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, August 28, 2019

Freaking Out


I’m in the Bermuda Triangle of Emotional Insecurity. What brought that on? Angle A of triangle is our nonsensical president trying to start pissing contests with anyone and everyone who hurts his wee-little feelings, his threatening high tariffs and generally sounding like a demented jackass and stooge for the NRA and his White Nationalist advisor Stephen Miller. I’ve had it up the proverbial eyeballs. I admit it, he pushes my buttons and he’s been pushing them big time with his announcement not to allow people in detention at the border to get flu shots, his bragging about gutting the EPA of 80 regulations that protect our air and water, his gutting of the Endangered Species Act, his wanting to buy countries that aren’t up for sale, his wanting to use atomic bombs to stop hurricanes, his trying to order U.S. companies to do what his own Trump Enterprises isn’t doing. Where is his U.S. factory making sheets, towels and pillows for his hotels or making clothing for his and Ivanka’s clothing lines? 

I was watching the morning news a few days ago when the head mucky-muck from a national retailers association was on and he said people better get their Christmas shopping done between now and next Sunday when Trump’s 30% tariffs are supposed to take effect. That was enough to bring my mother's voice in my head. That fear over shortages she instilled in me during my growing up years sent me straight to my bra drawer looking for a box label for the size and bra style I’ve been meaning to buy. And if that wasn't enough to put me over the edge when I tried to buy my favorite panties at a huge box store I was told they no longer carry the Just My Size brand. "You're kidding!" I said. I was shocked and it's getting too cold to go commando.

Angle B on my Triangle of Emotional Insecurity came from the-son-I-wish-I-had who told me a few days ago that he needs to go in for heart surgery after Labor Day. That hit me hard on two levels, first he’s truly my best friend and I don’t want anything negative to happen to him and his family. He has the same A-Fib condition my husband had that lead to his stroke. But pretend son’s doctor is being more aggressive with his A-Fib and the operation is supposed to correct what is keeping the rhythm from staying in sync. Scary stuff that could end up being successful or causing a stroke on the operating table. Second, on a more selfish level, I don’t know how I’ll get through the next year of my downsizing goals without his help. I don’t have a Plan B for that scenario. I won’t make a Plan B in the near future because I don’t want to jinx anything. And my move got more real this week because the financial company loaning the money for building the complex sent out a questionnaire basically verifying the honesty of the non-profit applying for the loan based on having pre-sold x-number of units. Both parties involved say, “this verification process is a normal requirement for financing construction for projects of this type.”

Angle C of my triangle is coming from within. This past week I've felt like I’m frozen in slow motion, doing very little when I should be taking advantage of the good weather while I can. It took me two days, for example, to unload my floral cabinet in the garage when I should have been able to do it in a half a day tops. The cabinet consists of five, thirty inch shelves. Two of the shelves were filled with seasonal decorations minus Christmas which is still downstairs with plans to downsize those boxes around the holiday. The decorations in the cabinet were easy to pack up for Goodwill but the sixty-something flower vases that took up the other shelves was something else! You’d think with twenty years of experience in the floral industry deciding what to keep and what to pack up would be easy-peasy, but it was agonizing!

I went into this project thinking I’d keep just six vases but after two days of dragging my feet and cleaning the easily discarded vases to make them sparkle---one batch for Goodwill and another for the auction house---I ended with one full shelf of vases left and a promise to myself that I’ll pay close attention to what I actually use---I buy fresh flowers often---and downsize them again this time next year. Maybe then my mom won’t be sitting on one shoulder and Trump on the other making me feel like I’ll never be able to replace a favorite shaped vase if I make a mistake. Then again, what does it matter? What does any of it matter because the way our president is acting the world as we know it is literally being destroyed. How can I worry about silly things like arranging flowers when Trump is busy humping his ego at our expense? What is the point of caring about anything when the legacy we are leaving for the next generation is so dark and depressing? I told you I was in a bad, Bermuda Triangle of Emotional Insecurity. 

