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, May 15, 2021

Freaking Out!

I suppose freaking out is too strong a statement. Maybe wimping out or having a meltdown is closer to the fact? For some odd reason (or many reasons) tears have been close to the surface the past few weeks. One of those reasons is the on-going saga of my getting ready for my move to a continuum care campus---which in turn has caused me: 1) to depend on ambient too much to get some sleep, and 2) to depend of comfort foods to be my new best friend. Keeping the transition saga company on the ‘Things to Worry About' chart is stuff beyond my control---the pandemic, some issues my brother's family are going through, the housing market and worrying that the seller’s market will burst just as my house goes on the market, depending on hired help to get my house ready to list. Wouldn’t you think with so many situations I can't do anything about that I’d focus more on what I can control? Like my diet? My eating is so out of control it would take a baseball bat alongside the head to knock me back into the healthy eating zone. I'm still buying salads and fruits as well as the cookies, ice cream and carbs. I didn’t stop eating what I’m supposed to be eating, I just added my drug of choice to the mix. Sugar. Lots of sugar. I’ve been here before. The only thing that pulls me back from the Sugar Abyss is writing down every single morsel that passes my lips. I guess that's called 'accountability' and apparently I'm not mad enough about myself destructive behavior to go there yet.

You would not believe what I just went thought to get the correct spelling of ‘abyss.’ It involved a google search, my Franklin Word Master and a lot of yelling at Alexa because apparently in my dyslexic brain ‘obelisk’ and ‘abyss’ are pronounced the same. (When I check the spelling of a word, I always check its definition which is how I find all my brain farts in the Wonderful World of Writing.) I even tried to move past my obsession with that word by using the phrase Sugar Brink or Sugar Ledge instead of Sugar Abyss but I can be a stubborn creature when I argue with Alexa. And even that made tears roll down my cheek, wondering if my new neighbors be able to hear me yelling at my virtual assistant. Given all the fights we have over words on a daily basis why do I dream about getting another Alexa that isn’t tied to my Kindle? Some mysteries cannot be solved by applying logic.

Anyway, where was I with my ‘freaking out’ post? Stress. Yes, I’m stressed out and even though Levi my Might Schnauzer died two months ago, I’ve cried over him more these past two weeks than I did right after he passed away. I haven't been this "weepy" in years. My lawn treatment guy left a dog bone in a plastic bag with his invoice hanging on the door. Cue the crying. My cell phone calendar reminded me to give Levi his flea and heart worm medications. Cue the tears. And do you know how many cute dog videos pop up on my Facebook feed? They’ve always been there so why did they start effecting me now, two months after Levi’s passing? Probably for the same reason songs on Prime County have become crying cues again. I need more sleep, less sugar and a couple of huge hugs. Gosh, it's been well over a year since another human and I have touched. Damn pandemic! Makes me want to fake a choking event just to get someone to do the Heimlich Maneuver.

I got invited out to lunch by two of my Gathering Girls pals and found out the group, as we knew it, has reached its demise. We had a good run for nearly four years---meeting twice a month for lunch, but it looks like we’re not going to survive the damage the pandemic did to our good times. Last summer we were meeting in a park since the restaurants were all closed down and I was fully expecting to start that up again once we get past the unseasonably cold weather we’ve been having. But these two women told me they and a third member of the group don't want to meet in the park anymore because the picnic tables are too uncomfortable. Another member has COPD compromised lungs and even though she’s fully vaccinated she doesn’t want to go to restaurants but would do the park and sixth member of our group is afraid to get vaccinated which makes a few of the other ladies in the group nervous to be around her. Restaurants here are still not operating at full capacity and, for me, it isn't fun to linger over lunch when people are waiting to be seated. The handwriting is on the wall, there is no way to make everyone happy. 

