Monday, January 28, 2013
My self esteem is based on what?
Where are you on your 'widow' journey? Still calling yourself a widow? Nearly eight years out, I'd be in deep do-do if I still identified myself as the gal who lost her one and only beloved. O.K. For you 'lucky' widows who had decades with your spouses and are now in later life, you're not in do-do, you're in a bed of roses (I'm joking). But I may have another half century to manage. I feel envious of older widows who say their one love was enough for a lifetime. I planned on getting old and gray with the guy I married. I was 49 when I found out that wouldn't be. My own father is still alive and living independently at 99. I know I should be happy I have good genes but ...
We all got our pink slips, the 'former Mrs' memo. We were on the high end of the marriage seesaw then. BAM! We had to put ice on our sorry behinds and hobble away.
Now, we're 'survivors', but this begs the question, "Are my scars worse than yours?" Lots of rosy mirrors in this pit.
We're 'heroines'. But real heroes don't call themselves heroes.
We're 'big, beautiful babes', but chill out, that's more than strangers need to know.
These identities need to become incidental props on a journey, at least for me, moving on nearly eight years later.
So, in the interest of research, I'm embarking on an experiment. It's not sexy, it's not a page turner, it's nothing I'm asking any one to join me on. This is my experiment: I'm linking my self-esteem to how effectively I say "You're welcome" to me day by day. To how tender and nurturing I can be to an emerging self who is still blinking in the glare of sunlight off the water.
We know what squashes our spirit - Stereotypes. Expectations. Pulling rank. We also know what floats our boat. Love, in its many guises. We're at the helm. Choose a helpful and fun crew. And enjoy the journey.
Good luck to you, my friends!