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, December 30, 2020

Goodbye 2020!

In my entire life I’ve never looked more forward to a New Year’s Eve than I have this year including the years when I had fancy, dress up events to attend. I’ll bet most of us can say that in this year of the World-Wide Pandemic, Mother Nature Gone Wild and our Bat-shit Crazy Politics. 2020 needs to be thrown on the heap of history with the hope of better things to come. 

This time last year I started the year out with an actual Good Things Jar, fully intending to add a note each day of something good that happened that day. That lasted until March when my state got our first covid-19 lock down. By mid-summer I emptied out the jar to repurpose it. I hate admitting that, but facts are facts. Usually I keep my commitments to myself. (Well to others, too, but the point is that the Good Things Jar was another good thing in a long list of good things that went badly in 2020.) Since I was a teenager I’ve faithfully written New Year’s Resolutions. After widowhood my resolutions morphed into the then new fad of having a one word Mantra to live by over the next year. I loved the mantra idea and should have stuck to it. Better yet when the Good Things Jar bombed I should have revived one of my past Mantras. My mantra of ‘courage’ that I used the first year after my husband died would have worked for 2020 because it took courage for me to roll out of bed each morning and stay focused on my move to the continuum care campus while the building project got shutdown due to the virus. Or my past mantra that was inspired by Wood Allen of ‘Just show up’ could been bent to fit the trials and crud that came with 2020.

One way I will celebrate tomorrow night is to watch a movie that has become a tradition on the last day of December since it was first released in 2011. It’s a comedy romance titled New Year’s Eve and it centers around the ball dropping at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. It gets stuck and the woman in charge of the drop steps forward and makes a touching speech that in the shadow of 2020 sounds almost quaint. “…As you all can see, the ball has stopped half way to its perch. it's suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by, to remember both our triumphs and our missteps, our promises made and broken, the times we opened ourselves up to great adventures... or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt, because that's what new year's all about, getting another chance, a chance to forgive. To do better, to do more, to give more, to love more, and to stop worrying about what if... and start embracing what will be. So when that ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let's remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other, and not just tonight but all year long.” 

I still love that speech but I’ll be the first to admit the ‘what ifs’ of 2020 haunted me, I embraced them in a hug so tight that it felt like I was super-glued to all that went wrong in the political world, with the world-wide pandemic and with acts of God and how all three of those things converged in what felt like I was a small sailboat being dragged down into the Bermuda Triangle. So on New Year's Eve I’m metaphorically going to ER to get that super-glued hug unstuck like the time I super-glued my eye shut and had to go in for emergency eye care. Oh my God, did that hurt! And to this day I still wear safety glasses whenever I use glue. Super gluing your eye shut doesn’t do any permanent damage. If only we could say the same thing about all that went wrong in 2020. But we can’t. Lives and homes were lost to fires, floods and hurricanes. Millions of people have died because of the world-wide pandemic. Jobs and businesses were also lost to the virus. And we can only hope that our very democracy has not been damaged beyond repair from having the most corrupt and self-serving president in our history these past four years. My hope is probably echoed across the world, that we’re leaving all that behind in 2020 and we get a cleaner slate starting out 2021. Note I didn’t say ‘clean slate’ because we still have still have to mop up a few major messes from last year.

Back to what I plan to use for a mantra or New Year’s Resolution for 2021. I’m going with ‘Hope, Health and Moving Forward.’ And that means I’m nurturing the hope that all our lives will improve as we get the virus under control. The ‘health’ in the mantra means I need to step up and be proactive to get my small health issues under control before they mushroom into something bigger---my arm, foot, weight and, of course, avoiding the virus. And the ‘moving forward’ part of my 2021 mantra means every day I need to keep doing what needs doing to facilitate my move to the continuum care campus in August. ©

 HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

36 comments:

  1. You have had to deal with all the messes that each of us have but you had the added burden of the move and all that entailed. Hats off to you lady.
    I like your mantra and may adopt it. It covers all the necessary bases.
    Hoping you have a blessed year Jean with zero "what ifs" at the end of 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Not all 'what ifs' are bad. It's how we trouble shoot to prevent things from going wrong. For me, anyway, it's not just worrying about what could go wrong, it's making alternative plays if something goes wrong. What ifs have served we well when I was in the wedding business and when my husband had his parking lot maintenance business. But there were so many of them this year that I had no control over that they got to me.

      Delete
  2. You may not have reused your courage mantra this year but you certainly have demonstrated it in so many ways. I really like your mantra for the coming year and it applies to so many of us. I look forward to hearing about your journey in 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and I always look forward to you Thankful Thursdays.

      Delete
  3. You accomplished a lot this year despite all its challenges. It was as if your mantra was Downsize Ruthlessly.

    I kept up with my Good Things Jar--not adding to it daily, but each time I felt something was worthy to go in. I'm looking forward to opening it up and reading all those slips of paper.

    And starting another one.

    Happy New Year, Jean. Here's to a calmer, brighter, more hopeful and sane 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had forgotten about opening the jar on New Year's day or eve. That sounds like a good topic to blog about! One of my favorite blogging friends started a second blog recently named Daily Delights and she writes a short paragraph daily that reminds me of a cross between the Good Things Jar and May Sarton.

      I'll second your toast to a calmer, brighter and sane 2021!