I was the person who always sent out the bi-monthly emails to keep us meeting every 1st and 3rd Mondays. Even during this past winter when no places were open I still sent out the emails to keep us all touching bases. But at lunch I passed the job of coordinating future lunches and RSVPs on to one of my lunch companions who also had a bone to pick about meeting at a centrally located restaurant we often went to before the pandemic put us in the park. It seems that three in the group want to do spur-of-the-moment lunches instead of on fixed dates and they want to bounce around to different places. We've done a little of that bouncing around, especially in the early years, even tried rotating who picked the restaurants but neither worked as well for getting full attendance like going to our 'default place' did. Sitting at lunch this week, the negativity took me by surprised and I felt chastised which---real or made-up in my sleep deprived head---made me sad, like I hadn't been sensitive enough to the winds of discontinue. And it makes me a little mad that I had to come home and remove a summer's worth of 1st and 3rd Monday luncheons off my day planner. After doing that, I deleted Levi's medication reminders off my phone app calendar. Change is hard but I plan to take Socrates' advice to heart. ©

56 comments:

  1. My heart goes out to you. The quote is good, but so is mourning your losses, and you have lost a lot. Fingers crossed you'll love your new home. ❤️

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    1. It just occurred to me that I signed up to be the 3rd person in my building to move it. Those first few days are going to be noisy during the day and strange at night being in a huge building with so few other people. I need to turn my brain off!

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  2. Hi Jean, You have a lot of things on your mind right now but things will move forward and settle into place. I don't think you need to worry about the selling of the house. You've kept your house in very good condition and it will sell fast once you list it. After you have settled into your new place, you'll meet new people and again, have a group to share activities and places to eat. You have been through a lot during these past few years and you have done so well. You will be fine and let me congratulate you on your knowing when to make the change in your life. You could have not made the decision when you did and would have had all that in front of you at this time. You are on a roll my friend:)

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    1. Thanks. I try to give myself this same pep talk but it doesn't work as well as getting it from someone else. The one thing I am certain about in this whole progress is that I made the right decision to downsize and move to this campus. I follow the parent, non-profits' Facebook page for their other campus and am so impressed by what they do for their employees and people living there.

      My house is in good shape maintenance wise but new owners will want to paint and do new flooring so it's not move-in ready so to speak. I just saw the photos of the house across the street that just went up for sale and it's all been updated and modern. I honestly don't know where the very young family found the money to do all they did over the two years they've lived there plus have a new baby and not working during the pandemic.

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  3. I can relate to some of the things you are going through. This pandemic has really unstiffened our backbones and reduced our tolerance for strife to almost zero. Doesn't take much these days to push us over the edge. A dear friend told me yesterday how she bit her husband's head off for leaving a cupboard door open.
    My support group is like your gathering girls. We haven't met in a year though we keep in touch. I really miss them and the laughs we always had. We are considering an outdoor luncheon in the park but we also have a vaccine hold out that we aren't sure what to do with. Even though we love her, no one wants her at our table. She use to be our leader.
    Socrates makes a good point. I'll try to work on that.

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    1. I'm guessing there are lots of groups that took a hard hit from the pandemic and will never go back to the way they were before...like your support group and my Gathering Girls. I truly loved the park for lunches because we could stay as long as we wanted and stretched lunch out to 2 1/2 hours. We could spread out yet be all inclusive without being exposed to the general public and one member who has not been vaccinated doesn't bother me because we KNOW and can keep our distance, insist on a mask, where we don't really know that about the others in a restaurant. I'm not keen on running all over town to unfamiliar neighborhoods just to go out to lunch when it was the company I enjoyed not necessarily the food. So I will be using that Socrates quote as my mantra this summer as I let go of the past.

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    2. My book club is like your group and Arkansas Patti's, but I'm the vaccine holdout. Not at all by choice. I wanted to be in the vanguard. I campaigned to have it, but I had serum sickness after a prior vaccination, a reaction that changed my life forever in one week's time, funneling me into cardiologists' and neurologists' and a rheumatologists' care. My rheumatologist consulted with an immunologist and said no way. Each bout of serum sickness carries a greater risk of vasculitis and even death. I'm crying a lot these days, too, as I see my age group posting photos on Facebook of their first get-togethers with grandchildren, as my book club begins to meet on the patio of a local restaurant again, as I'm looked at askance and grouped with anti-vaxxers. (I'm not accusing you of that.) I'm facing a surgery for skin cancer that will mean I have to have my lower eyelid reconstructed while my infusions seem to be failing, and I just am having trouble resurrecting my normal optimism. We've all been through so many wrenching events the previous four years that I think I've temporarily depleted my normal resilience. And now, as I type this sitting in my comfortable house with my husband of 51 years, I'm rolling my eyes a myself, thinking get over yourself, Linda! LOL.