I should have known I was due for a major freak out. This whole summer I’ve backed off from watching TV. I’ve purposely gone weeks without seeing more than a half to an hour of national news a day when I’m used to seeing far more. I’ve done this before so I wasn’t concerned, knowing I’d tune back in the world around me at some point, renewed and strengthen by the break. I don’t want to become a person who tunes out permanently, who doesn't join the fight for what is right, but when I realized that my media blackout went hand-on-hand with me stopping all donations to causes I care about, it shook me! I’ve let the envelopes stack up and the higher they got the madder I got at the costs of swimming against the current that Trump is causing. Everything he does is turned into a request for money from the Southern Law Poverty Center to the Save the Honey Bees and all the do-good organizations and 2020 candidates in between. And granted they need it, but we need another president more!

This summer I've listened without comment to two good friends try to explain their loyalty to Trump. Honest to God, I don't get it! Both consider themselves to be good Christians. Both are willing to overlook Trump's "flaws"---his lying, his rudeness, his bullying, his mean-spirited personality and actions, his bull-in-a-china-shop approach to governing. Both plan on voting for him again. Why do they accept in a president what they don't accept in their own grandchildren? If Christianity allows you to pick and chose what values you apply and when then I'm glad I'm agnostic. ©

66 comments:

  1. You are absolutely right about Him. He pushes my buttons too. I also wonder about my friends who defend him and I hate to say this but it is those people who "think" they are good Christians who seem to like his unChristian-like behavior.

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    1. I have a relative who claims to be a devoted Catholic and is a rabid Pro-Lifer. No surprise there but what really gets to me is she's also a rabid Trump supporter and is in the camp that believes we should put soldiers at the border to shoot Mexicans. She's dehumanized these people to a point that she can justify hating and killing them and treating them inhumanely. She fills her Facebook page with the most hateful racist stuff. I thought the whole point of studying your religion as a Catholic is to be able to emulate Jesus, learn by His example of how to treat each other and help each other. Until Trump came along to bring her hate to the surface, I used to like her. He truly is breaking up families!

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  2. Nice to read a blog that shares my feeling about Trump!! Plus not even agnostic,but atheist:)

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    1. I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but I had to get that out. I couldn't write another everything-is-sunny-and-bright post when I had all these feeling locked inside wanting to come out.

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  3. It's impossible for me to completely ignore Trump although it's definitely detrimental to my emotional health. I can't stop a lifetime of paying attention to things that I think are important. Just trying to hold on and make it to the other side. Ugh. You are not alone! I think it's normal to hit some snags in your decluttering marathon. It's physically taxing and emotionally draining. Just know that you will do it! You won't reach moving day with a house full of stuff you no longer want. As for your dear "son", I'm sending positive thoughts his way. Hang in there.

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    1. Thanks for the pep talk. I really feel better just having written then and knowing I'd get some validation for my thoughts upon publishing it really helps a lot.

      I know a lot of people who have the A-Fib condition---runs in my husband's family---but Tim is the first one I know that is getting surgery for it. Scares me, can't wait until it's over.

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  4. I do so agree and feel powerless at the moment to stop anything. All I can do is donate to worthy causes and it is my little drop in the bucket. Atheist here too.

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    1. I've promised myself that after the next debate I'll start donating to candidates and causes again. "Powerless" is a great word for the times we're in right now.

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  5. That's a lot right now. I can understand your feeling frantic and frustrated. When I feel like that, I focus on the things I can actually control.

