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, September 23, 2020

Changes in the Boring Lane of Life

I hate minor changes that make major changes in how I’ve been doing things my entire adult life. “Say what?” you’re asking. “Just spit it out? And I will but mind you I feel the need to first state that I understand that in the vast pool of life problems what I’m talking about is a baby goose bump in the grand scheme of things to complain about, especially now when people are dealing with the danger of fires, hurricanes and floods and other truly life-changing events beyond their control. But I can’t write about anyone else’s life but my own. And even if I wanted to write about current events like the death of the notorious RBG and the impending election, what more could I say that hasn't already been said? Huge game changers, both of them.

I’m talking about is a tiny game changer---the city changing my trash pickup day from Mondays to Thursdays. It’s been Monday since I was young enough to still have brown hair and wore high heels and British Invasion style hats during my man dating days back in the ‘60s. (The '50s were my boy dating days, the '70s was my soulmate era of dating.) My Sundays have always started out with a ‘To-Do List’ that never changed: 1) Water the plants, 2) Empty all the waste baskets and gather up the trash, 3) Put the cart out to the street for Mondays’ early morning pick up, 4) Bring in the Sunday Press, and 5) Spread the paper on the floor and read it leisurely while sucking down a couple of cups of coffee. Actually, the 5th thing on list changed a few years ago. I can no longer get down on the floor to read---well, I could but I couldn’t get back up afterward---and more often than not in recent months the paper goes directly in the recycling box unread. Occasionally I use newspaper for packing e-Bay stuff but my e-Bay days will be coming to an end soon and after I move next year I’m going to say goodbye to the lost cause of trying to support the local newspaper.

I’ve always been a creature of habit and routine and it ticks me off that the trash company couldn’t have held out one more year before changing theirs. By then, I’ll be living in a place where I’ll just have to walk my trash down the hall any day or time I want and I could keep my Sunday ‘To Do List’ intact. It’s a good thing I have an atomic clock that tells the day of the week as well as the time and date. I’m going to be so ‘off kilter’ until I get used to having a Thursday trash day. Oh. My. God! I can’t believe how boring my life is that I’ve resorted to writing about my trash! If anyone is still reading this post, I’ll owe myself a quarter on a lost bid. I did have a mini exciting moment at the grocery story last week, though, when I needed to buy trash bags and I realized that it would be the very last box of 33 gallon cart liner bags I’ll ever have to buy.

Actually, I can write about another stupid little problem in my boring life. I pulled the front storm door closed yesterday and the door knob came off in my hand.  As I stared down at it, trying to make sense out what I was seeing, I mini-panicked thinking I couldn’t get out of the house without a doorknob. I looked all over for a hexagon shaped tool that is needed to get the level style knob to hold in place again. And wouldn't you know it I finally remembered that I sent my husband’s set of hexagon gauges and tools to the auction house earlier this year. If I still had them it would be an easy fix. I have not used those sets in the 19 years I've lived here and isn't that always the way---you get rid of something and that's when you discover a need for it. The door itself is a deluxe style still in great condition, being only five years old, and Crazy Glue comes to mind as a cheat-around to hold it in place. I’d hate doing that, but…

Speaking of moving, the continuum care campus had another event this month that they called ‘Mugs and Mugs.’ It was an outdoor happy hour where we could social distance and they served beer and root beer along with a lots of yummy finger foods. While that was going on a professional photographer took us one at a time to get our photos taken in front of the lake. At some point in time I’m guess the photos will appear on an ID badge but before that day comes they wanted permission to use our photos in promotional advertisements in various media ads. I didn’t give mine. I lived this long without my photo being tagged on the web, that's not going to start now.

For reasons I can’t put my finger on I didn’t connected with the other future residents as I’ve done at past events. I felt like I was on the fringe of most conversations, but not taking a meaningful part in any of them. Several said they were exciting and ready to move, others said they were terrified. Me? I have a foot in each camp---both excited and terrified. Change is hard, even minor stuff like moving trash pickup days and seeing all three floors framed in of my future building where I'll be living this time next year makes the next chapter of my life start feeling real. ©

42 comments:

  1. I can see how the new trash day would throw everything off. We used to talk to Kaitlin every Sunday evening, but now that she's on Eastern, not Central, time we've switched to Saturday evening. That change happened in April and I still get confused about what day of the week it is. 🙂

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  2. ...at least by moving, this will certainly break your boredom/routine up a bit & shake your world. Oh, and I'm really glad you clarified your dating eras...that helped. :giggle:

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    1. I kind of like boredom and routine. Shaking it up means lots of changes that may or may not be good. LOL

      I had a lot more years of dating than most of my friends who got married right out of high school. In my prime I had a wonderful wardrobe...haven't worn high heels since the '60s.

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  3. You've done extremely well so far in how you've researched your move, made financial decisions, and decluttered (and E-bayed stuff) so relax, the move is the easy bit!~ Libby

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    1. I wish that were true, Libby. I still have lots of things to downsize. For example, I was going to eBay about 75 rare books but decided instead to donate them library. They have a person won will e-Bay those kinds of books to enrich their fund for buying new books. And I still have a lot of art to sell which I have no idea how to go about doing.