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    3. Around Mother's Day I had to stay off Facebook because all the happy reunions were making me both sad for me and happy for them...didn't know how to feel from one minute to the next.

      That "get over yourself" is a good one for me to remember, too. People all over the entire world have been suffering because of the pandemic in one way or another. I've tried really hard this past year to cut strangers some slack when they do something to annoy me because we really don't know what all they might be dealing with.

      I'm so sorry about all your health issues. But I'm glad you have doctors who seem to know what they are doing. You and my friend who is afraid of the safety of vaccines are in not way anti-vaxxers. Anti-vaxxers are purely hold-outs for political reasons.

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  4. Thank you for sharing all this. I also have stress issues as we begin to emerge from the past 14 months. Part of me relishes the freedom while part of me dreads the return of deadlines and busyness. I just keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time and see where it takes me.

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    1. I do think a lot of us are at the end of our ropes and are reacting to the normal stresses of life with shorter fuses than we did pre-pandemic. We just have to keep reminding ourselves about that one-day-at-time rule for digging ourselves out. Thanks for reminding me to do that.

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  5. I know virtual hugs just aren’t the same but sending one anyway. As others noted you have been through a lot of change and have a lot yet to come. Major life events are hard enough one at a time but you have quite a few and then to throw in a pandemic - oh my. I would prepare for the possibility too that after you move you may feel let down unless you have a new project to focus on. At least I did after our big downsizing and move. I had nothing to throw myself into next and once I found it life looked rosier. I too love the quote and thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences.

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    1. I have wondered about the 'let down' feelings I might have after all this is over. I really do think it will take a few months to adjust. Thanks for bringing that up and for the virtual hugs.

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  6. Oh I feel for you...having to handle all this alone. And poor Levi died unexpectedly and that is always more difficult.
    But when you do get moved, you’ll have all new friends and new social activities and it’ll be even better.
    Just try to eat better, so you get there...health is most important.

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    1. The last time I went to the grocery store I went on an empty stomach and came home with a bunch of junk food. I won't be making that mistake again, anytime soon.

      I really am starting to worry about the toll my stress is taking from my health. I've even gone two nights without taking a sleeping pill. The first night was awful. I slept from 12 to 4 and couldn't get back to sleep, finally got up at 5:00. The second night was better, still woke up several times and had a hard time falling back to sleep but I did sleep until 7:00.

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    2. Just a thought...could you sell your home soon and store what you plan on taking and rent a furnished apartment for awhile? Then all you’d have to do is move.

      And all the stuff you are still trying to sell...could you just let some of it go...may want auction?

      Most new homeowners want to paint, do flooring and make improvements on their own, so that’d free you up from some worries there.

      Take some nice walks in a safe area or a park, eat well, watch comedies, and contact a few friends on occasion even if just one wants to go out for lunch.

      Get a kitty...much easier than a dog and just as affectionate.

      Just thoughts....I want to see you make it to your new home. Is it this year or next?

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    3. My move-in appointment to the new place is Oct 5th at 8:00 to 12:00.

      I'm allergic to cats or I'd have one in a heartbeat. I'm putting off the decision to get another dog to after I move. I only kept a shoe box full of puppy stuff out of all the junk Levi I. Right now I'm leaning toward not getting another fur baby, but I'm not closing that door yet. I did unsubscribe from the Pet Finder site.

      I don't have much left to to sell. A roll top desk, computer wardrobe, some artwork that needs to stay through an open house and some bookcases that likewise need to stay in the library. My Plan A was an auction but the place that took small lots went out of business. I'm on Plan B but have a Plan C in mind if I run out of time. My living room and dinning room furniture will get donated.

