad that you have more activities this week...we really have to hold our breath until next Tuesday.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. That "FBI/email crap" is what did me in, too! It's been an election full of stress and I fear no one will be happy after the election is over either.

      Living close to a music school sure does enrich your life. I'm so happy you have that.

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  3. Being basically housebound, your schedule of comings and goings would have me nuts. That's just me. It sounds like you are having a bad case of 'Overlap Overload.' I used to go there, and I feel for you. I am not looking at or listening to the election fol-de-rol, I quit a couple of weeks ago and can't go there.
    Ice cream and steaks are good therapy, IMHO.
    Remember that old Doris Day song - the one that says "whatever will be, will be" it dances through my head every so often ...

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    1. This is a good post for cliche's, isn't it. I haven't thought Doris Day's song in years. LOL

      My October is always in overload getting the house and yard ready for winter and all my biannual appointments out of the way. The election threw in so much extra tension but steak and ice cream therapy, does help.

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  4. I enjoyed this post a lot. Perhaps because I can so identify with it. This week I deleted pollsters from what I'm reading. Supposedly they report the race narrowing to encourage people to vote and to give the cable networks hype to report. I can't take it anymore. After the election I'd like to ban political news from my life for the next four years but haven't found a way to do that. It's like dust, no idea where it comes from but it gets in and before I know it I'm absorbed in it again.

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    1. Every time I cut back on political news it only lasts for a while before something else sucks me back in again.

      I know where dust comes from, though. Your furnace ducts. After mine were cleaned I could go six weeks without seeing any in the house, but now (four years later) I'm down to every four weeks. It's one of the reasons why I have my basement vacuumed out from time to time as well. Next summer if nothing else eats up my maintenance budget I'll have my ducts done again.

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  5. Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Call me Pollyanna, but I stopped watching the news when Mr. Ralph died. I keep hoping someone will come up with a Good News Network. Contributors to news channels are no longer "reporting" merely stirring up a riot.

    Overlap Overload! That's a great name for the malady!!

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    1. I don't understand why there isn't a Good News Network for TV. There sure would be a lot of support for something like that. There is a Good News Network app for your phone and computer, though, at: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/news/usa/

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  6. Dear Heart--you have stayed too involved in this political crap for too long, this time. Just as I did, until I realized it was changing my entire mood and making me speak in a rather clipped, angry voice. I tuned it out 6 weeks ago. I wish there was a Truth News Network. Que sara, sara. It doesn't matter which one of the Devious Duo wins. I will wake up the next morning and say, "God help us all."

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    1. It's been like a train wreck I don't want to watch but I can't take my eyes off it. Good for you for finding a way to cope that works for you. I can't wait until next week!

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  7. I'm sorry you're going through a tough time, Jean. Like you, I'm following the election closely. I recently retired and was looking forward to getting to see more of the speechs and commentary. But some of it really is upsetting. On the other hand, I got to see President Obama's speech in NC yesterday. He was outstanding.

    It's good you can turn the world out and take a long nap. Another good thing about retirement.

    While you may over book yourself sometimes, it sounds like getting out is important to your well-being. I hope your lunch date goes well.

    Peggy

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    1. I saw the president's speech on TV. I can image it was exciting to see it in person. He and his wife know how to energize a crowd. They are so genuine and it comes through.

      The lunch is in a couple of hours in one of my favorite tourist town, so I'm looking forward to this afternoon. Thank you!

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  8. OK, Jean...What's REALLY going on? Love the way you spill the beans. I've rolled my eyes so many times with the shenanigans in this election. Trump is a one-man wrecking crew, IMHO. But wait! My best friend's son is an architect and site manager for Ivanka Trump's home remodel in Trump Towers. Via the grapevine: Ivanka is very nice, he is concerned about payment for his work, he is hoping for a permanent architecture gig with Trump, he believes Hilary is a criminal, he is voting for Trump.

    eyeroll

    Here's a tip I was given, to ride out our up and down feelings. 'Learn to Ride the Wild Horse'. http://www.helpguide.org/emotional-intelligence-toolkit/step-four.htm

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    1. Your friend's son should hold his opinion until he gets paid. Did he say if Ivanka gold plates her entire universe, too. LOL

      What is really going on is just what I wrote about. I've always been a political junkie but this is the first election that has ever scared the crap out of me. Plus my Octobers and always busy getting my house, yard, car and body ready for winter and I don't like passing up some of the day trips at the senior hall that won't come around again thus I get over scheduled.

      Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

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    2. So relate to your feelings, Jean, and those of the people commenting. I'm a 3 yr widow, and until husband's death managed stress pretty well, high pressure job, etc. Now anxiety hits me hard, and this election (Trump) is a real trigger. I, too, want it to be over, but worry about the aftermath/damage done to our democracy. Oh well - time for a nap! The great escape.

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    3. The aftermath and damage done to our democracy is a real issue, isn't it. Hopefully, there are some bright minds out there who will know how to restore things...if that is even possible. Thanks for weighing in!

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  9. Have you ever seen this video of "Three Little Bird"? I found it a few years ago, and it's still a favorite. My favorite scene has to be the little girl on her pretend journey in the car, although the split-screen hula's pretty good, too.

    A friend dealt with her sense of being over-scheduled by renaming it "event clutter." Then, she set out decluttering, getting rid of this and that commitment just like she had vintage, unused handbags and all those "good" boxes that had filled up her closet. I thought it was pretty creative.

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  10. When I was looking for a video to end this blog with I couldn't decide between the one you shared and the one I ended up choosing. I don't like the title of that song but I love the lyrics themselves.

    "Event clutter" is creative. In the case of my October, the only things I could have purged were the fun things and I wasn't willing to do that. Though I did miss three Red Hat Society events including a big party. With winter coming and my need to stay off the roads in the ice and snow, there are by-annual things that have to be done. Starting Monday my life will slow down. Thank goodness!

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  11. I loved the video; I often retreat into the natural world for comfort in stressful times -- well, that and ice cream. I respond to stress with food cravings, especially for high fat foods and chocolate. One night this week, while I was watching the news, I found myself going to the freezer and getting out a carton of chocolate/peanut butter ice cream. I didn't even bother to put it in a dish, just sat down with the carton and a spoon! Thank goodness the election will be over in a few days and we can all get on with living. -Jean

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    1. Ice cream and the news seem to go together a lot lately. I'm glad I'm in such good company when I pair the two. :)

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  12. I'm sorry you're feeling stressed. I'm the opposite about sleep. I wake in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep when I'm stressed. I'm a strong believer in turning off the news, but it's hard to do during this crazy season. Something new everyday.

    I got a pneumonia shot this year. I hope it works for me. I don't want that again.

    I love Halloween and this time of year in general, but we only had five kids. Four of them were in one group so our doorbell only rang twice. Last year, we had more than I expected so I bought a lot of candy. I don't know how I will get rid of it. :( I'll give some to the grands this weekend, but that will barely put a dent in it. I'll save some for their stockings, I guess.

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    1. I have my share of sleepless nights, too, but usually that's from smaller, more personal worries than things like world peace. LOL

      I decided next year I'm only going to hand out candy for the first hour then I'm shutting off my light. Most of the kids who came the second hour were teenagers and many were bigger than me. Masked big people with no costumes and a pillow case in their hands scare me.

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