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 17, 2020

Pandemic Park Promises

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There was a time---before the pandemic---when I tried to balance out the themes of my blog posts. By that I mean I’d alternate what I called arty-farty or deep thoughts themes with sentimental journeys down Memory Lane or play-by-play accounts of my daily routines. Every so often I’d throw in my attempt at writing humor or a current events post because sometimes that elephant in the room is too big to ignore. Before the pandemic I also routinely wrote movie and book reviews and reports on the lectures and travel club presentations I attended, none of which are back on anyone’s calendar since large gatherings still aren’t allowed in my state. Then there’s the dog’s antics that are always good for a paragraph or two. Pity parties, insecurities, widowhood issues, outings with friends and conversations in my head have all made the pages of my blog. And for a while I was obsessed with filling up my biweekly word count with my adventures and missteps in the world of downsizing and e-Baying. Expect a few more downsizing posts because---well, just because moving related issues will still be a major focus in my life for the 6-7 months. I truly miss the things I can’t write about right now because that outside stimulus isn't there to inspire me or anyone else living in Pandemic Park.

“We worry about tomorrow like it’s promised.”
— Anonymous

But what I miss the most is human contact, feeling part of a herd of people all joined together because we had a common interest---if only for an hour or two---in the same subject matter. If the pandemic has taught me anything it’s taught me that I didn’t value causal interactions with others nearly high enough. I need them to feed my soul and hunger for gathering blogger's fodder. It’s also taught me that most humans want to be part of a herd whether it's the selfish vs the selfless, the wise vs the foolish or the kumbaya crowd who just wants to have a unified society vs the arm-chair warriors who want to fight about everything. And oh how I wish I still had my illusions back regarding how I used to believe most people were smart enough to believe the science and logic coming out of world health organizations over the P.T. Barnum---“there's a sucker born every minute”---in the White House. 

 “Each day I have to make a new promise to myself.
To be braver than my past.
To be stronger than my struggle....”
— Chrissie Pinney

I've always known the entire universe is made up of polar opposite energy forces pushing against one another, every particle in space, every human action and emotion. But for just one week, just one day I wish it wasn’t so much work to keep the energy force centered and inching ever so slowly in a positive direction---if in fact historians a hundred years from now will look back and view our current decade as a turning point toward a higher plane of existence. We’ve already had a super-sized, mind-altering turbulent decade in my lifetime. Maybe we only get one of those per lifetime, counted out like candy to greedy children? I hope not. I hope everything we’ve been going through with the World-Wide Pandemic, the Black Lives Matter, Save the Planet and the Me Too Movement turns out to be more than just minor bumps on the timeline of world history. And I sincerely hope Mother Nature is finally getting our attention with her bitch-slapping us with massive forest fires, floods and hurricanes. She needs our help, people!

“I promise you, these storms are only trying to wash you clean.”
— Jessica Katoff

Writing and reading blog posts during a pandemic takes more effort, does it. There are more deep thought posts, more expressions of frustration... and gratitude for the small things we still can enjoy. There are far more political and current events posts, more comparing pandemic experiences across the blog community. Less fluffy, silly stuff. It’s nearly impossible to know how to strike a balance of topics so that we bloggers don’t turn off those who have read us in the past and expect a certain level of whatever we were known to deliver before the pandemic took all those implied promises away. All I can say is that writing blogs is my lifeline. It makes me feel like I’m part of that yin/yang of opposing herds thingie I mentioned up above. All this windup is me trying to say that I can’t always make you laugh. I can’t always make you cry, but I can promise to always show you what’s on my mind. ©

“I don’t have much to offer, but I promise you can have the best of me.”
— Anonymous
 

38 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for that last picture! I love it.

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    1. My husband was huge snoopy fan, so this meme caught my eye.

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  2. So much we all are missing. You described it well and Snoopy says it all.

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  3. You used some very apt quotes in this post. All of them were fitting and thought-provoking.

    I understand the balance you're talking about here. It's a difficult time to be a writer.

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    1. I love the blog community and don't want to see it disappear because few of us are struggling with what to write about.

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  4. That Snoopy cartoon's a good one. Snoopy always manages to be amusing without being snarky.

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    1. I wish I had appreciated Snoopy more back in the '90s. My husband was in love with all things Snoopy---t-shirts, coffee cups, greeting cards, watches. I got more Snoopy gifts than I can counts. You nailed the charm of Snoopy humor and commentary.

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  5. I have been so thankful for bloggers during this COVID lockdown. Reading blogs has been my favorite daily pastime and helped me stay connected to people. You have a nice way of inserting humor into your posts and colorfully describing your feelings and everyday life that I really enjoy and that always resonates with me. We will make it through all of this and I second your hope that it will make us all and our world better! Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you! I'd still write if no one ever read a word that I share BUT its so much better knowing that others connect with what I'm feeling or doing.