      I've looked into renting a POD or two to put my stuff in and I have lined up my niece's cottage to stay at should I need to in September. The son-I-wish-I-had is licensed to drive big rigs and he can rent the big Rider trucks to move me in one load. We're still working the details to now which direction to go...PODS or Rider.

      These are the sort of things that keeps me up at night. LOL

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  7. I have a group of high school friends and we met for lunch about every 6 weeks or so (before COVID). We had our first gathering a couple of weeks ago at Olive Garden restaurant and we ate inside. Customers were well spaced out and we had all been vaccinated. We were a smaller group as 2 were hesitant and 1 wasn't vaccinated so those 3 did not attend. 5 of us still had fun so maybe you don't have to get all of your group to participate. Even lunch with just 1 or 2 could be a helpful start.
    Hope you feel better!

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    1. I know. I did enjoy seeing the two ladies from the group but felt badly that everyone wasn't included to make the decision to go or not themselves. But it's a free country and these ladies have been meeting for lunch outside the main group since we started the group and this time, they spur-of-the-moment decided to include me. Can't really fault them for that.

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  8. Stress is a bully. It can really disrupt so many parts of our lives that it's a pandemic unto itself.

    I can't tell you how many times a doctor told me that I had to minimize stress. The frustrating thing was HOW DO I DO THAT!? My whole life was stressful for years and years.

    Transitions are difficult, and you're making so many big ones during a huge one, the pandemic. And you're going through lots of losses, both big and small. That you're having bouts of grief is unsurprising.

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    1. In April my doctor blamed my high blood pressure on stress. We mostly all know where it comes from and the tricks we're supposed to do to reduce it but stress can be like a steam roller that makes you not want to get up and fight it. This too will pass...

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    2. You are so right - we mostly know what we are supposed to do, but in challenging times it can be hard to make ourselves do it. I'm in that same place - I usually have a good lid on how much sugar I take in, but lately I am out of control. Gaining weight just makes me feel worse, needing more sugar. I have NOT been getting up to fight and I need to get back into action.

      Also, just to let you know that I am so impressed with what you have done. I want to sell my little house but I haven't zeroed in on a plan for where I want to go next. I am pretty deadline oriented so I have not been as productive as you have been during the pandemic, and I regret not forcing myself to get more done. Sigh. Keep on keeping on.
      Nina

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    3. Deadlines do make a difference. I write my own goals and deadlines for each week and that has mostly worked for staying on track. With the pandemic pushing my move farther in the distance it complicated things because while it gave me more time, it gave more time for things to go wrong as well...like my Plan A the auction house going out of business and Levi dying.

      I really need to rain in my sugar and I'm gong to start by going to the grocery store on a full belly next time.

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  9. There's been a lot of adjusting going on in the past year because of the pandemic. I think the pandemic itself could have been handled better, but adjustments would have been necessary anyway. Levi's death and your decision to downsize and move just added to the mix. I suspect that the old adage about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts applies. Had you been forced to deal with any one of those significant changes, you would have done fine. None of the would have been beyond your ability to cope. But when they all appeared at once, the effect was far greater than if they'd come one at a time. You'll do fine. Just remember to ask yourself occasionally, "Is this a problem, or is it just a fact of life?"

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    1. Good advice. Acceptance can make a difference.

      But I really do still miss Levi and only time can cure that. So many little things remind me of him on a daily basis. I'm sure it took you a while to quit looking for Dixie Rose.

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    2. It did. I'd say hello to her when I came home for about three months. I still think occasionally, "Oh, I need to take some of that home" when I see cat grass in the store. But, now it's not painful any longer -- just memories that come and go.

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    3. Can't wait to get to the part where the memories don't trigger sadness.

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  10. That is a wonderful quote! You are doing so much, worrying about so much ... you must give yourself an hour a day to just BE. Breathe on purpose. Day dream of happy events. Then go back to the rat race. Thank you for sharing your journey, ups and downs.

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    1. I word vomit all over my blog to help me relax. LOL

      Funny you should mention breathing, I've been trying to breath on purpose when I first go to bed and to pay closer attention to when I start getting sleepy. I'm terrible when it comes to pushing myself to read just a few more pages.

