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, February 25, 2017

Crap, Damn it and Tears!




Can you believe it? I got booted out of the ‘move it to lose it’ class! When I signed in for my first full session with the others in the class a supervisor pulled me aside while Julie, the class trainer, took the others upstairs. Boss Lady said that Julie is concerned that “I won’t be successful” and to get my “money’s worth at the YMCA” she feels I need to start at a lower intensity workout to “reach my personal goals.” Crap! I came very close to crying right there in front of Boss Lady. “It’s your choice” she went on, “but we feel with your prosthetic knees that a personal trainer is a better way go.” Bottom line: For the $150 fee I paid, they’re setting me up with eight half-hour one-on-one training sessions with Julie and she’ll give me homework to do on my own plus I’m to take two, free drop-in classes a week for a lower intensity work out than the paid class I signed up for. In reality, I’m probably getting a better value for my money but still, I hate rejection! They’ve got two dozen drop-in classes---none with a cool name like ‘move it to lose it’---but only seven are recommended for me “at this point in time.” Translation: I’m a wimpy old lady! 

Boss Lady then took me to the strength training circuit room where earlier in the week I got the initial evaluation that I thought I did great on but I apparently flunked it. She designed a program for me to do on the machines, wrote down all the settings I’m to use on each of ten machines. After doing the full program we parted and I hopped on the treadmill. In the future I can take the training sheet of notes out of a filing cabinet and do the program on my own anytime I want. Honesty, I was very upset at getting kicked out of the class but I’m also stubborn and if someone tells me I can’t do something I work all the harder to prove them wrong. Julie better be prepared to be amazed. If you saw the Princess Bride you’ll understand the tone I’m using here on Julie. “My name is Inigo Montaya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”

After I left the Y I came home for a quick shower and off I went again. This time to a lecture on the vintage architecture in our city’s downtown. Over the years, I couldn’t get enough of lectures and tours on architecture but for some reason this one did me in---maybe it was the over-heated room or the fact that I’d gotten up before the sun or that I hadn’t had breakfast or lunch yet. Whatever the reason I was glad when it was over and I was one of the first people to leave the parking lot. I drove to a nearby restaurant and ordered a plate smothered with scrambled eggs, bacon and an English muffin with orange marmalade. Damn it, don’t judge me, I was hungry! If I had wanted to feed the rejected little girl inside me, I would have gone to Culver’s for ice cream. (Not that I didn't think about it.)

I drove home on autopilot, my thoughts as scrambled as the eggs I’d just eaten but when pulled into the garage and turned off the motor, the radio was still playing a Willie Nelson song. My husband was a huge Willie Nelson fan and the song was one of his favorites.

“I guess I never told you
I am so happy that you're mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind.”

At first, silent tears rolled down my cheeks. I miss him! I miss having someone in my life who could have hugged me when I got rejected by a stupid exercise class, who cares when my feelings and pride get hurt. By the time the song was finished I was sobbing loudly and I could hear the dog barking on the other side of the door between the house and the garage. I want to believe he was barking in sympathy, but he probably just wanted the Milk-Bone treat I always give him when I get home and I was taking too long to get inside. Ya, he cares but he's a demanding little bugger. “You were always on my mind,” I guess those words reminded me that my past and future are only separated by a thin, window of fragile feelings. ©

34 comments:

  1. What a bummer! But, as you said, the Y is looking out for your best interest and I am sure that with your grit/determination, you will achieve your fitness goals

    In your situation - and haven't we all been there, and longed for the comfort of our beloved - I hug myself tightly, and remind me of the positives in my life; that I love and respect "me" unconditionally; and that "I *will* survive".

    Now that you've vented, I'm sure you're feeling a bit better. Exercise is great for giving an uplift, so keep at it. Any time not sitting on a couch is time well spent. ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Libby. I always do feel better after I've vented in my blog. I still feel like a lost a week of getting started but it is what it is.

      Delete
  2. Oh, that hurt! I'm so sorry. The class change is probably going to be better for you, but I fully understand how you felt. (The very nerve of that woman, to tell you that! Sniff!) I've been given the 'weak old lady' treatment, and it bites. Sometimes 'feeding the pain' helps, I would have gone for a little less, but that's just me.
    The frosting on the cake would have had me crying too. When I read that, I was crying too. Sending Cyber hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did hurt. I looked up the listing in their catalog to see if there were any restitution or prerequisites listed and all it said was "Experience total transformation through fitness and nutrition geared towards fitness goals that include losing 15 pounds or more." In hindsight I think the others in the class had been together quite a long time and were all working at the same pace and the trainer didn't want someone there who couldn't keep up thus the evaluation.

