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, June 2, 2021

The Over Active and Silly Sides of my Brain

My bladder alarm woke me up at 7:00 AM and, for once, I welcomed it because I had to make a trip to the county’s hazardous waste drop-off station and they’re only open on Fridays from 8 to 11:00. I’m going to miss having that place within a five minute drive from home. It’s located in the same cluster of buildings and roll-off dumpsters where we can drop off cardboard, papers, cans and glass jars, electronics and hazardous waste like paints, printer ink cartridges, back yard chemicals---the list is long of things the county doesn’t want to go in the ground to pollute our water and top soil. It makes me feel good every time drop something off even though, like today, the wait is often long. One of the seven people ahead of me had the entire back end of his pickup truck loaded with paint cans and they all had to be checked because they don’t take latex paint. With latex paint you’re supposed to open the cans, let them dry out or brush the paint on cardboard or pour kitty litter in them and put them in with your normal, weekly trash. I only had a shoe box full of stuff so I helped the line move along faster for those who waited behind me. I should get a gold star for being a frequent---don’t know what right word to use here. I’m not a frequent customer because you don’t have buy anything or pay for the service and I don’t know if ‘frequent dropper-offer’ is even a term.

Ohmygod, my brain hurts from worrying about the details of my life! Where will I go to drop off empty ink cartridges or cardboard after I move to the other end of the county? Will the trash compacter at the far end of the hall be a take-it-all-and-to-hell-with-the-environment kind of thing? Will it sound as loud that compactor on the garage truck that works my street? Back when Levi was alive I worried that the compactor would smell like used kitty litter thus I picked a unit as far away from the compactor as I could go just in case Levi thought it needed his pee mail to improve the kitty puanteur. Honestly, I need a meditation app so I’d have an excuse to sit in the corner and try my best not to think about who dripped that spot of paint on the molding and why did it take me nearly 20 years of living here to find it?

After going to hazardous waste I went a half block away to drop off four boxes to Goodwill, probably the last loads of any substance and value I’ll have to give. I do plan to do another closet purging because my weight, since the Great Closet Purge of the Century back in December of 2020, stayed the same and so the slightly too small clothes I kept back then will have to go bye-bye. I know what will happen. I’ll start using the gym across the hall from my apartment and I’ll wish I had those two boxes of too-small clothes back. I'm not keeping them because, 1) I won't have the room in my new closet and 2) if I were 100% sure that my future includes buying a ticket on the Diet & Exercise Express I’d purge the four tops I have that are too big. They swim on me---an online shopping mistake that wasn’t worth sending back. I need a closet and refrigerator intervention. Food. Food insecurity, food as a cure-all for all that ails me took away my good intentions. Food as my best friend and lately my lover. (Don’t let your mind go kinky here. That ‘lover comment’ was just a throw-away phrase and I have no idea why I wrote it much less thought it. Do your best Freudian interpretation if you’re so inclined, but I will not confirm nor deny that I’ve eaten popsicles in bed.)

Am I in a silly mood today? Why yes I am---almost to the point of being slaphappy. Yes, that’s a real thing. I spent the first thirty years of my life being slaphappy and I’m hoping I’ll enter that state again for the last years of my life. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary says, “Slaphappy hits a lot of the same spots as "punch-drunk": when you suffer a blow to the head, you become confused and silly for a while. The ‘dazed and confused’ sense of ‘slaphappy’ first appeared in English in 1936, and by the following year it was being used to describe those who behave with such abandon it’s as though they’ve had the common sense knocked out of them. A 1937 article in the New York Herald Tribune called Ernest Hemingway, a writer known to have had an adventurous lifestyle, ‘the slaphappy litterateur.’" It’s the “behave with such abandon...." that I’ll be going for, not the “dazed and confused” part. Ya, I want to let my free-spirit out of its cage and quit “adulting” to use a term all the cool kids are using these days to describe,  “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” (I love online dictionaries.) Well, I’ve got 891 words of my 1,000 word posting goal accomplished which is close enough. See you next time. ©

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29 comments:

  1. You and the kids are right, adulting is exhausting. Being a slap happy kid for a while would be glorious. Hope you make it.

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    1. Me too. I had the "happy kid" gig down pat back in the day. I'm generally a glass is half full like of person but that 'adulting' really does zap the energy out of you!

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  2. I was happily cruising along through your light and happy 891 words when I bumped into the phrase "dazed and confused" and came to a complete stop. That was the title of my very first blog post at The Task at Hand. It was April 19, 2008. That's really amazing, in a number of ways. Every year WordPress sends us a little 'happy anniversary' note on the date we began blogging, but I always just delete it and move on. I had no idea it's been 13 years since I began my blog. Tempus fidgets, indeed.

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    1. I just read your first post and I love it. Just the right amount of self-deprecating humor and, of course, the lyrical quality of your writing style---that I've always loved---shined as bright back 13 years ago as it does now.