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    2. Breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and release for 7 seconds. Then up to ten seconds. I do this at Dr visits and it does lower my blood pressure.

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    3. I have a phone app for that and I use it at the doctor's office too.It really works, doesn't it. Just need to remember to do it more often during the day.

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  11. Jean :

    you have been going through lot of big change & it is stressful, but I read someplace when big change is happening in your life just hold on God is arranging something better to come out of all this drastic changes. Sorry about Levi & your girlfriend group, but who knows in your new move you might end up meeting another group which will fill your life again, & remember your own advice which I still apply when I feel stresses about things, " is this disaster or inconvenience" by thinking that does bring down your stress level, uncertainty is hard to deal with but remember something better is going to come out of this change like it always does

    Asha

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    1. Thank you for giving me that piece of advice that I once gave to you! I was actually trying to remember exactly how that was phrased recently and couldn't come up with it. I'm going to put it on a sticky note on my Kindle app so I don't forget it again. I used to quote it a lot on the support site were we met...both to myself and to others.

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  12. Like so many have already stated well, this crazy pandemic, selling a home, buying a new place, and then moving add up to Crazy Town for me and my husband. I truly get it. Looks like we'll be moving a little before you ("if all goes as planned"--that phrase makes me want to laugh...or cry, depending on the day). I really do believe losing Levi is an ongoing, significant life changer. We lost our last pet a few years ago and haven't gotten any more since then. You really have a complex set of circumstances facing you. And yet I firmly believe that things will work out, one by one, in their own good time. Hold on tight. We're gonna make it!!! xoxo

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    1. I really do miss Levi. I still look for him when it's bed time and when I open an outside door, a dozen times a day I'm reminded he's gone. I even ordered a stacking washer and dryer in my new place because of him, so he could have the added floor space for den so after I move I'll still have a memory trigger.

      Every night on the local news they are featuring a realtor with advice on buy houses. Recently one said even the rental places are in short supply so if you don't have family or friends to loan you a place to crash between closing and moving it gets dicey. Hope all goes well for you in Crazy Town. "If all goes as planned" is a wonderful stress inclusive phrase, isn't it.

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  13. Socrates was no dummy.

    Let's talk about loss and grief -- and not just about Levi. In the past year or so, you've said goodbye to your daily companion and believe me, I know how hard that is. Those tears won't stop for a long time and they'll come when you least expect them. Those are healthy tears. Tears of love. But they are compounded by the other losses in your life -- not the least of which is your home. Yes, it's a choice but it doesn't mean you won't be leaving a spot filled with many memories, a big part of your life. You have parted with "things" and yes -- they are just things, and choices, but many of those things -- even the ones you didn't keep -- have strong memory and experience attached to them, and even if you feel good letting them go, sometimes you just wish you had it back. I can't remember if you had friends or family who died in pandemic but there was a lot of grief attached to that. And now your Gathering people.

    And as we accumulate new griefs, it is almost impossible to not mix in with them, the old ones, mourning losses from long ago.

    We do it day by day, Jean, one step at a time. And sometimes you have to go with it, just cry. Then dry the tears and take a step or two. Much of your grief is still raw. But you will be fine. I know this. And, you have a whole community to support you right here. (We aren't worried about which restaurant to go to when we spend time with you!)

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    1. Well, I'm crying as I finish reading your comment, but I'm calling them good tears because they are helping me to release the emotions about all the things you've mentioned.

      You talked about little losses of things. Yesterday I sold on Facebook a Victorian table I refinished when I was still in my teens, one of my first antique purchases. It was so ornate it was like a piece of artwork that incorporated a large brass ball in center of the legs. The couple could tell it was a hard parting for me and they described exactly where it was going to sit in their library room where it will get back lite in front of a floor-to-ceiling window and how they'd looked for a long time for the perfect table to put there. I told them I felt bad that I didn't realize the top of the oak was getting damaged from a plant that sat on it for years and how it wouldn't be hard to refinish that 17" top and they said they thought the water stain gave it character and story to tell when people admire the lines of that table. Now, that was a happy ending but one only other collectors of old things understands...how attached we can become our things. You get it, I know.