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  6. Have never commented on a blog before, but read many daily. Not sure when I discovered yours -- probably from a blog list on another one! I have a Google account but wonder if my real name would head the reply :/ I'm computer savvy but cannot figure out how to make another account with something "pseudo". Gees. Hence ... anonymous for now. So, this reply simply validates how much I SO AGREE with what you write and I really got hooked when you started documenting your downsize/moving plan. I think you are in Michigan, I am in eastern Iowa not so far away. I, too, am in a mental place where all of this needs to be done. My saved goodies though are more in the area of fabric, craft items, garage junk I might use and my mother's things (she died 20 years ago!) packed up in my basement! I am trying to un-emotionalize myself from many parts of "my stuff". It's paralyzing to even think about but I would be embarrassed to have my daughters have to deal with that if I conk off before it's taken care of. Plus -- having investigated the costs of a CCC -- I'm convinced you have more $$ to play with than I! You have to be able to live once you buy into the place! I consider my paid for home the least expensive place for me to live right now :) But that comes with challenges as my heart and head still want to do all the creative things both inside and outside my house that I've always done. The body, however, doesn't have the oomph needed to do what it used to do easily. I am more of an introverted type person who gets exhausted with too much "people-ing" ... much more comfortable with words than conversations. Mostly pretty happy with my cave dweller status, as opposed to having to worry about trying to be "normal" HAHA in large groups of people! Shout on forever about Trump and know I'm waving the flag of full agreement here! I try to distance myself from the news cycle because I can get almost physically sick with it all. Then I creep back in because I cannot believe what is happening next. In the meantime I am in awe of your dedicated plan to reach a huge goal!! P.S. I don't remember reading about the result of your deck refurbishment. Because I have been in the same situation with "wing and a prayer"type contractors, I laughed at your mindset and hope his enthusiasm produced a quality result you were happy with!

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    1. Wow, when you decide to comment you don't mess around. LOL Thank you for me being your first and welcome. If you comment again all I ask of anonymous posters is to include a first name so I can tell one anonymous person from another. We used to travel to Iowa every year to a convention and I just donated the tee-shirt from the year of the great flood that proved it. Loved the "Grant Woods area."

      Coming up soon on the downsizing front is going through my teddy bear fabrics and quilting fabrics, so you'll be able to relate to that, I'm sure.

      My next blog on Saturday will be a follow up on the deck project. It was reschedule from today but I needed to get world affairs off my chest before I burst into a million pieces. Thanks for weighing in!

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    2. P.S. You can go to your Google account settings and change your name to anything you like. Mine used be Jean R. but I changed to the title of this blog instead. That way your 'real' name doesn't appear anywhere in public.

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    3. Thank you, I should now show up as "Joanne". Always good to learn new stuff :)

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  7. I recently saw a bumper sticker that says what is on the button. I like that sentiment although the reason for it makes me crazy/sad/angry. The thing about anyone who continues to support The Donald is that good people don't defend bad people. It's a simple as that. You can be a bad person [not my problem] but don't insult my intelligence trying to convince me otherwise. šŸ™„

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    1. "Good people don't defend bad people." Thank you, thank you, thank you for that! I'm going to memorize it and have it ready for any future, in-person conversations I might be thrown into in person.

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  8. Hi Jean,
    I just don't know what to say about Trump anymore. I am shocked daily that he is still allowed to be the president of your great country. More shocking is the cult-like actions and thinking of his followers. His type is on the rise all over the world (Canada too) and I have lost a lot of faith in humanity. I think, as a species, we are regressing and perhaps deserve the fate we seem to be heading towards (an inhospitable planet due to human-caused climate change). Perhaps the cockroaches will inherit the earth and do a better job than we did.
    I'm freaking out a tad already too about all the work in my future regarding downsizing. But I'll be eating that elephant a tiny bite at a time (if all goes according to plan), so am confident I'll get through it somehow. Breaking it down into steps or rooms is helping. But there's no getting around that it will be a helluva job.

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    1. That's the scary part, isn't it, that Trump's type is gaining strength world-wide while the good people of the earth are letting it happen. I'm having trouble getting used to the fact that all the do-good things that came out of my generation are being destroyed before my eyes.

      I have total faith in your abilities to tackle anything you want to do. Your move across country is bigger than mine but I know it will bring you joy in the end of the process.

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    2. Thank you Jean. I believe in you too!

