In my effort to try to fill the void left by my wife’s death I have been thinking and reading and researching about activities or hobbies that might interest me. I had not realized how empty my life had become while caring for my sick wife.
There are a lot of things in life that we can do that seem fresh or exciting but they seem to lose their attraction after a while. I even read how men who leave their wives for someone new soon settle into the same domestic routine that they had with their first wife. I read about people who collect model cars. They have hundreds of them that they look at but never touch again. Collecting anything seems endless. Childhood seems a better time to experiment with various interests than once you know a thing or two. I think that we get bored with activities once we master them. Or is it that we become consumed and driven by things that we do?
Just because something is new to us doesn’t guarantee that it will be satisfying over time.
How about that? WordPress just reminded me that I have been blogging here for 3 years. I haven’t sold anything or monetized my blog. I have not used this space to promote my business ventures or other areas of income and interest. I have just shared with you my journey through the dark days of grief into the brighter days of what lies beyond grief.
Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing your blogs with me.
I just read Beauty Beyond Bones post on Recovery’s Dirty Little Secret. I felt the anguish and the confusion in her words. And I understood some of what she said completely. The yearning for a fresh start away from the everyday memories of a terrible chapter in her life.
After my wife died I wanted so bad to run away. Where did not matter as long as it wasn’t here. I was strangling on memories of the life that we shared that was gone forever. I live in the house we shared. I sleep in the bed where she died. And when I think of this it all comes crashing down around my heart again.
I live in a world where change is not allowed. New jobs or new houses or new spouses are few and far between. We are taught that if you begin something you dare not retire or quit. This is my church and my church family that believes this. So leaving to who knows where was not strictly forbidden but I felt constrained to stay.
I have made it almost impossible to leave and I have made it beneficial to stay. But the clouds hang over me and no one in my circle of friends seems to understand this. They think that it’s the Devil or something. It gets pretty unbearable living here with these people.
But because the way forward to leave was not clear I opted to play it safe and stay. This is becoming a huge regret for me as time wears on.
It is easy to point out the flaws in someone else. It is a lot harder to present a message that exemplifies your ideas to a wider audience. Politics uses the former more than the latter most of the time. Who of us could stand up to the public scrutiny and the glare of the TV lights for very long? Maybe this is why so many good people avoid politics at the national level and we get to choose between candidates that are not appealing at all.
Making yourself look better by putting down those around you is something we learn very early in life. I may not be perfect but at least I’m not like them. When confronted with wrong doing we respond by pointing out the flaws in someone else. We have all done this. But to do this on the evening news has bigger consequences.
For me, pointing out flaws or exposing error is useful but it gets overwhelming. I am not a lawyer building a case. I am a citizen needing to vote.
So it is only the middle of February and I am already tired of this presidential election.
One final thought. When you point one finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. Try it.
Feminism has been a force in society for several generations now teaching girls to strive and achieve and to go for what they want. And in many areas of life girls today are doing things that their grandmothers never did. But there is one area where things have not changed and that is in the area of romance.
I was chatting with one of my granddaughters and we were talking about guys. I asked her if she ever approached a guy she was interested in to talk to him. She recoiled and said no. When it comes to dating or just getting to know someone girls tend to be demure and restrained and are passively waiting for a guy to make the first move.
Something is happening that I was unaware of and that is how engaged girls are giving the guy an engagement ring to show him that she wants him as much as he wants her. It is the girls way of not being the passive recipient of affection but to show her feelings and intentions too.
With men today being cast as the aggressor and the manipulator and to be the monster in male/female relationships I think that a woman showing interest could make it easier for a man to be nice when being nice is a sin.
So on Valentine’s Day those are my thoughts on romance or anything else in the world of male/female relationships.
I use social media to keep in touch with my family who otherwise I would never hear from. I am not interested in accumulating friends on FB. I use Twitter to express political thoughts and opinions. I have Instagram but I’m not sure why any more.
Once in a while I will see someone I know on Facebook and I will look at their page. I am surprised at how many people follow them compared to me.
When you feel left out and alone and ignored seeing this messes with my mind.
I have been thinking a lot about change. Life changes, social changes, personal changes that happen to us as we get older. And I am finding that there are a lot of older folks who I have met who are not processing these changes very well. They find themselves alone and lonely, isolated and insulated from family, and frustrated by the changing aspects of their lives.
One common theme that I talk about with others is the changes that involve not being able to do things that we used to do and not enjoying things that we used to enjoy. There are activities that they can no longer do or no longer enjoy doing. There are activities they did for years and took for granted and now they cannot do that any more. Everything from driving to hobbies to careers.
Another issue that troubles many is the feeling of being cut off from family and friends. The older we get more and more people we used to know are dead and gone. Families move away and never make the effort to stay in touch.
None of the issues and changes that we go through involve diminishing physical or mental abilities. That is important but not the most important issues in life. So here are some ideas that I read online about aging well.
- Learn to cope with change. Learn to cope with loss.
- Find meaning and joy in life as it is.
- Stay connected with people socially.
- Get active physically.
- Keep mentally sharp.
The aim of life at any age is to stay as healthy and happy as possible. Life must be lived, not just observed. Life must be lived to the end. If you are reading this you can start living today!
I do not want a wife. I had one and that’s enough. I do like women though. I talk with them and kiss them, but only in my dreams. And this makes me wonder if it is possible for someone my age to meet someone with shared interests who also enjoys the closeness of touch and an occasional kiss? With no desire for a wedding ring.
Dreams are funny things. Mostly when I meet a woman in my dreams I do not know her but I would like to meet her in real life. But the other night the lady who kissed me I know and that put a whole different spin on my dreams. I looked her up on IG and there she was.
I don’t know what to do. That’s why mostly I do nothing but dream.
I am surprised by the number of blogs that I have read that started out on one main topic and ended up talking about food or sharing recipes. I know that traumatic events may dominate our lives for a time and then we need to move on to more normal things. But recipes? I have more cookbooks than I need. I cook well enough to satisfy me. Cooking is a task that I do not an achievement or something to celebrate. But I guess it is for a lot of folks. They go from grief and loss or addiction or abuse to recipes and cooking and throwing parties around food.
So I hope they feel better for it and I hope it brings joy to their lives. But I don’t read recipe posts no matter who writes them. It is not my thing and of very little interest to me.
Since Kobe Bryant died I have been watching people in the sports and entertainment world try to make sense of his death. This goes beyond remembering and honoring his legacy. They are struggling with the unanswerable question of why did he died.
Grief is something that, unless you have lost many loved ones, you are always unprepared for it when it hits you. But what has amazed me is how people on TV struggle to be composed and cheerful when their hearts are broken. And how everyone in sports and basketball is desperately trying to settle the issue as fast as possible to get on with their busy lives.
This is something that people who are grieving experience first hand. You are lost in the darkness and storms of emotions and they want you to be normal. They are anxious for you to get over it and get on with your life. You make them feel uncomfortable. Never mind that you are traumatized and broken and no one wants to take the time to help you.
I am also interested how people who did not know Kobe are affected by his death. We are emotional creatures. But the problem with TV is it makes you feel like you know someone who you have never met.
One final thought. Making sense of someone’s death is an empty exercise. It will not make the sadness go away. It will not lessen the pain of grief. Asking why is the wrong question to ask. You will never know exactly why someone died sooner than you think that they should have.