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  14. You're reflecting what soooooo many of us are feeling. Even if we aren't feeling the intense grief of losing a pet, we sure know what that feels like. I don't often have tears well up, but the pervasive sense of sadness this year brought may take a long time to dissipate - if it ever does. Lifting the mask mandates isn't going to do it, and it was my natural preference not to stand close to others, so I'll likely remain uncomfortable when that returns.

    I am however planning on giving the elbow to the first person who thinks they can lean across me to grab something off a shelf as though I'm not even there!

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    1. Oh, I hate that leaning around me in the store, too. And hand shaking. Long before we had firsthand knowledge of what a pandemic is I've hated shaking hands. I will never do that again if I can find a joking catch-line to stop one from happening.

      Just yesterday our state lifted the mask requirement for those who have been vaccinated. But now we have no way of knowing who the anti-vaxxers are because they were usually the ones who wore their masks defiantly around their chins.

      At least those of us who are experiencing the "pervasive sense of sadness this year has brought" know we're not alone. And that sure helps me. Thanks.

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  15. I'm so sorry about your dog. Grief can take a long time to get through and we all do it in our own way.

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  16. Good quote, so true. As for you lunch gatherings, maybe after a few months the group will reconsider? 4 years twice a month is a lot of history together.

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    1. I don't see how any group of six can survive not having a set schedule. Spur-of-the-moment planning is always going to leave someone out who had other plans or who can't react fast enough or who didn't get the message in time. Not everyone uses text messages so setting up a group text won't work to get everyone on the same page, so just planning something last minute in going to be challenging. We had a good run and I'm happy the group filled a void for me after my husband died so I won't be the one to beat the dead horse, trying to make it run some more.

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  17. I love Socrates' advice, however it's not always easy for me.

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    1. Not sure it is for anyone thus the advice is still relevant over all these years.

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  18. Dear Jean, I haven't been experiencing all the change you have. To lose an animal companion who is the friend of your heart as you live alone now is enough to bring grief for months and maybe more months. But to be moving at the same time and to feel the winds of change in a group that was pinned to two days a month, that is what can topple us into that abyss you spoke of. I so hope that you can embrace and hold onto the advice of Socrates. I'm going to try to as I deal with physical problems that sort of plunge me into self-pity. Someone gave me the following quotation from Mrcel Proust: "The real voyage of discovery consists not ini seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." And so I'm trying to train the inner eye of my heart wishes to see the good in all that is happening around me and to me and beyond my control. I'll be thinking of you as I try, knowing you are trying also. And I so hope to get back into the habit of reading blogs and thus visiting yours more often. Peace.

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    1. Thank you Dee. Being a person of deep faith like you are, having been a nun of many years, I know your words are heartfelt. I like the Proust quote and I know it's true. Every time we get new information, hear another point of view we must change how we see ourselves and the journey through our challenges.

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    2. Dee....I'm a regular at Jean's blog and just want to pop in to thank you for your comment. I found it helpful too, especially the Proust quote.

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    3. Dear Jean and Donna, I'm so pleased that Proust's words spoke to you too. Yesterday, I had sort of a meltdown after 5 days of the Meniere's headache I get (like a migraine) + putting drops in my eyes 19x last week and all this week. I surely did discover that tired old explored land of self-pity. Then, seeing myself with new eyes, I realized that I needed to reach out to a new voice/heart. So I called one of my nieces and asked her to talk about anything that came to her mind. We ended up having the best conversation. Truly good did come out of that new sighting! Hope the same happens for all of us. Peace.