      Thanks for the cyber hugs and sympathy cry. That's true cyber sisterhood.

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry they didn't see your potential, and no wonder you didn't feel so great during the tour. You're amazing. I'd be exhausted after working out, no breakfast or lunch and then a tour. It sounds like you are going to get a better value for your money with one-on-one sessions, but it's a whammy to find that out the day you're all primed to get started.

    I love Willie. Music - more than almost anything - can revive feelings that have been resting.

    "... my past and future are only separated by a thin, window of fragile feelings." You beautifully express what so many feel.

    I hope that barking Levi was extra nice to you. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The supervisor said she had meant to call me before the class was schedule to tell me all that, but she got side-tracked. It would have been easier to take then because I was excited to get started and it was hard to process that I wasn't going to be allowed into the class. They should have told me after the evaluation.

      That barking Levi is always nice as long as he gets his mini Milk Bones.

      Delete
    2. I meant lecture not tour. Oops!

      Delete
  4. I hate that damn song--always makes me cry, but not for the same reason as you. It has to do with the day of my divorce and what my ex had to say. Anyway, I think I probably would have just asked for my money back and dejectedly left. Probably that early part of the day and a drop in your blood sugar made the tears come easier? I still think it is weird that you and I were crying at the same time that day. Right now, I don't know why, but very nostalgic and weepy and missing Fred something awful. "It's been 5+ years!!!! Get a grip!!!", that's what I've been yelling at myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt ambushed by the supervisor and wasn't really thinking about the money at the time. I usually get very quick with my tongue when my blood sugar is low and I wasn't with her. Still, when I went home for a shower I had planned to drink a Slim-Fast on the way to the lecture but I forgot which probably did contribute to my feelings later.

      I agree, it really is spooky that we were both crying at the same time, on the same day. Especially since our husbands died in the same time frame. But I do wonder if it was weather related. Michigan's weather has been doing crazy things.

      Delete
    2. Yes--the weather does affect me in positive and negative ways--as will the dang upcoming time change!!!

      Delete
  5. I love you. I just do. Your honesty, humor, insight, introspection...I'm moving to Michigan! :) Seriously, thank you for this post. As usual, I can relate so much to those feeling of judgement and rejection. (I got kicked out of an 8th grade algebra class and was "demoted" to General Math, and I can still feel the shame and embarrassment 50+ years later...). I'd have gone straight to the ice cream shop, absolutely!

    It can't compare to Don's but sending a virtual hug....and encouragement to get out there and kick some ass in your workouts at the Y!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love you back! You inspire me with your social activism and dedication to keeping healthy and because you always know the right things to say to make me feel better.

      Delete
  6. I don't understand why Julie who tested and got to know you didn't tell you she was concerned about your knees. And, as bad, her boss was side tracked and didn't get to you until the 1st class?! Is there another nearby facility? That y is unprofessional and insensitive. I'm sorry you had that experience

    Peggy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Julie should have told me on the spot but maybe she needed her boss's permission to switch the money I paid over to a new program>? That's the only thing I can think of. Then the supervisor not calling me thus me finding out seconds before the class began really did throw me. I was so excited so I feel farther.

      We have 5 YMCAs in town but this one is minutes from my house. I could practically walk it if there were sidewalks. I'll move past it and start over but it's not the same in terms of my enthusiasm.

      Delete
  7. Oh dear, no one likes rejection. The bummer I see in this is letting you come in for the first class before telling you. That was very not good. I admire your spunk. I probably would have just slithered off under a rock and licked my wounds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya, that was the bad part. I did lick my wounds and am ready to start anew on Monday.

      Delete
  8. Hi Jean :

    I just want to send you cyber hugs & you were so lucky to have that kind of love in your life. I am still working on loving & accepting all people 100% who are by my side in this life's journey. I guess I still need to grow up & stop wishing things different than what they are.


    Asha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Asha. I'll take hugs any way I can get them.

      Don't forget, when you compare a widow talking or writing about her spouse to a woman talking or writing about a husband who is still at her side, it's going to be different. Widow's tend to overlook the flaws and foibles that might have annoyed them when their husband was alive. In other words, 100% acceptable in death might have only been 90 or 95% when the guy was alive. Don wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for me.