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  9. I am a Christian and can't stand Mr. Trump. He is rude and crude and egotistical to the max. My neighbor, who also is a Christian, loves him.
    I hope your "son" is just having an ablation and pace maker put in. They usually do that somewhere along the line with AFib patients AND it is really not a difficult surgery.

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    1. I don't think it's a pacemaker. He told me and I didn't recognize the procedure. It's a two day stay in the hospital but first he has to go in to have the surgeon explain exactly what they are doing. I'll know more after that.

      People who love Trump must wish they could get away with being rude and crude and/or wish they could be rich enough to act like a spoiled child. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. LOL

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    2. Well, Dar is the neighbor I was referring to...so there ya go. LOL

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  10. How is it that we can look at something so important and see it so differently. I love president Trump and will do all I can to see him reelected. It saddens me to see so many people say such bad things about him. Things with which I totally disagree. How can two large groups of people be so different. I used to be a liberal, agnostic, and pro choice. But at the age of 58 I looked again at the evidence for Christianity and was compelled to believe. That was 13 years ago. Since then I have studied the bible and Christianity. I had to wade through miles of stuff in Christendom to find what I can resolutely declare to be truth. I found that truth is like gold. Once you find some, you much have more. So I continue to search. I read many blogs and see that most, so far, are written by liberals and most are agnostic. I think unbelief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob goes somewhat hand in hand with liberalism. I'm looking for conservative blogs so if you know of any, please refer me to them. I hope you will not be offended by my position on Trump. It really is the best I can do.

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    1. Frank, I have studied all the religions in the world---in depth in college classes, some at a Catholic college, some at a state university. It's not that I don't believe in God. It's more like I disagree with the way the modern world defines God that keeps me from claiming I do. I believe in the historical Jesus as a person who walked the earth trying to teach values but I believe the other founding fathers of major religions did the same thing in the same time frame. He is neither more or less other-world spiritual than they were. Too often I see people worshiping the messengers and ignoring the message.

      I believe in order to call yourself a Christian or whatever other religion of your choice, you need to at least try your best to live up to its teachings and to help to elevate others who are doing the same. Trump is an anti-Christ in my opinion. For example, if you believe the Bible you have to believe that God was the first environmentalist. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). How does that fit with gutting EPA protections that keep our air and water safe? "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal.” (Proverbs 12:10)How does that dove-tail with Trump's gutting laws that protect endangered species?

      I am not offended by your position on Trump because you were respectful and put your case out there. There are a few conservative bloggers out there but I can't remember any of their names right now.

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    2. Jean--I find it frustrating that Frank's advocacy of his president was vague and undefined. He says he loves him and will do all he can to see him re-elected. But he doesn't say why. He offers no concrete reasons for his staunch support. I hope he comes back and helps us understand what it is that earned such a strong loyalty and ardor from him.

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    3. I agree, I also hoped he'd come back and to help us understand---in concrete terms---what Trump has accomplished to deserve his support. So many of us don't understand it. What "bad things" do people say about Trump that he thinks are unfair?

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    4. Frank, I am a Conservative too and post on my blog about my relationship with God. I don't post anything political so you might be bored, reading about my humorous, mundane life, but if you ever want to stop by---http://judeself.blogspot.com/

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    5. Thanks, Judy. I should have thought of you. You also have a lot of conservative commenters. And it goes without saying, Frank is welcome here as well.

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  11. So sorry to hear you are having such a stressful time. I hope the son-you-wish-you-had is soon better. We in the UK seem to have somehow acquired politicians (both left and right wing) intent on carrying us all to hell in a handcart. I'm not religious but I think we should have religious values i.e. love your neighbour, do good etc. Basically, be a kind person as much as you are able. The thing that gives me comfort is the saying, "This too shall pass."

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    1. I am better than I was when I wrote this but I won't be back to normal until Tim is out of the hospital and they say all went well.

      I agree that religious value are good to learn and practice. "This too shall pass" is a good thing to keep in the back of my mind, thanks for that.

