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 28, 2018

Sleeping, Shopping and Earrings


Ohmygod, it’s two in the afternoon and I’m still not dressed. That’s not to say I haven’t been doing anything. Since I got up at 10:30 I’ve made coffee and toast, cruised all over the internet, gave the dog fresh water and opened the doors so he could go outside to his yard. Don’t shake the finger of shame at me for sleeping so late; that’s nowhere near the time I usually wake up which is usually around 7:00. According to my Fitbit tracker I average about 5 ½ hours of sleep. Average. Sometimes my restless sleep phrase is so long that I’ll only get two hours of deep sleep. The only time I get more is when I’m under the influence of a sleeping pill like I was this morning. I love Ambien but I limit myself to only taking 3-4 a month, around the full moon. 

I’m not a good sleeper. I do everything wrong starting with having a television in the bedroom but I tell myself that’s okay because I put a sleep mask on when I go to bed around midnight---so the flicking lights don’t do whatever they reportedly do to our sleep cycles. I’ve tried soft music but music sets off too many memories and emotions. I’ve also tried a sound machine to no avail. I’m usually in bed about an hour before I feel that tipping point coming on then I’ll use the remote to turn off the TV. If I time it too early, the minute it gets quiet all kinds of thoughts come rushing into my head instead of sleep and I can’t make them go away until 3-ish. It also doesn’t help that I get up every two hours to pee and the funny thing is when I take a sleeping pill I don’t wake up for 7 hours and I don’t wet the bed so what’s up with that strange phenomenon? And dreams! I dream a lot and I like my dreams. Many times when I get up to pee I’ll try to will myself to pick up a dream where it left it off but I have no idea if that actually works. 

And I’m pretty sure I snore because the dog will get up half way through the night and moves to the living room. They say you shouldn’t sleep with a pet but Levi is not the cuddly type. He sleeps as far away from me as he can get and still be on the bed, afraid I’ll give him cooties if we touch. I used to have a dog who would burrow under the covers and sleep between my feet. Back in those days I slept great but if I were to go to a sleep specialist I'd probably lie about Levi being in the bedroom. He has a solemn duty to be there because he’s a certified rapist-is-coming-in alarm. I’ve got an excuse for every ‘good sleep’ rule that I break. 

Change of topic: I’ve been on a major and out of character shopping binge. I’m used to buying my own Christmas presents, ever since my husband’s stroke back in 2000 but usually it’s just one or two items, but the recently acquired e-Bay money in my account was crying to get out. I gave part of it away to charities---earlier and bigger donations that I usual do for the holidays. But the remaining money was still calling out for some serious online shopping. Nothing extravagant except for the Black Friday special $199 DNA kits comb from 23 & Me. I also bought a Christmas sweater from Land’s End---my first ever holiday sweater---and two pairs of sweat pants. The sweats I’m wearing sprung holes in the left knee. Still can’t figure that one out. Why just one knee on three old pairs? I never kneel. Also got a box each of imported candies and imported cookies to have on hand in case anyone stops by, not to be eaten be me until New Year’s Day if no comes over. I rounded off my shopping binge with a package of underpants, Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, a flannel shirt and a nightgown from L.L. Bean and a pair of earrings, the first pair I’ve bought since Levi was a pup back in 2008.The best part of my shopping spree is with PayPal, I won't get any bills, it was like shopping with cash.

At one time I owned over 225 pairs of earrings. I craved earrings in the ‘60s and I bought a new pair every couple of weeks. They were to me like Jimmy Choo high heels are to Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, the thing that made me feel feminine and ready to go out man-shopping. Two years ago I downsized my earrings to 75 pairs---sold all my ‘60s era dangling, drops and hoop earrings at the local auction house for a whopping twenty-four bucks. Some vintage clothing store owner probably had a field day sorting and marking them for resale. I sold them because I was earlobe obsessed---still am for that matter. I really HATE old people earlobes, the long droopy lobes and I was sure all those earrings could contribute to me someday looking like a Basset hound. I quit wearing them when I got my Social Security card.

But now all I can think about is finding some posts with drops or dangles. Why? Because I’ve discovered those stabilizers thingies that you put on the back of your ears that keep heavy earrings from pulling down your lobes, and they even keep your studs from pointing downward like nipples on an eighty year old. Before I got the stabilizers wearing any studs would make one earlobe look young and perky and one look old and droopy. The moral of this story is that the minute you sell or give anything away, you want it back. Well, maybe not “the minute” you let go but the point is those old earrings didn't take up much room, I should have kept them. And if that's the biggest regret I can come up with today, I'm one lucky lady. ©
the backer to support heavy earrings
 

27 comments:

  1. I donated all 50 pairs of my earrings to the Vets. I don't wear jewelry--even my wedding rings, and I'm still married! I find it all irritating and fussy.

