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!


  1. Stereotyping widows drives me crazy. We're definitely not all the same. Love this blog post. As always with your writing it makes me think......

  2. I'm glad you got something out of my post today. Thank you!

    I suppose if we were to all call ourselves widows, people would see how many colors we widows come in. But I'm not ready to introduce myself as "Widow Gowitheflow".

  3. I am not understanding why calling oneself a widow after a certain number of years would place one in deep do-do. I am nine years out and still AM a widow. I don't go around with a huge neon sign announcing it, but it still is who I am, along with mother, daughter, sister, etc. If my parents died, I would still be a daughter, if my children died, I would still be a mom; etc., etc. It doesn't mean I have not moved forward, but it is a part of what makes me tick. Just my thoughts. I have no qualms about the "W" I wear because it says I did belong to my husband and my husband belonged to me, until he was taken to his Heavenly Home.

  4. I'm so glad to read your point of view. I agree that calling oneself a daughter or Mom or widow honors the role and the person to whom we were connected when they were alive. For me personally now, identifying myself as a widow feels uncomfortable, like wearing a suit that doesn't fit anymore. Maybe I'm also resisting this identity because I'm bonding with a new man, and I want both of us to feel my allegiance is to him and the life we're building.