      Delete
  4. Happy New Years my Friend! I haven't been contemplating much about Tomorrow except that the Title Co. is coming to the house to finalize the Refi and let us skip Two Mortgage Payments to kick off our New Year. I'd whipped the House into shape in preparation for that, I can even see the Dining Room Tabletop for the first time in Months! While it was all so pristine I madly Photographed our accomplishment since it was the first time I could do panoramic shots of my Home for a long time to use as Blog Fodder Posts! *LOL* I played in the Pecan Leaves some more, Harvested a big Bowl of them and had Princess T take the humorous Photo Shoot of me deep in Leaves at the request of another Blog Friend who thought it would be hilarious. I was happy to oblige and find out it made her laugh her Ass off. It was silly and fun so I suppose I could add do more silly and fun stuff in 2021 as a resolution. Along with... keep the Home in Order and Tidy as it is right now, because it really is Calming and I'm not so anxious when it's looking less chaotic and messy. I think I can do these things without the usually loftier ones that fall by the wayside. They are saying at the current Vaccination rate it will take a Decade to get us all the Vaccine... I did the Math... and Princess T marveled that she'd be 25 before she gets her Turn. So... we're just rolling with the Reality that we'll be the ones responsible for staying vertical... we simply cannot rely on the Govt. to Save us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With her health issues, I bet Princess T could be moved up on the vaccine list. And given she lives with two at risk seniors I wouldn't hesitate to check that out.

      I can't wait to see your humorous photo shoot. I can't tell you how many times (before the pandemic) I'd push myself to do this or that so I'd have some blogger fodder. I've always viewed that as one of the main perks of blogging.

      Keeping a tidy house could go on my resolution list every year. If I didn't a cleaning service I can't imagine how long I'd go before picking up my messes like you with your dinning room table.

      Delete
    2. They are saying the Elite are already attempting to buy their way to the front of the line, no big surprise there. I will push for our risk rate being high enough to rate not waiting longer... if I Died it would cost the State a fortune to replace me as their full time Caregiver. Cheaper to just give me a Free Shot!? *LOL*

      Delete
    3. LOL I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it at all. I need more information about allergic reactions since I'm severally allergic to three drugs, shell fish, bees and tons of other stuff.

      Delete
  5. I think you did a great job of plowing through the messes we had to deal with in 2020. You never gave up and you did your best which is the most we can ever do after all.
    Best of luck in 2021 - here's to good health and happy times!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of us really had a choice but to keep plowing through the messes of 2020. But I'm glad most of us made it through such a weird year.

      Best of luck to you and yours for 2021.

      Delete
  6. Hope, Health and Moving Forward! A mantra that is optimistic and attainable. So glad to push 2020 out the door.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I even bought some junk food at the last minute and I have a small bottle of wine to help me celebrate that pushing 2020 out the door.

      Delete
  7. Fingers crossed 2021 is a much better year for you! ❤️šŸ’•❤️šŸ’•❤️šŸ’•❤️šŸ’•

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hope, Health and Moving Forward sounds like a damn fine mantra to me. Happy 2021, Jean!

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It also sounds like a good toast to use for midnight tomorrow. Happy New Year's, Deb.

      Delete
  9. I, too, am ready to put 2020 to rest. This morning while watching the news, I saw hospital workers in Florida, who had been standing in line since 12:30 AM in hopes of getting the vaccine. I guess injustice has always been a part of life, but it seems that those in control have lost their minds and their sense of decency. Then when we were told at the rate Americans are being vaccinated, it will take 10 years to get the job done. My gosh. Things simply must get better in 2021. I think your mantra is a great place to start the new year. I especially want to embrace hope...I need it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the next administration doesn't do a better job getting the vaccinations organized at a faster pace, it won't be from lack of trying the best to do so. We sure can't say that about Trump who is blaming the States.

      I am embracing 2021 like an old friend who can take us back to sanity again. I hope.

      Delete
  10. 2020 has been a rough year full of change for most of us, hopefully 2021 will be a better year, with less uncertainess (yeah maynot be a word) but I better you know what I mean.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do know exactly what you mean and I hope for the same thing. Happy New Year!

      Delete
  11. Happy New Year! I am one who is not sorry to see 2020 come to an end.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My view of things may be a little different. I'm not willing to throw any year on the trash heap -- even the bad ones. We have a limited number of years given to us, and if some aren't so pleasurable? So be it. After all, we tend to agree that those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Maybe we need to remember this past year, and its lessons. I sure as heck would hate to repeat it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I agree. By 'throwing 2020 on the heap of history' I just meant I was looking for a new beginning. I don't think anyone could ever forget 2020 and I fully expect historians will beat it to death as they figure out exactly how we got to where the year took us.

      Delete
  13. I love your mantra idea. I'm gonna adopt that too. Lovely post. Thanks for another year of sharing yourself with us. ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you for your commitment to political activism. You are such a good role model for your granddaughters. Thanks for reading here.

      Delete
  14. What a year this has been. Hope, health and moving forward sounds good to me. Every year brings some sadness, but this year has outdone itself. Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same to you and I hope you'll start blogging more. I've missed your posts!

      Delete
  15. HNY2021 and hope you'll be in your new home before the year's end! Best wishes, Libby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and if I'm not in my new home this new year, I will sit right down and cry. I'll bet it's already 2021 down under where you're at. Happy New Year, Libby!

      Delete
  16. It seemed such a long time ago that you announced your move and it seemed so long in the future. You can now count the months! It’s exciting. I wish you well and hope and health in the new year.
    I continue to read but my posts do disappear a lot when I try to submit them. I will try to make more of an effort to check your blog on a different browser.
    Regards,
    Leze

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am having trouble opening some of my favorite sites on one browser, but not my other one. I keep forgetting that and get so frustrated, so I understand...

      It was a long time ago the I put a deposit down on a unit in the complex. Knowing all the stuff I needed to sell and downsize the long time-table was one of the attractions but I never dreamed a pandemic would stretch that out even longer.

      Delete