    My neurologist is also a sleep specialist. He has me wearing sunglasses indoors starting at 8PM to help me with my sleep cycle. It really does help. I also stay off phone/computer/tablet screens starting at 9PM. Maybe the strategies will help you.

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    1. I've never worn necklaces, rings or bracelets as I find them annoying. When we'd go to something special I'd put on my wedding ring. A lot of my peers wear it all so I'd like to get back into wearing colorful earrings at least. I feel under dressed when we go out.

      I've never heard of wearing sunglasses to help with sleep. Interesting! I knew about staying off things with screens but I'm weak and I can't stay away from the computer more than a few days.

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  2. Boy this was packed full of information today.
    225 pairs of earrings? Wow!! I have like 8 pairs. I don't often wear anything besides a pair of studs. Funny after I cut off my hair I feel funny wearing big earings now. So much attention. Eeek.

    I just read that a woman sleeping with a dog is better than sleeping with a human. It was even on the Today show. Izzy sleeps in our room, not our bed. But half way through the night she will find her way to the living room as well. Maybe they are meeting up :-)
    Love the flannel.
    And under the heading of TMI, the same thing happens here with the get up in the middle of the night but if taking a sleeping pill I don't get up. We are weird Jean.

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    1. I've always found it easier to relax with a dog in the bedroom, even on the bed. They are an early warning system for a lot of things. Levi's the biggest dog I've ever had as an adult so they don't take up much room in my case.

      I have a lot of earrings but I rarely wear them. I don't have the finger dexterity to put them on some days so I won't be building my collection back up to its former glory. I just want one very colorful pair of dangles that goes with a lot of different things. The pair I did by were red bows to go with my Christmas sweater.

      I'm going to a sleep lecture in January. The fact that you also experience the same thing with taking a sleeping pill vs not, gives me courage to ask the lecturer why that is. I hate unanswered questions. LOL

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  3. What are these stabilizers of which you speak? I also dread old lady droopy earlobes (it's starting already!!!) so I only wear the lightest earrings in hopes of delaying the inevitable.
    Loved your idea of a spending binge...we are alike in that respect!
    Sorry to hear you don't sleep so well. I read on Facebook (so it has to be true, right?) that women sleep better when sleeping with their dog. The picture showed a woman snuggled right up against her dog though, so there's that. Maybe show that picture to Levi?

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    1. Go to Amazon and search "earring backs for droopy ears" and you will find dozens of styles and prices. I opted to the clear plastic nylon discs by Jewelry Supply, $5.95. They work great for me. I'll posted a photo at the end of my blog above.

      Levi needs a whole photo album on how dogs are suppose to cuddle up with humans. LOL

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  4. Hum, they have earring stabilizers?? I really need something like that. I have the droopy look with studs. Heading for Google right now in search of some. Thanks.

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    1. Check out the reply I made to The Widow Badass up above and the photo I added at the end of this blog after you came here.

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  5. My wife read your blog with me today. She got a kick out of many of the things that you said. I really don't think about about 80 year old nipples. Yuck! LOL Mary Lou uses one of those Fidbit thingys. She told me that she sleeps much better since we bought our new bed mattress, the one that can move up in the front and back. We went to the Mall today and I bought her Christmas gift and I bought 4 movies, " Book Club " and three action movies for me. Well I guess I;m done for now until Saturday. See you Jean.

    Cruisin Paul

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    1. I think I need a new mattress. Mine is not old but it's very hard. My problem is I can't decide on what size to buy. I've gotten used to having a twin---husband had to have one for his disability---but the room would look better with a full size. If I go to a twin and get rid of the two we have, there would be no place for Levi.

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    2. Buy a small mattress for Levi. I'm sure he would love that. Just make sure the pillow is soft for him. See ya my friend.

      Cruisin paul

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    3. He's got dog mattresses all over the house. He won't use them.

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  6. Why not take Ambien every day? It’s a great habit to get 8+ hours of sleep. Who cares if you become “addicted” .... ???

    I have about five pair of earrings that I wear most frequently. Esp with short hair. Otherwise I feel like a man! I use those backs as they make it easier to put on earrings!! And to find if I drop one.

    I need a Christmas vest and a scarf!

    Stay home shopping sprees are the best!!

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    1. My doctor doesn't think Ambien is a good drug for seniors. He has me using 9 mg of over the counter Melatonin (above the recommended dose by 3). It does help but too often I'll fall asleep fast but will wake right back up in an hour. The best part of the Melatonin is I can take an Ambien with it if it doesn't the trick.

      I haven't done a shopping in ages.