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  3. Your mind is in a whirl and you need to calm down! Everything will work out. Your new place will collect cardboard and recycling somewhere on their large campus and you can drop used ink cartridges at Office Depot or Staples.
    You will have less responsibilities and more assistance so you will not have to "adult" if you do not want to.
    Peace!

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    1. In the back of my mind I know all theses these you've mentioned but it doesn't stop my mind from taking trips down those roads the minute I turn my light off at night.

      I'm looking forward to the skipping 'adulting' on days when I don't want to.

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  4. Please don't ever lose your slap-happiness again, Jean! The world needs more people like you. There are plenty of "adults" to go around, but not enough free spirits.

    Deb

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    1. I'm looking forward to letting my free-spirit out more often and maybe even donating her cage to Goodwill.

      I get a kick out of young people using the word 'adulting' and believe it will make the list of new words added to the dictionary next year. In my day we called it growing up.

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  5. Staples will take your used ink carts and they'll even give you a bit of credit for them if you have a Staples user card. It's not much, but if you need printer paper, sometimes you can get a bundle free. And there will be one not far from you, although the traffic in that little area can be congested, so I suggest going early or late. :-)

    As for the drip of paint, if you haven't noticed it until now, no one else will either. When we were selling last year, I was agonizing over every little detail. Our (wonderful) realtor told me that I need to think of the people looking at our home as taking a casual walk through your home and not really noticing all the things that drive you nuts. Turned out to be completely true. And the things people notice or ask about aren't things that would ever hit my radar screen. I predict your house will sell faster than you can believe and probably over the asking price.

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    1. I keep forgetting about the office supplies taking ink cartridges. I don't like knowingly pollinating the earth.

      I worry about my house selling too fast---on TV they said all the storage units in town have waiting lists now and PODS have to be reserved way a head of time. In a pitch I could use my brother's storage barn although (he and a great-niece offered this weekend) but they would not be ideal, being out of town and subject to critters getting in my stuff.

      On the good side, I just broke a 50 year old bottle of brandy in the garage. Guys going through it will love the scent in the air. I'm getting the cement power washed so sadly it might go away. And I was going to open that bottle after moving, too. LOL

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    2. Ask you realtor to negotiate the possession date. We had to do that and if they really want your house, you should be in the driver's seat? I know...I'm always an optimist. Of course, if it were me, I'd be stressing out at 2AM.

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  6. Silly and slaphappy are very good things. Yes, lots of little worries, probably most of which are inconsequential in the long run but definitely curious! You will be fine. Even if you must adult.

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    1. My 'adulting' will be vastly cut after the move and I can't wait to say good-bye to service calls for lawn, A/C, furnace, plumbers and all the other stuff it takes to keep a house going.

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  7. You're getting yourself into a tizzy, as my mother used to say to me. I understand the questions that are plaguing you and I understand your need to know now. Sadly I cannot help you in any way other than to say I get it. I'm a planner who likes to work out the details.

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    1. I'm not, actually, in a tizzy. This is normal me trying to cover all my bases and planing ahead. LOL

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  8. Sometimes, after a period of prolonged stress, I get the same sense of silly relief. I've even gotten to the point of laughing so hard that I begin crying. It's all about the release of stress.

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    1. I have SO done that with the laughing so hard when stressed out.

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  9. You're making good progress, Jean. When you mentioned the term "slaphappy" it brought back great memories. Whenever my mother got tired, she'd get slaphappy. I inherited the tendency, and my daughter is the same way. It's a heckuva lot better to laugh than cry, and everybody around us enjoys us--even though we're nuts! Most of us have enough adulting in our histories to last us the rest of our lives! Bring on the punch-drunk, devil-may-care, crazy as a loon behavior!

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  10. My goal now is to enjoy my second childhood even more than my first one. I do get silly and giddy, but not necessarily confused. When I'm confused I tend to get more centered and focused, curious about what the new reality is.

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    1. Second childhoods are great. We might as well enjoy the ride because we're all going in the same direction whether we want to or not.

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  11. https://escapeadulthood.com/blog/ - just in case you need more tips - have a great day (Catherine in NZ)

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    1. thank you for the link. I can't wait to wander around that site!

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  12. I haven't heard slaphappy in years. I still say things that make my daughter look at me weird. I'm sure that would be one of them.

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    1. Slaphappy used to be a popular saying back years ago, at least in my family.

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    1. I know! Wouldn't it be nice if we could play all day long and have someone else make our meals, wash our clothes and pay our bills.

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  14. I wouldn't mind going thru the latter part of Life Dazed and Confused in a Silly Free Spirited way... so much is SO Serious right now, that it would bring some levity to the situation and I'd just be totally Living in each Moment. Which right now doesn't sound half bad, does it? You've probably got so much spinning in your Head right now as the Move gets closer, I did too, it amplifies the anxiety and stress levels until everything works out and you can move forward with the next step of Life's Journey at the New Place. Once that happens, the Past melts away like last Year's Winter Snow... and a time of Rebirth will happen.

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    1. I so remember your blog posts back then. It back when I first started reading you. You had so much on your plate and I'm encouraged by how well your move as worked out.

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