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  12. Bermuda Triangle for sure! Thanks for letting us know you are HUMAN and stressing out like all the rest of us. Downsizing IS a huge task no matter what Marie Kondo says. You are doing a superb job of organizing your process and from what I've read, making great progress!

    We have disconnected from television because it is just bad news that I'm not able to fix. What I don't understand is WHY we can't remove someone from office? To hell with impeachment, that won't accomplish anything (didn't Bill remain in office after his?). How can one human being be so disgusting in so many ways and be the ultimate embarrassment worldwide ... yet the Country who elected him can do nothing?

    Thanks for getting it off my chest as well. You are great with words.

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    1. We have become a country/world that is inundated with an avalanche of information, much of it purposely false, at a time where people have grown too lazy and illogical to dig a little deeper than the surface. The misinformation is spread by big corporations, self-serving people and even foreign countries and has people not believing what is right before their eyes and hear with their own ears. Citizen's United was the begining of it, of big money buying our politicians and better candidates not being able to out spend them to get elected.

      To use the 25th amendment to get Trump out of office would split our country apart in my opinion, because he still has his die-hard supporters who don't see him as dangerous and ill-fitted for the job. And as long as he has Mitch McConnell at his back voting on the 25th amendment or impeachment won't happen in the senate no matter what the house passes. He's almost as dangerous as Trump, maybe more so because he knows better, knows the laws Trump thumbs his nose at and the power grab he's doing that fundamentally changes our country. McConnell also knows what HIS own job is supposed to be and he's not doing it.

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  13. I can’t even begin to comment on Trump but I did want to reassure you that my husband had the ablation for A fib at age 72 and is over the moon not to have to take medication and frequent blood tests and be monitored anymore. Also my physical therapist had the same surgery at 50 with the same wonderful results. I would bet your son is going to just great! I hope your freak-out calms down. I recommend meditation and affirmations. šŸ’• šŸ’

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    1. Oh, that is really great to hear about the A-Fib surgery. Tim is only 50 and in good health otherwise. It's just that I'd never heard of this surgery so it did freak me out. I am calmer now but the suggestion to meditate is a good one.

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  14. A couple of quick comments. This move/downsizing effort will run hot and cold in cycles. Don't fret about that. It is normal. What is not normal is our current leader - and I deal with it by ignoring as much of it as I can and I am putting almost all my hopes into the 2020 election. I know Trump supporters too - they baffle me! But the first 2 years he was in office I was always agitated and angry. I realized I was the only hurting myself. I might be putting my head in the sand for the next year - but I am not harming my health over stuff I can't control. Your friend who needs heart surgery - now that is something to focus on and to provide as much support as you can. THAT is a worthwhile place to focus any efforts to help out.

    Breathe - just keep breathing - and putting one foot in front of the other (some days faster or slow - but always forward.) You will make it.

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    1. Bloggers are awesome! I'm getting such good advice and feedback here. I just got tired both physically and mentally at the same time, a bad combination. I want to go to bed and sleep a week but I can't because I wake up every two hours to pee! LOL

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  15. I do know several people who have had the ablation treatment for Afib and are doing marvelously. Hope that is all your pretend son is getting.
    You find it hard to understand friends who support Trump? Try having 2 sisters who pray for the idiot. We never discus that man.
    He is so unstable that if he were a relative, we would have him committed. One can dream.

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    1. I'm going to call tonight and see if I can find out exactly what A-Fib surgery he's having.

      There isn't anyone who can step in and get Trump evaluated for mental health issues. His wife and daughter have too much too lose, his sons don't care as long as they get what they want out of the old man.

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  16. There's a relatively new procedure called The Watchman Implant. It's a procedure done in the Cath Lab.

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    1. I've seen that advertised on TV. Not sure I'd want a new procedure that hasn't got a long track record.

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  17. You are in a triangle of emotional chaos right now -- and with good reason! First of all, I will send good juju for good results for your best friend-wannabe son. He sounds wonderful and I'm sure he will be fine.