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    2. We have a cousin who handles high end estate sales and sells the art. He actually sold one to someone in Ireland although he is in California. There are probably also art auction houses. I’d try to find one or the other once I had researched the current potential value of each piece.

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    3. Juhli, I've done the research, I just don't know how to find/contract people who deal in art in this area. I need to bite the bullet soon and figure it out.

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  4. I was trying to think of examples of disruptive routine changes from my own life, and couldn't find any, until I thought of work. Every time I begin working on a new boat -- particularly sailboats, with all that rigging -- I spend a week or two with bruises and scratches until I get accustomed to where everything is, and what I have to avoid as I move around the boat. It made me grin to think of your trash changes as a life-bruise. Eventually, it will fade, and you'll get used to the new routine.

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    1. I love the term "life-bruise" because it's not too serious but still gives homage to whatever you apply the term too. Thanks for that.

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  5. I think it's the little changes that can be so inconvenient! At least from your big change there will be a big benefit!

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    1. I suspect I'll miss a few trash days before I start remembering. This is the first week of the change and I noticed no on the street messed up and put their cart out for Monday.

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  6. Ah for the good old days when we had a routine we could count on. Then the one thing you could count on changed also. Sigh.
    Now with all the free time my routine has totally gone to pot.

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    1. My Sunday routine was what kept me on track for starting out a new week. I'll need to find another marker.

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  7. I agree with Libby - you have done an inspirational job of planning your move and downsizing your possessions. If you don't sell even one more thing before your move, you are ahead of 97% of us! As for the art, I dabbled a bit in that area for my job and I would suggest that you treat it like hiring a roofer or contractor - interview people from three galleries and see what develops. And if art takes longer to sell, it doesn't take up too much room, so some of it could go with you to the new place to be disposed of along the way.

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    1. I wish I could say the art I have to sell doesn't take up much room. I have 10 framed pieces and a dozen or so unframed prints. The idea of "interviewing people from 3 galleries" is something I hadn't thought of doing. I have no clue how to go about selling better signed and numbered prints by famous artists and I am frozen in place which has to stop soon! I don't want to take any of it with me.

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  8. The year I retired, I had to move everything to a brand new building. This was after teaching 29 years in the same building, 20+ years of it in the same classroom. Then, a semester in, they decided to switch to an all-new computer system for grading, and I had to learn it--only a half year before I was leaving, never to teach again.

    It was the worst year of my career by far. But I made it, and the reward was obviously so worth it. That's what kept me going.

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    1. Yup, keep your eye on the prize is my motto. It will be all worth it in the end.

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  9. I bet the change in trash day seems even worse during this COVID time when ALL of our routines were affected! The simple routines we still had helped us keep moving and keep track of the days! You will adapt - like you have done before so hang in there! Is there a consignment store in your town - maybe they could help sell your art. Good luck!

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    1. Consignments shops are going out of business right and left around here. Just crazy times we're living in.

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  10. Before we moved to condo living, trash day was a BIG event. Mr. Ralph would always protest any acceptance of a social event on Weds nights as he was the trash person at our house. Empty the trash in both cars, two bathrooms, trash compactor ... which took all of 15 minutes. Now we can take trash out every single day! OK. ONE blessing to living in a condo community.

    What is this world coming to? We need our routines!

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  11. I think it will be nice to take trash out when it serves our needs.

    I don't like our new normal!

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  12. Life may be boring for us oldies but we are still here, still breathing. Disposal of trash is boring too but it needs doing.
    I hate changes in routine, how pathetic is that! Comfort zones are my preferred milieu and swimming along nicely in my own slipstream suits me.

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    1. Boring is good when we consider the alternatives, isn't it. We get to good to sleep in our own beds, eat and drink when we want.

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  13. I have to call my garbage company on Sunday for a Monday pick-up every couple of months when I fill a can. Think I can remember to do that???

    Small pieces of art (up to 11 x 14) by known artists sells well on eBay, and any local mid-range art gallery will be able to tell you how to proceed with the larger pieces, but they'll want a hefty percentage if they sell it themselves, so find that out with a phone call and decide how to proceed from there. If you use an estate sale company, they can do it for you too.

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    1. Thanks for the ideas and direction on selling art. I plan to start in November on them. None of the pieces I have are smaller than 24" x 32", most larger. They are all well known artists and I won't care if a gallery takes a good percentage. I just don't want to see them end up at Goodwill.

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  14. What do I do for fun???????????????
    I have no idea.....................
    I do not like change, just sayimg.......................

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    1. Me neither. I don't remember the last time I did something truly fun. The older I get the harder it is to impress me, I guess.

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  15. Excited AND terrified, I get what you are saying.

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    1. A lot of things along life's journey is that way, isn't it.

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  16. I'm disappointed more of my favorite bloggers haven't devoted a single post to the loss of RBG and the subsequent impact on judicial system. Her death makes an already terrifying time that much worse.

