Wednesday, October 24, 2012


One of the greatest gifts I was given early in life was the presence of a first rate complainer.  No way could I even cast a shadow in the glare of that dazzling giant.   So why add my humble voice to this perfect art form?

I'd simply like a little attention paid here.

Today's complaints

  • The leaves refuse to stay stuck to the branches.
  • The sun comes up after I get up.
  • How can weight catch up with me when I'm moving every second of every day?
  • Mice love my house.
  • He isn't getting older now, but I am.
  • If I buy more stuff my house gets more stuffed.
  • Crossing that 'to do' off my list should only take one stroke.
  • Accidents happen we I least expect them to.
  • My favorite three R's are  redoing, resting, and redoing.
  • Why, if complaining feels so good, does it sound so horrid?

What are your complaints today?

Monday, October 15, 2012

the safety net

What does Bruce Springsteen have to do with a safety net?  A lot, in my case.  I went to a Springsteen concert recently, by myself, late at night, in a big city, but I wouldn't have gone without somebody waiting for me when I got home.  I can honestly say I wouldn't have gone without that safety net.  After all, it was just entertainment.  I didn't need to go.

There are certain things I don't do by myself.  I don't go out alone at night to movies or plays or concerts or ball games.  Olden days, I had my buddy to do these things with.  Now, if a friend isn't available, I don't go.  I can travel alone, go to workshops alone, but unless an entertainment venue is right down the street, I am in my hotel or RV before dark.  In my mind, I'm thinking "Better to be safe, than sorry."  After all, no one's watching my back.

Any of you widows relate?   Certainly other single women living alone travel at night to entertainment venues.  No one checks up on them to make sure they arrived back home safely.  I could use a dose of their bravery.  I simply don't have confidence to head out for an evening's entertainment on my own.

Life is so fragile; I feel so fragile.  What am I to do?  Maybe I should do what I do when I go up on my roof to clean out the gutters.  I call someone first and ask them to expect a call from me in two hours when I am through.  If they don't hear from me, come looking for me.  I may be on the ground. 

Somehow it feels babyish for a 59 year old to ask someone to wait for my call when I return from a concert on my own.  What do you think?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The surrogate spouse?

Meet Nip.

Early in this blog I wrote a post about feeling irrelevant.  Well, a couple of cats I adopted 5 months after my husband's death helped a bit.  I adore them.  Meet Nip.  Tux you'll meet soon :-).  That these cats hugely related to my loss became clear, when every year on my husband's birthday I wanted to adopt another.  My sister talked me out of it, or else I'd have seven cats now instead of two.

Something in me wants to care for someone or something. I want a central role and sense of continuity that volunteering or friends or extended family cannot provide.  My spouse is dead.  Now what?

I've been dating three long years now.   At first my heart was limp, but it did roar back to life. That part is great.  Obviously I'm looking for a man to love, but what I have come to appreciate instead is the fact that I had some pretty decent surrogate spouses already in place.   Besides my two cats, I have my garden.  And my house.  They offer me enough return on my investment, pleasure wise.  And I have a handyman I can depend on now.  Of course they do a crappy job of addressing the loneliness.  I may never live with a man again.  Face it.   With this blog as my witness, I have to make peace.  

I figure I have a chance at happiness, if even a blind pig can find an acorn every once in a while.  Someone I love needs to inhabit this life I'm living.   What I realized this summer is that this person was here all along. Welcome home, GowitheFlo.  I love you.

Weirdly enough, when I welcomed this adorable little girl and grown woman back into my life something strange happened.  Someone 230 miles away emptied out a bag he had retrieved from the back of his closet, and a 26 year old letter from me fell out.   He'd always thought well of me.   Facebook connected us and now we're friends again.  He matters to me.

Net result of all this grief and inner effort?  An epiphany this morning: I don't need my late spouse any more.  It has taken an awfully long time to get here.  I started writing this blog to hold myself accountable for moving forward.  Am I really O.K. now?

I expect my late husband is now saying  "I love you, honey, and I'm leaving you because you'll be O.K. "
To him I say "I miss you, but not so much. I love you, but I'll be alright.  I have found a way to go on."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Something's gotta give

I'll start with a list of what's NOT going to give.

My self worth.  My spirit must be free to soar.  Crushing is not allowed.
My fun.  Why do they call it 'down' time?  It's 'up' time.
My needs.  Barbra Streisand is right. People who need people... 
My health.  Comfort food with no nutritional value is not comfort food.
My bills.  First things first.
My cats.  Fabulous company, but I did stop at two.
My friends.  People who lift my spirit, and want me to lift theirs.
My goals.  Even little ones I celebrate.
My coffee.  It's good for us. At least that's what they say this year.
My wine.  Ditto.
My family.  Constant motivation and inspiration on how to get along.
My laptop.  And, for the well dressed PC, virus, spy, trojan, malware protection.
My color.  I don't care if black, white and gray is in fashion.  It's not for me.
My garden.  My labor of love, and cheap therapy.
My faith. Couldn't breathe without it.
My hair color.  Enough said.
My New York Times.  This is not a paid endorsement.

What's gonna give.

A clean house.
Sales of any kind.  Well, ideally.
Expensive entertainment.
Facebook.  Once a week is enough.
Home cooked meals every night.
Magazine subscriptions.
Saving the world.
Keeping up with the Joneses.
Self sufficiency.
I know I should add more.

What's on your lists?