    And give yourself a break over the purging and vases. You have been working your butt off and you deserve to be a little overwhelmed and to slow down a bit. I know there is a lot on your plate there but you aren't moving tomorrow. Please be gentle with yourself. You owe yourself that.

    As for the Great Pumpkin of Politics -- and that's an insult, by the way, nothing cute -- there is only so much we can do. State our opinions, possibly work or donate to candidates once they are chosen or causes and vote. And not get complacent. Everything else we have no power over. We MUST do what we can -- but try hard to keep your sanity on it. And believe me, I'm fighting that same battle and know how hard it is!

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    1. Tim is a great guy and thanks for the good juju.

      With the Great Pumpkin it's hard to find the balance between complacency and full-out freak out. But you're right that we need to do that. Do what we have the power to do.

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  18. Like you, I am exhausted and angered by the Trump Reality Show. I'm convinced he is mentally ill. At the very least, all he wants is attention. It's too bad his dad didn't hug him when he was a child. Perhaps we wouldn't all have to suffer the consequences. I can only hope 2020 brings some relief and that he doesn't destroy all of us before that.

    As for your "son" having surgery, we have a really good friend who tried several treatments for A-fib and finally consented to surgery. It worked! And he's been doing really well ever since. (And we're in W. Michigan, so hopefully your Tim will have similar results.) Our friend is back to power walking every day and has his energy back.

    Hang in there - and don't watch too much of the Orange One. He is enough to freak out anyone.

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    1. A spoiled rich "boy" who is mental ill.

      I just found out the surgery is called an atrial fibrillation which a couple of commenters above mentioned and said was successful. We do have good heart centers here in West Michigan, don't we, so I'm feeling better about that. Thanks for telling me about your friend.

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    2. Atrial Fibrillation is not a surgery, it is a condition AFib, when the heart won't stay in sinus rhythm. Perhaps he had a cardio inversion. I had that. They put you in Twilight Sleep and then zap your heart with the paddles, until it settles into sinus rhythm. They keep you a couple of days to make sure the heart stays steady in its beats.

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    3. Thanks for the correction I meant to type atria ablation. That's what he's having. Had the inversion before but it didn't hold. Don had several cardio inversions and one went terribly wrong...had doctors running in and out of the room for an hour. Come to find out the electrical plug in the room was faulty and making the machine act goofy. Scary the crap out of everyone, especially me out in the hall eavesdropping when I could.

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    4. I'm pretty certain our friend had the ablation. Fingers crossed for your guy.

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  19. Virtual Hug first... I could tell by this Post you are Emotionally Raw and needed the good Vent a Heartfelt Post can provide! It's way cheaper than Therapy my Friend and I'm in complete Agreement with it all... and I think so many of us feel Emotionally exhausted with it hammering at us every day relentlessly. And Moving, well, that is why I want to move but have made no definitive Plan to move... it paralyzes me to even contemplate another Move or Big Life Change within the next 5 Years, but it will likely have to be done once the last Grandchild gets raised and The Man and I must decide what Forever SHOULD look like? There's that part of me that wants to go back to Living The Dream that is OUR Dream and not some coerced one by Society or The System... and if I can't find/afford Panties and Bras that fit my Friend... as an Old Hippie I'll be inclined to go Commando no sweat! *Winks, I know that visual isn't Pretty... but whatever...* Be part of the Resistance when you can... and when you can't, just Rest and come back to Center.

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    1. I still have an old hippie, white long dress from 1976 but it's so thin and I'm so old I really do need underwear under it in this century.

      If half of us or more are exhausted dealing with the current state of our nation, it does make we wonder why the heck it isn't exhausting the president who is busy creating the chaos. Don't want to wish a health issue on anyone but......