      Delete
  9. Your post really hit home today....the song and tears. I often, after 3+ years, feel I'm doing quite well...busy with all kinds of things I enjoy and a few friends. But I know for certain that all the missing and longing for my husband is right underneath the surface and it occasionally bursts out. I love your line about a thin window of fragile feelings. It is perfect! I don't think the longing for a shared life that can never be again ever goes away. We simply keep it at bay.
    My only exercise is walking and that's all I need. But I'm active in my garden too. BTW! Your blog is one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! When other widows find value in my blog it makes me feel good. And I agree with your last two sentences in the first paragraph.

      Delete
  10. Now I am crying. I think the Y needs a letter (or even an email) about the embarrassment they caused you. Side tracked? What the heck IS her job!!?? OUCH. We get all pumped and motivated and to be slapped down? I think that does SOOO deserve Culvers.

    That particular song is a tear jerker. So I had to shed a tear for that as well.

    I am going to start my fitness at the "chair" level, just for stability. Although the right knee that has not been replaced is being devilishly painful. Good golly. Some days we just can't win.

    So glad you have Levi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Y has the 'fitness in a chair' classes, too. I hope I don't get demoted down to those. LOL Any idea when you're going to have that second knee replaced? I made the mistake of waiting too long between mine and that damages your back because your gait has changed with one good knee and one bad.

      Julie did call me after her boss talked to me in person. She knows I was upset and they both have apologized. I'm letting it all go and starting new on Monday. I've got my eating 100% under control and letting this fester in my head longer could set me back.

      Between you, me and Judy we call cry over that song but for different reasons. Interesting!

      Delete
  11. "Into each life a little rain must fall...." -- Hey! Don't throw that at me for only offering a tired old platitude. I know you want sympathy -- so ..... sorry! -- times up -- you got all that from those who commented before me and even some hugs ..... now get yourself up and go feed the dog, empty the clothes drier, or something.

    Yeah, I agree they handled the situation poorly and I would have felt like you did. Glad you'll be able to make the most of the situation and hope the workout you're having proves to be really beneficial. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL Like the platitude my mom used to say, "If that's the worst thing in life you have to complain about you're doing pretty good." And that other old favorite, "Tomorrow is another day." Yup, I'm moving on.

      Delete
  12. Well, from my perspective, you got a heck of a deal out of it. The going rate for a half-hour with a personal trainer around here is $75-$85, which means that package alone is worth about $600. Not only that, they were concerned enough to devise a new program for you that no doubt will get you where you want to go without unnecessary problems.

    Of course, I would have been disappointed, too. It's hard to look forward to something, and then lose it before it's even begun. Still, maybe this way you'll be the best in the class, instead of the one trying to catch up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That cracked me up...the best in a class of one. But I know you're right about it being a great deal. Even though I'm the type who'd rather hide in the back of classes, a half hour at a wack isn't long to be the center of attention.

      Delete
  13. I'm not good at dealing with rejection, either; and I would have preferred the news over the phone so that I could process it before I got there and had to put on a brave face. I'm not good at feeling bad for long, though, and think I would have worked my way around to the realization that this was a deal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, it's a new day and a new week and I'm back in fighting for a better body mode.

      Delete
  14. Sending you big warm hugs (((hugs)))
    They be internet hugs but they come from warmth and comfort my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Sending and receiving internet hugs do make a difference, makes us feel understood, I think.

      Delete
  15. Another cyber hug here. It hurts when we're singled out. I'm glad they had the consideration to mend the breach. Were you the oldest in the class? Or the only one with white hair? Maybe you can get the low down on how hard the class is or isn't if you hang around the locker room afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got a chance to watch them work out today while I was on a treadmill. They're all in their late 30s or maybe early 40s I'm guessing. But more importantly, I wouldn't have been able to do all the floor work they do---push ups, etc. It's a hard class that is misnamed in my opinion. I had a session with Julie today and I think we're going work well one-on-one, that she won't just easy on me because of my age but wants to see me improve my strength and agility. Already I can feel the difference after only 5 sessions---two with trainers and three on my own. And I've lost all the weight I gained since last fall. This place is HUGE! In the center are three basketball courts, and there's a jogging track that overlooks them. I'll write about it in a few weeks, when I know my way around better.

      Delete
  16. That is impressive improvement! incentivises me to join the Y again! ~ Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go for it Libby! I was feeling really down on myself and I feel so much better knowing I'm back in control.

      Delete