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, October 19, 2013

The Road to Self-Discovery

At the hair salon on Monday while I was getting low lights put in my hair the girl accidentally splashed the chemical in my eye. That was fun, being led to the bathroom to get another solution and water put in my eye. Aside from worrying that I’d never see again and I was freaked out over the possibility that it would turn the white of my eye brown to match the iris. That would give me a scary effect just in time for Halloween. People would stare at me and maybe ask questions and I’d have to figure out some goofy answers since the truth is so boring. But I can see again and they tell me I still have the white in my eye. How would I know, I can’t see without my glasses on to know the difference.

Tuesday I went to the Gadget Petting Zoo at the senior hall. They sponsor these-hands-on events quite often but this is the first time I’ve gone to one. I wanted to find out how to borrow books on my Kindle and to play with the tablets and smart phones. A woman I’ve wanted to make friends since I started going to the senior hall sat next me and we struck up a conversation, and we discovered that we both love working on genealogy. When we parted she asked for my phone number so we exchanged calling cards. The funny part is when we first started talking she said, “Where do I know you from?” and I thought, Well, don’t I make a big impression on people with my fly-on-the-wall persona. To be fair to myself she’s nearly a decade older than me so maybe her not remembering me from the many times we’ve been at the same events is more about her memory loss than about me.

My second hearing test, a dentist appointment and a Red Hat Society tea were mid-week. The hearing test was with my husband’s audiologist and it came up with the same results as the first test I had last week…that I do have hearing loss in the upper ranges but that’s where the similarities in the tests ended. He (the guy who gave me the free test at a chain hearing aid place) was high pressure, she was no pressure. He wanted me to order on the spot---which I didn’t do---she told me to go home and think about it for a few days. He left two whinny messages on my answering machine wondering why I wasn’t ordering. I ordered with my husband’s audiologist and I guess I should start calling her my audiologist. Punch another hole in my Old People’s membership card. I’ve crossed another line, found another benchmark.

At the Red Hats tea we were introduced to two new members and I’m elated about that. Everyone else in the group has known each other for ages so now I’m not the only newbie learning the groups’ dynamics. One of them caught herself half way through a swear word a couple of times. That will be fun for comic relief. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened to me. I check myself in polite society but I’ve been known to throw in a colorful expletive when no one but the dog can hear me.

Friday I went to see to see Gravity with my Movie and Lunch club. All the reviews I’ve read said this Sandra Bullock and George Clooney IMAX 3D film is a nail biter and now I know exactly what they mean. Wow, was it intense! It was totally believable, had awesome cinematography and I loved every minute of it! If it doesn’t win a bunch of awards this year I’ll be shocked.

To round out the week my Red Hat chapter had a birthday party luncheon and I came home exhausted and feeling like I was back in the work force from all the running around I did this week. I’m so glad Sunday will be a day of rest.

Next week will be the end of my grand experiment, the master plan that I’ve been living these past two months in an effort to find friends and a social life in my widowhood. But I already know the results. What I learned about myself and widows starting over is this: 1) I learned that it can be done. If you apply yourself to a solid plan you can find a social life again. I can’t say I’ve found those few close friends yet that I've been seeking, but by design I’ve built a real foundation for finding them and I did it in a very short time. 2) I discovered that I don’t enjoy being as busy as I’ve been during my grand experiment. I’ve always been a bit of a loner and I’ve missed my alone time---my reading, writing and day-dreaming time. But on the other hand without social events in my life my creativity side has nothing to feed on which leads me to the third thing I’ve learned: Phase two of my master plan needs to set the goal of finding a balance that works for me. ©


  1. It is all good that you are finding these things out for yourself. Them you can become involved in what you want or not. The loner in me is still resistant!

  2. I had a long and pleasant talk with a widow---3 years out---at Red Hats and she said that she went on a similar quest to built a social life last year. And she ended up bonding with another widow and now they do everything together. I joked back that's what I'm looking for, one good friend so we can be each others trips to cataract surgery and trips to get colonoscopy exams. She got a good laugh out of that and said that was one of her biggest concerns, too. You already have that between your friend Pear and your daughter so I can see why you like being a longer. Nothing wrong with that.

  3. I wish you could have heard my gasp when I read that first line about the chemical splashing in your eye. How scary.

    I'm glad you're seeing some results from all your efforts. You've put yourself out there and I'm sure you will find a good buddy soon. We all need that. We're visiting old friends that no longer live near us, and it has made me realize how much I miss her. Husbands are great but a gal needs girlfriends.

  4. Thanks Bella, I had a good friend who also moved across the country. We keep contact through email but it's not the same as being in the same town.

    I'm still amazed that the chemical splash didn't do more damage to my eye. It was scratchy for a few days but that was all. Hurt like heck when it first happened though.

  5. Oh gosh. This just reinforces the fact that I am going to have to put in a lot of EFFORT for a couple of months if I want the same good results. I'm just so LAZY about making myself get out and do things. It is exhausting. But I guess we can sleep when we get old!

  6. I have another installment coming about my refection on my experiment. AW. With a slightly different twist.