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  19. I have not read the previous comments, so I may be redundant here: This post is a gift to all of us. Pretending we can breeze through the kind of year (and longer) that we've just had without a bit of "freaking out" is not a sign of strength, but a sign of denial. You are having an entirely appropriate reaction to stress and grief and overwhelm. It has been a time of many losses -- familiar routines, time with friends and family, and for you, the joy of anticipating a new home, but also the loss of treasured items that represented treasured memories as well. And then the real, heart-wrenching loss of your Levi on top of it. To find that your Gathering Girls are teetering must feel like you've been set adrift. I can offer all kinds of advice and maybe others have as well, but mostly I just want to say to be gentle with yourself and know that what you are experiencing is real, normal, healthy, and temporary. My son gave me a necklace for Christmas, knowing how I've struggled over the past year, engraved with "this too shall pass". I've always found that sentiment to be trite and dismissive. But it's also true. I try to feel all the feels in the moment -- deeply feel and express them -- but know underneath that everything changes and one never really knows the end of the story. Sending love and hugs...

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    1. Wow, Donna! All I can say is thank you for summing my benchmarks that lead to my freaking out this week. I truly am feeling better and it did help to air it all in public on my blog. Lots of times we can do that online when we can't do it with those closest to us because we don't want to burden them with the idea that they have to somehow help us fix what we perceive is broken.

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  20. Jean, I'm so sorry to read that everything is hitting you at once. I don't think you need a pep talk from me...you've already come upon what you need to do, based on the ending of your post. This would be a tough move at any time, but having gone through/still going through a pandemic, and the loss of Levi...well, allow those tears to come and provide a necessary release. I wish I could give you a huge hug.

    Deb

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    1. Can you believe there are people all over the whole world who misses hugs! It's been so long! Even now when many of us are coming online with our vaccinations and we can get back to hugging, there aren't many people in my life who by nature are huggers except for one and he's an anti-vacxer. So the-son-I-wish-I-had and I will continue to do air-hugs. Virtual hugs are good too.

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  21. Huge Virtual Hugs Jean, and I'm so sorry the Ladies' Group fell apart. Perhaps at the CCC there will be some Groups to join that will bond you with New Neighbors and Friends? That's something to look forward to. I want to resume some things Post-Pandemic too, I just don't know where to start, we've Isolated now for so long that we feel rather detached from Society actually now. Me, a People Person, actually told The Man, a Recluse, that it's been kinda Nice not having to Deal with the Drama and Headaches Relationships outside of the Family can sometimes Create. This past Year I've done Okay just having Loose Ties and distancing myself Emotionally and Socially, from most people... and that Surprised me that I'm Content with it. Near Tears, I usually never Cry and now I can get Emotional too at the drop of a Hat... so much to just Process and Internalize I guess? They have said that everyone's Emotional and Mental Health has been up under a lot of Strain due to all this... not Surprising. You've had Loss and you didn't expect Levi to pass, a Move is always Stressful beyond Belief, especially as it draws Closer and you feel more Pressures and uncertainties. When it's all behind you then you'll feel like you can Breathe again and resume your next Chapter of Life. I'm just over a Year in here and at times feel rushed to get it all just Done... Patience not being a Virtue of mine. *winks* You did a lot of the Downsizing early on which will be incredibly Helpful once you've transitioned over to your Lovely new Apartment. I'm looking forward to when you can Blog about all the Joys!

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    1. I held up pretty well during the pandemic only seeing human beings every two weeks at the grocery store. But I think coming out of the pandemic has effected a lot of us with that 'falling apart after the crisis' syndrome. I've always been like that. I can do what I have to do to get through stuff then when the worst is past, I fall apart.

      Thanks for the virtual hugs. I will take them no matter what form the come in.

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  22. Catching up on your blog after too long away. There are scales for measuring stress which give scores to different kinds of life events. Between Levi's death, your impending move, and all the pandemic disruptions, your score would probably be pretty high. (Just thinking about getting ready to move makes me clench my teeth and go look for some fatty junk food!) I'm sorry to hear that your Gathering Girls group is a casualty of the pandemic; I think my Solo Seniors group has suffered the same fate -- although I'll still keep individual friendships with some members of the group. I imagine you'll find opportunities for new friendships when you move, especially since everyone will be moving in new and there won't already be established friendship groups. Hang in there!

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    1. We can acknowledge why we are stressed out but that doesn't cure it. But I know I've been through much worse so I'm holding my own, Just need to let off stream once in a while.

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