    Of course I realize every blogger has the right to write whatever they choose and whenever they choose. I think the reason it's bothering me so much is because I'm 57 and well aware of the impact her life, her fights, her sense of and protection of equality mean to ME and women younger. But those of you a generation or two must surely remember before RBG and have stories and memories and, I don't know, a call to arms. But only one blogger I read who's some years older than me brought it up on her Sunday post. Sigh. Maybe it's me projecting my fears about the election, I don't know. This is not a criticism, just wanted to somehow bring it up. Thank you. You don't need to post this if it upsets you.

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    1. Gosh, no. it doesn't upset me. I had thought about writing a post about RBG but decided she was such a transformative figure in the lives of each and every American---not just the women---that I didn't think I could do her justice. I've watched her biography on CNN twice this week, seen it several times in the past as well and I just wouldn't know where to start to tackle such a big, important topic.

      Your fears are mine as well regarding the election. I was petrified when I first learned that RBG died, knowing what was about to happen regarding the rush to replace her would go down just as it did but hoping a some Republicans would find their moral backbone and stand up against the hypocrisy of pushing through a Trump pick this close to an election. Republicans in the Senate boils my blood.

      That everything we fought for regarding women's rights to control our own bodies could be overturned is down right scary. And some of the nasty posts I've seen about RBG being a baby killer make me so angry. I do remember living in the time before women could own property or have a credit card or even buy birth control if she wasn't married. I marched right along with all others back in the '60s. Ruth is an icon that took on the big boys and won for all of us and all that could be lost in the next few years.

      Anyway, I want you to know that I care deeply about the impact RBG passing will have on all our lives and I'm glad you brought it up when I was feeling too inadequate to do it.

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    2. Thank you. That reply, in and of itself, is a passionate testimony to RBG and her legacy. Not to mention the troubles ahead. I like a meme I saw someplace that said "We're Ruth-less. Act like it." A call to arms, if you will.I swear, life is eerily similar - more and more - to A Handmaiden's Tale. Never thought I'd see the day. I haven't given up hope,I just can't see this ending well. Maybe it's the same thing. Please never doubt you're ability to speak about any subject. Your reply above proves you are more than equal to the task. Gotta little Notorious in your blood, too (wink).

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    3. Thanks!

      There really are people in this country who would be happy to living in the Handmaiden's Tale. And not just men.

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    4. I've seen some very moving Tributes to the Late Great RGB. I didn't feel I could add much, tho' I remember before when things weren't good or equitable so mine was one of the first Generations to benefit from her Fights and breaking of some Glass Ceilings mid-career. Sometimes mere words are simply not enough to give a fitting enough Tribute to the Greatest, I'd fail to rise to the occasion of it to Honor them enough really. I'm glad some have a Gift for fitting Tributes tho', I've enjoyed the ones who have paid Tribute that was fitting.

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    5. My Facebook page was filled up with RGB tributes by professional columnists and I'll bet many of them were written long before she died because that's what the media does with famous people. I just didn't think I could add anything to the pool of words about the great lady.

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  17. I feel like you are writing of my life here. I went nuts when they changed my trash day. It completely confounded me! I'm used to it now but it took a bit. And then talking about the door know. My cottage door knob came off (the outside one) so now it is duct taped on. Looks bad but as long as I can pull it, I'm good. If it wasn't covid time I'd go buy a knob and put it in but at this point -- nah.

    Sometimes we're all in at an event and sometimes we don't connect. You will. You have before. Must have just been a day.

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  18. I actually was able to fix my door knob. I thought I'd sold all my husband's hexagon sets but I apparently held one small set back and it was just what I needed.

    I think I was a little spooked out because there was an anti-masker there this time and he really annoyed me, put me in a bad mood.

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  19. Patty Loveless' 1983 song "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye" is ringing in my ears with the line - life's about changes; nothing ever stays the same. From reading your blog I get the sense that you are capable of managing the changes that have presented themselves in your life.

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    1. I absolutely love that song and that line in particular. And you're right, I've managed a lot of changes in my life but that doesn't mean I don't sometimes go kicking and screaming into the night. LOL

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  20. Change is indeed a mixed bag, isn't it? Every time we've moved the Recycle Trash Day, Regular Trash Day {Weekly} and Bulk Garbage Day {once a Month} change and it takes me a while to get it Down. I've finally done that here, it took a mere 9 months. *LOL* Until I could recall easily I had it written down and every week would look at it to prompt my memory. Sometimes being on the peripheral of conversations is okay, at times I can connect meaningfully and other times not so much, depends on whose in the conversations. Same online, some people are easier to connect with than others and some you just feel more at ease with than others. Nothing personal, it's just normal I guess in any Social Circle. Today oddly, while out Shopping, random Strangers struck up conversation with me and practically told me their whole life story in intimate details usually reserved for people you know well and Trust... it was odd but I felt like they needed to share whatever it was. One Young Woman, 20's age group, had just gotten to find and meet her bio Father just before he passed away... she's getting a Tattoo in 2 weeks to commemorate him. Her story Moved me and she seemed very happy to be able to Share that story with me for some reason, my privilege to hear it and give her my full attention.

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    1. Connecting with strangers like you did with the young woman has always been my husband's specialty and have enjoyed being along for the ride. Once in a while it happens for me too and you are right about it happening in the blog community as well.

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