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  6. You managed to shine a light on most of our ills. Lately it is not taking long to go through my Blogger reading list. Sadly many are just not blogging anymore and you are right. Being locked in our four walls does cut down the interesting things to write about so sadly some have just gone silent. So glad you haven't quit and can still interest us.
    Love Snoopy.

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    1. Like everything else, it's definitely harder to keep a blog during the pandemic but, for me, it seems likes it's more important to do so than during normal times. When it's finally over having a record or our personal struggles is going to make the joy of a return to 'normal' so much sweeter.

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  7. Love Snoopy - love what this says about life right now. Thank you. Honestly, between politics, upheaval, Covid, the environment, etc., etc. and my current health problem (B.C. 20 yrs. later - a different kind - a different breast).....I look forward to reading all the bloggers daily. Think I would have had a nervous breakdown if I didn't have the ability to connect in some way with others. So, difficult as it may be at times coming up with something, please don't stop. Hugs.

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    1. We may all have a nervous break down together, and if I do I promise to blog about it blow by blow. LOL

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  8. Hang on Sloopy is a good song to compliment your post ... most of the lyrics are HANG ON which is what we seem to be doing. It takes a lot more talent to write about nothing! Oregon Covid rates have risen dramatically .. just as I was getting brave about going inside the grocery store. This quarantine stuff is wearing me down ...

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    1. Where were you when I was deciding a title? I have more trouble with titles than actually writing an entire post.

      We're on the rise now too and the holidays are coming it's only going to get worse. Not going to be a good winter for any of us in Covid hot spots.

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  9. Please always show us what is on your mind, Jean!

    Hugs,

    Deb

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    1. When you see a post with the same word repeated 900 times, You'll know I flipped out. LOL Hugs back at you.

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  10. Using the middle finger for just about ANYTHING these days will suffice!! I miss most of all the smiles & friendly vibes from people, restaurants, ...they're all covered now with face coverings...so, I find myself realizing I check out the "designer" masks worn and the fashion statements they make. And I'll be glad when the election is over...politics (world wide) is in chaos.

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    1. It's weird, isn't it, to not see smiles and friendly vibes or be able to send them out when we do step out in public. Worse yet is seeing the few people who aren't wearing them.

      I'm trying not to set myself up for disappointment regarding the election. But Hillary losing taught me not to count my chickens too early.

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  11. Just hang on annoying words, frustating words is what came to my mind

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    1. There's a lot of frustrating and annoying words out there right now.

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  12. Love the Snoopy cartoon too! Laughed out loud.

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  13. Well, I come here because you keep it 100% and you have diversity about what would be and could be Blog Fodder, it's no One Trick Pony here... some Blogs are and those ones bore me. *LOL* I've enjoyed your Downsizing Posts because I can relate, your Political Posts because I can relate, and even Posts I can't personally relate to have been a good Read because you Write well and from the Heart. That Snoopy Cartoon made me Smile, it would slow me down considerably to type everything with my Middle Finger, but it might help dispel some of the frustration felt so much of the time. *LOL* I too have run the gamut this Year in what I Post about, I can't recall ever doing a Political Post in the Decade I've been Blogging before this Nightmare of a Political Scene happened in 2016 and just keeps worsening daily. I hope to be getting back to being able to forget about Politics and just have a Prez do the damned job without it being Rent Free in our Heads all the damned time like a bad Reality Show. That will mean anyone else has to become President besides The Lunatic or his Cyborg VP. I just want Nov 3rd to arrive and see what we have to run damage control behind after that and move on...

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    1. How do you know I keep it 100% real? I could be a mafia princess whose father keeps me in boarding schools to shelter me from his life of crime. Can you tell the topic of the last book I finished reading? God,it was bad!

      I am so scared that on Nov. 3rd, Trump will win or come so close we STILL have to worry about living in a country where so many of our neighbors have no BS filler to see through all his lies, or they are so uneducated that they don't see how dangerous he is to our whole democratic way of life. 16 days to go!!!!

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    2. Mafia Princess, well, it has a nice ring to it, I could roll with that being a possibility. *winks* Yeah, you are getting deep into the Trash Novels but aren't they Fun to Escape to? I remember Fabio being on the Cover of a lot of those Trashy Romance Novels, I never read them but I liked the Cover Graphics being so cheesy and of coarse when Fabio got hit with a Goose in the Face on a Rollercoaster and did the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Commercials, what a visual that all was! *LMAO* I too am nervous about Election Day and Post Election, unless the Death Cult Dictator just drops Dead he's likely to instigate a lot of flashback should he not Win... and if he Wins he'll be more out of Control than ever, feeling invincible and like a Lifetime Dictator... the First American Dictator... Lord help us because this isn't likely to End well!