      Maybe we should switch downsizing jobs. You do mine and I'll do yours. That way we wouldn't be emotionally attached and we could just each keep the cream of the crop of each other's collectibles. Then say, "there you go." LOL

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    2. I'm just thinking of Old Hippie's in thin White dresses going Commando... LMAO... now THAT'S a Visual! *Bwahahahaha!* Yes, how he isn't exhausted creating Chaos is a mystery to me too... and why would anyone thrive on so much Drama at his advanced age you have to wonder also? And the switching downsizing jobs, that could work! *Winks* Only... there would be the risk of me just ending up with all your shit and you ending up with all mine... and... well... mebbe it wouldn't work??? *Smiles*

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    3. No offense but some of your stuff would keep me awake at night. LOL

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  20. I think you are feeling a wide range of emotions and they have become overwhelming. Trump has angered so many of us - maybe more because you realize how many Americans support him and you simply cannot understand their rationale - I have walked away from a few old friendships because of this - yes, we must respect each others opinions but apparently our values and dreams for America are so very different it's hard to maintain these friendships - So sad. Next your "son" - fear for his health and your best friend who you ae depending on to help you through this transition in your life. My husband had cancer for two years - we also have no kids - and I was afraid of life without him - I depend on him - he is my best friend for 50 years. And I believe you are overwhelmed with your down-sizing task. For all of us baby boomers down-sizing is a nightmare. Somedays we get a lot done and others nothing - I know because that's where I am right now - just get worn out from it. Where did all this stuff come from? But slowly we'll get it done because we must. So combine all these feelings and you are operating on overload. I turn off the news - try to communicate with people who share my core values and do what I can everyday -It's the best I can do ...So take care and stay positive - we need a lot of faith that things will improve. Mary Ellen

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    1. Mary Ellen, I know you're right on all scores. For me, I just have to keep my eye on the prize and look at it as monthly goals rather than the downsizing my entire life task. When I look too far ahead it is overwhelming. Downsizing while a lot of work emotionally and physically its something I know how to do. What I don't know how to do is get past the emotions the state of the world is in. I keep remembering a time when my mom threw a frying pan at the TV during the Vietnam War.That's how I feel/felt. I do feel better having released some pressure by writing this post. Thanks for the comment and pep talk.

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  21. What you're doing is daunting, and some of us, think about it but can't seem to get going on paring down. I no longer watch the news on TV...I watch on YouTube so I can fast forward through the stuff that brings me down and which I can do nothing about until November 2020.

    I was heartened to see the respectful exchange between you and Frank, but I'm still baffled by his base's vehement support. Why are they so willing to accept the lying and fear mongering? Because he's wealthy? Because he was on TV? I would like to have read what it is he thinks is wonderful about Trump.

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    1. Respectful exchanges are the only why we're ever going have a chance of understanding each other. The son-I-wish-I-had voted for Trump, thinks he will again and is quite religious. I asked him how he can accept the lying, bullying and name calling the comes with Trump and he said, "I'm not voting for a role model and he's keeping the economy good." My answer to him was that there are other men---men of good character---who could do the same thing with the economy but without the daily drama that is dividing our country. We backed off the conversation after that. We both respect our limits in talking about this topic. But I truly don't get how the Frank's and Tim's of our world can ignore so much in Trump's character and mismanagement.

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  22. Dear Jean, I admire your response to Frank--both of you were respectful. And that's hard in the environment that Trump has created. Well, really the culture we are in has been coming about for years. It's one of the reasons, among many, that the Republican congress had and has such disdain for President Obama. He threw a monkey wrench into their plans.

    Like you, I'm cutting back on the news. It's too stressful. And like you, I need to get my act together with regard to supporting causes I believe in. I believe that the president is a sick man. And I am sad for him. But he must be voted out of office if our country is to survive intact. I so admire your honesty. Peace.

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    1. It really did start back with Obama, didn't it, and I never understood how anyone could find disdain for him!

      I know, like me, you've had a life-long love of politics and really find it hard to believe how hateful it's gotten. I'm making a promise to myself that after the next debate to tune back in to which groups and candidates to support to fight the cancer that is growing in America.

