Thursday, March 13, 2014

Envy, Parallel Lives and Other Enticements

Oh!  A cold finally caught up with me this winter.  Just when I thought it was safe to venture out without a jacket.

Now I'm sitting here with my green cocktail, a perfect blend of spinach, coconut water, mango, and protein powder.  Other than the prospect of stretching out in my bed tonight, my cold is turning today's 'get to do's' into 'got to do's'.   And my 'got to do's', like my workout for my shoulder rehabilitation, into my 'get it over with's'.

Today I'm thinking about the lives we once led, and the life we now lead, then as a couple, now solo.  Couples and singles; We travel alongside each other in different worlds.  Living parallel lives.  I could burn up with envy for couples, but my envy has pretty much burnt out.  It's morphed into putting my effort into something I can actually accomplish.  Now is the time to follow where enticement leads instead of trying to jump tracks back over to coupledom.  Oh, I still believe men are worth the trouble!  Well, the ones I've dated, anyway.

Assuming you've been widowed awhile, may I ask what you think about single life?  Enticing?  Ever envious of it when you were married?  Tell me, did you ever smush your face up against the window wishing you could be that single woman sitting inside?  Truth be told, I did on several occasions when I was married - whenever we hit rough patches.  The reality of single life is, uh, different than what I imagined.  But wait.  The other day I heard about a single woman my age who went to Norway on her own, traveling on a mail boat from one fjord to the next. She stayed at an ice hotel north of the Arctic circle and hired a fellow to take her dog sledding.  WOW!! I thought, my face smashed up against the window.  But wait.  She's like me!  She could be me!

You may find this a rather odd way to follow one's bliss - having a drink at an ice bar.  But it sounds so enticing that it's going on my bucket list, along with walking the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain, and Hadrian's Wall in England.

Whether or not this is wise leads me to an article I read in today's New York Times about wisdom and older age.  I figure that since a good many of us will encounter old age as single women, I'd pass it along.

Phyllis Korkki wrote this.

She quotes:
"True personal wisdom involves five elements, said Professor Staudinger, now a life span psychologist and professor at Columbia University. They are
  • self-insight;
  • the ability to demonstrate personal growth;
  • self-awareness in terms of your historical era and your family history;
  •  understanding that priorities and values, including your own, are not absolute; and
  • an awareness of life’s ambiguities."
In addition...

"An impediment to wisdom is thinking, “I can’t stand who I am now because I’m not who I used to be,” said Isabella S. Bick, a psychotherapist ..."

I read this article, and am not sure I'm 'there'.  I continue to experiment.  Right now I'm simply trying to follow what entices me without hurting anyone, myself included.  If this does not end up depositing me at wisdom's door, so be it.  I may simply be looking at the world upside down and getting soft in the head.