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    3. I met Fabio at a writer's conference back in his heyday. He had quite the fan club back in those days. Would you believe he's 61 now...he needs to update his haircut to this century but otherwise he's a guy who knew how to take advantage of his assets and has lived an interesting, but quirky, life.

      The second/third debate is tonight. I'm nervous, too. He's way too popular here.

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  14. Hmmm. I never thought of organizing posts or planning like that. I just sort of write or post what's in my brain at the time, although I might not post it till later -- or do a series , but it just kind of evolves. I've had more things to post about since pandemic, I think, than before, or at least it seems like I spend more time on it -- blogging, visiting, touching base with people. I think bloggies are replacing our day to day contact with real-life in-your-face people. I miss them too, though by and large I've been content with just me and Rick for the most part. I certainly value those visits so much more when they happen and dread the winter when they won't. And I really miss the smiles. I don't mind the masks -- I welcome that and wish everyone and their brother would wear one (See the NYT article on "freedom" I posted on FB!) but I do miss the smiles.

    I love how you keep it real. I see no point in NOT keeping it real. We are all a mix of the good, bad and ugly, depending on how we are the day we wake up. I will say I am terrified about the election. Too much can go wrong...

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    1. I'm not militant about planning what I write. I'm prolific enough to have several posts set in drafts at any one time and the order in which I post them is where I usually try to find a balance of topics. The hardest for me to write now is things with a humorous twist.

      Missing smiling faces and warm gestures from strangers out in about is what I miss a lot but it is what it is, if we're ever going to move past the virus.

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  15. I am ready to give up blogging because I feel just like you, except you want to carry on. Brave of you. You are one determined lady. Once upon a time I wrote about interesting things, now all I have is the daily boring grind, the pitiful little things, the endless mindless ‘and then I did and then I had’ stuff.

    Besides which, I am scared what will happen in the next three weeks over at your end and by Jan 1st over here.

    Can you help provide sone courage for this lost soul?

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that! I just found your blog a couple of months ago and I so enjoy hearing a voice from overseas. I think we can all learn from one another. What might seem like a 'boring, daily grind' to write about is very interesting to others. We bloggers are always comparing our thoughts to one another, so to speak.

      I want to continue blogging for several reasons, the least of which is I used writing as mental exercise...the research and practicing the stuff that keeps my dyslexia at bay. Proofreading alone takes me at least four passes to find all my dyslexia mistakes. The pressure of self-imposed deadlines helps me too. And before the pandemic, blogging actually motivated me to get out-and-about so I'd have stuff to write about. I'm hoping I can out-wait the virus and get have that life back again next year.

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  16. I love the Snoopy cartoon...on point! For some reason, I wasn't able to comment on Blogger when I was in the UK, but I'm guessing it was operator error. :0)

    It's got to be hard to come with topics, but you do a fine job. I am never bored reading your blog. I hope you keep it up for a long time...and I'm looking forward to your move! I know it's stressful, but once it's over you will be so glad you did it. We look back on the past year and can't believe how it went, but it was all worth it.

    I share your angst about Nov 3. Fool me once and all that. We are turning our absentee ballots in today at our local precinct ballot box. Fingers and toes crossed. The world is counting on us to do the right thing.

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    1. I may have to lower the word count on my self-imposed blogging goals but I don't think I'll be quitting any time soon.

      November 3rd is going to be a long, scary night for a lot of us!

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  17. I love that Snoopy cartoon. It really sums it up.
    I enjoy your blog and your thoughts no matter what's going on in the world. I'm having a hard time coming up with things to write about. Nothing exciting happens around here, but maybe that's a good thing.

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    1. I love that cartoon and it was an afterthought to include it. I'm glad I did.

      There is a lot to be said for nothing much going on...because there is so much going on in the world that is bad, we don't need it on the home front too.

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  18. Here is my usual regret and apology for being so far behind in reading your blog. This one resonated with me totally. I feel the same. I feel like I've lost my ability to be 'light and funny' when the world around me is so grim. I loved your closing...we all need to know what's on each other's minds because for me, that forms the basis of the "herd" I want to be in. Grateful for all your bring to the page, especially this one.

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    1. You never have to give an apology for not reading my blog. It's not as if I pay you to do it. LOL

      I almost didn't publish this post, thought it was too dark. I had it in my scheduler awhile and kept moving it out.

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