      I wish you peace as well, Dee. At least you get help from up above with that. LOL

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  23. Oh Jean, I love this post for its articulate emotional honesty. You are stressed and that's why that vase job is overwhelming, right? Be gentle and kind to yourself. I'm in the same Bermuda Triangle for different reasons and feel stuck, numb, sad, rageful. I truly think the chaos of the current president contributes to a culture of feeling like we are all living on quicksand anyway, then add some personal stressors to that and it's a big mess for us to deal with. I've even made an appointment with a therapist I saw a few years ago. And I'm reading a book on Resilience. I have to find some equilibrium. I'll be thinking of you and of your pretend son too. One of my closest friends has AFib and I worry about her all the time. I hope his surgery is successful. I hope you find your mojo. I hope we win back our government in 2020!

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    1. I have worried about you caught being up in the "Bermuda Triangle." You're such a fierce fighter for causes you care about and with so much going on, it really is overwhelming.

      Tim was here today and between seeing in my person and having my little histy-fit here plus all the supportive comments I really am doing better. We accomplished our goals and are back on track. I even got my teddy bear stuff up to sort, haven't opened the boxes yet but that's coming soon.

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  24. Late as usual and 56 comments. That’s impressive!
    You can’t stay high strung for long without feeling that you need to loosen the string. I’m sure that is the case with your downsizing and it is certainly the case with the disaster that is now our government. It is unhealthy to try to sustain levels of engagement that aren’t really sustainable. We all need to breathe and breathe deeply.

    Tides ebb and flow and so does our engagement. You can’t expect to stay actively engaged for long without needing to recede, as does the tide. The interest will return.
    Regards,
    Leze

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    1. I know you are right about the ebb and tide analogy but, boy, it's hard to remember that when you're in the middle of the rising waters.

      I am going to sleep well tonight! Saw Tim, we made good a good start on the September goal and it will be a slow week on e-Bay to get me a break.

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  25. I'm taken aback at reading that the son-you-wished-you-had is a t-supporter (also that another commenter's two sisters are supporters). SMDH!! I don't have the patience to even try and deal with such cultists. Like you, I find it alarming that so many countries are electing the same type of person.

    The 2020 elections will be interesting. I don't know what to expect.

    Downsizing is exhausting. I do it in dribs and drabs.

    Contrats on your increased following! 60 comments - impressive!! ~ Libby

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    1. Libby, that's makes Trump's attraction so hard to understand...that we can know and like supporters, understand their lives pretty well yet their support for an immoral man is unshakeable. I truly wish I understood but those I know well enough to ask can not articulate their faith in him any better than I wrote above. But I'm starting to believe that we have to engage with Trump supporter---try to discuss our core differences---other wise we become their boogeymen and they become ours. We are almost at that point already and we can't start dehumanizing large groups of people! Enough of that going on at the border.

      On a personal note, I don't think I have an increase in followers, it's just that this topic is a hot button topic and I was so stressed out when I wrote it that the "silent followers" wanted to reach out. And I appreciate that so many did. I feel better knowing I'm not alone.

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  26. Jean, I wonder if angle C of your Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of A and B; anxiety really saps energy and can also make it difficult to let go of things that bring comfort. I hope your would-be son's surgery is a success. I find some humor helpful for dealing with Angle A. See if this video from Randy Rainbow helps: https://www.facebook.com/RandyRainbowOfficial/videos/402797463705871/?eid=ARC12sHZGZfHlemhkykI8ByM_c0zfn1Hpas67valEgghhvTSfcxdZ4stgVYa58KuGv42Jm2w897NXr7p

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    1. I have no double about what you're saying about my A and B causing my C. I was so indecisive for 3 days. Can't wait until Tim surgery is over but the more I learn about it from those who've had it or know someone who did, the better I feel.

      That Randy Rainbow video is really funny I started following him on Facebook. If we ever needed humor to get through the political climate, it's now.

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