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    2. They found a correlation between Ambien and similar drugs and dementia. I quit using Tylenol PM, too. I went to a lecture about sleep hygiene about a year ago. The room was packed---lots of people have sleep issues, it seems.

      Sheila

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    3. That's a scary thought, Sheila! No wonder my doctor doesn't want me taking Ambien every night.

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  7. That's a lot of earrings! I have probably 50 pair, but I rarely wear any anymore. I wear very little jewelry. It bugs me.

    I watch TV right up until bedtime. I know that's not good, but it doesn't seem to interfere with my sleep. If I have insomnia though, I try to stay off the phone or kindle in the middle of the night. I've read that's really bad -- that blue light thing which I dont understand. I have a friend who has a blue light filter for his devices....things we never even thought of 10 years ago!

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    1. Kindle has as a night reading setting that turns the page a brownish and it's suppose to not interfere with sleep cycles. I don't like it but I really need to make a effort to adapt to it because I've been known to get up in the middle of the night and grab the Kindle.

      Lots of people have trouble with sleep now that we're all so attached to our devices.

      I have a lot of earrings but I don't wear them much anymore. I'm losing my finger dexterity to put them on and off.

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  8. Now that's the kind of spree I could get into. I love Land's End's clothes -- they hold up pretty well and mine get a lot of use. Weird about your jeans, though.

    The sleep thing is interesting to me. Since I got back from England and "falling back," I have had a wretched time getting full sleep. Normally, no problems sleeping but now, I hit bed at the same time and wake up about every two hours, always going back to sleep easily -- till about 5 or so. And then all bets are off. After trying for about an hour or so I figure I may as well get up. I'm going to try the melatonin. That's a good idea.

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  9. I think I figured out why I'm wearing out the left knees. I cross my legs sometimes and it's always the right leg over the left.

    The sweater was the first thing I've bought from Land's End. The sweater looks to be good quality. I have to do a major closet purging later this winter so I might be buying from them again.

    The trick with Melatonin is to take it the same time every night to reset your internal clock. Having been living in a different time zone I'll bet it will take some time to get you back to your normal sleeping habit. I use the Vitainfusion gummies. They taste good but don't go over the recommended dosage on the bottle of 2 a night without your doctor's consent just because mine tells me 3 are safe for me. You look pretty petite in your pictures and I'm not.

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    1. P.S. Most of the time I just take 2 and reserve the 3rd for if I wake up in an hour. I set that 3rd one on top of the bottle each night so I know for sure if I took it or not. That way I don't accidentally take a 4th in the middle of the night.

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  10. Sounds like a fun shopping spree. Never knew there were special backs for heavy earrings. If I could feel earrings on my ears, I wouldn’t buy them or wear them, so no worry for droopy earlobes now.

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    1. I'm not sure but I think the backers are new in recent years.I started seeing advertising for them and decided to give them a try and was rater surprised that they actually work. But you're not out of the woods for getting droopy earlobes just because you don't wear earrings. Lots of old men get them. LOL

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  11. One of my holes grew back. I went without wearing earrings for too long. That's my regret for the day. I do love the way earrings look. They can dress your up or give you some funk.

    The sweater is cute, A good list, and I'll look forward to hearing about Michelle's book.

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  12. I wish I could bottle whatever it is that I have that lets me go to sleep in 3..2...1.. and stay there until it's time to get up in the morning. If I could bottle it, I could send you some. Then we could start selling it on ebay, and get rich. I never have had trouble sleeping. Friends or family who've traveled with me just shake their heads. We can be in a motel, and they're talking to me, and suddenly realize that I'm sound asleep. I hope I never lose that gift.

    I have precisely four pair of earrings. At one point I might have had a dozen, but the ones I have now I dearly love. I rarely wear any jewelry at all, because of my work. It's too dangerous -- pieces of jewelry that get caught on this or that can damage fingers, and it's awfully easy to catch earrings on some bit of boat and flip them into the water. Of course, once I got out of the habit, I never thought of putting them on at other times. I don't even wear a watch any more. I have one knocking around somewhere, but between the computer clock, the car's clock, and my grandmother clock, I usually end up where I'm supposed to be at the right time.

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    1. I'll bet it's the fresh air and being around the water that makes you go to sleep so quickly. I've only known one person who could do what you do. We truly could make a fortune with a safe sleep aid with no side effects. You do have a gift.

      My husband couldn't wear rings for the same reason you don't. He worked around too many machines. And his watches all had break-away bands---stainless steal that didn't connect at the underside of the wrist. I dare say watches will be a thing of the past in ten years and I'm sitting here with a dozen of those bands. He bought them whenever ever he saw one because they were hard to find and he collected watches. I've been e-Baying watches and putting the original bands back on them first.

      Love the blog you just wrote.

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