A trip to my daughters in New York always fills me with new thoughts, new plans... I promise myself 'I'm gonna do this or do that when I get home' and then I return to the daily grind and I forget about the promise. But, I am sure going to try to change all of that.
What I wanted to talk with you about today refers to a long talk me and Susan and Shirley had on Sunday morning. I talk with my children about my grief. They grieve, too, and it helps to just put it out there and share. Although I am always open with them, I found, on Sunday morning, that I wasn't being OPEN with myself.
I have spent this past year, after losing Elbert, trying to 'find myself'.
Who was I without him?
Who was I going to be in the years to come?
Shirley reminded me that I know who I am, it's finding out what PURPOSE I now have that is my biggest trial. My purpose since I was nearly 17 was to be a good, loving wife to Elbert,
to be a good, loving mother, (pictured here with my son at his wedding)
then I strived to be a good, loving caretaker to my Mother
and then to Elbert.
I had 'purpose'. It drove me, it defined me.
2011 was a year filled with indecisiveness, confusion, it was a 'lost in a fog' year. And, it spilled over into the new year. I have been struggling so much. One day I think I have it figured out and the next I am right back not knowing what to do.
I just wonder how many other widows go through this phase. Am I the only one? How do I get out of it?
As I said, the talk with my daughters (as we stood in Susan's kitchen) found me opening up about so much. I knew that as I began to crawl out of the initial shock of losing Elbert, I began doing 'Normal' things. Hey, I must be getting SO much better. I'd tell myself, Tomorrow, I will be over all this. Talk about denial!! Oh, that's another step of grieving... denial is. So, I denied to myself and everyone around me that I was moving right along, I was getting over this depression, this grief. Oh yes, I still cried, I still ached... but, hey, I'm a big girl. I handled yesterday so I will be even better today.... Denial!!
I made plans, I moved on with my life, I told myself those things. I made trips, I cleaned house, I enjoyed my family, I saw my friends. And, I tried to help a widower who is in worst denial than I am and you know the story about that. I going to be the caregiver again. THAT WAS IT.... I was so used to being a caregiver I just didn't know how not to be. When would I turn loose of that?
When would I start thinking about what it was I wanted out of life?
The girls told me I needed to 'step out of my box', meet new people, do new things, find that PURPOSE that made me happy and fulfilled me.
I opened up to them about my loneliness. I have always liked MY SPACE,... I mean I had MY SPACE before there was ever a MY SPACE on the internet. I was basically an only child, living in a household of adults. I grew up that way, then I married a man who was gone a lot. Uncle Sam saw to that. When he retired he enjoyed his hunting, fishing and I enjoyed MY SPACE. It's just who I am. But, loneliness is something else altogether. My children have their own lives and I would never 'hang on to my kids'. My friends, well, almost all of them have husbands. So, yes I am lonely and I think that is why I graviated toward helping out the widower. It gave me a purpose, it was what I was used to.
So, I came home from my visit in New York filled with ideas. I hope you gals can help keep me on track. Now let me fall into that slump again.
1. I am thinking of joining a gym.
Reason: I am overweight, out of shape and need to be healthier. And, I would meet new people.
2. I need to finish a novel I started before Elbert got so bad I had to put it aside.
Reason: I have always liked to write. I feel that my time to actually do a worthwhile book is now.
3. I need to take care of myself
Reason: I've never had time to think about myself. I now have time to do anything I want to and I should pursue what makes me happy and keeps me active.
4. Take one day at a time
Reason: I have spent the last year trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I may not have a tomorrow or next year. None of us have that guarantee. I need to enjoy each day and stop being so confused about all the crap. Excuse my language there. But, I have let crap just fill my brain and I am not stopping to enjoy moments, be happy in my own space.
So, I have work to do. Get healthier... finish my novel..... think about me for a change.... and stop trying to make it so dang hard. Life is a journey, I need to enjoy the trip.