It is Saturday morning and I am still just hanging out doing not much of anything. I thought about going for a hike, but I am not up for a hard climb up a mountain this morning. Like all physical fitness programs it needs to be interesting to stay motivated. Plus I actually am burned out on always hiking alone. So until I figure out a new plan I will put hiking on the back burner for a while.
I always have chores to do around the house. But Saturday is my only free day of the week and sometimes it just seems wrong to spend my free day working around my house. If it sounds like I’m looking for an excuse to goof off today you may be right.
Last fall I had planned by now to be gearing up for some weekend camping as soon as the weather warms up. But things change and it’s back to subsisting again so no money for more hobbies. That’s one reason why I cut back on hiking. My car is on the fritz and I don’t want to get out in a wilderness area and find it has died on me.
But as I sit here I realize that even a lazy day is not an idle day. They used to call it sharpening the sickle in the business books. A time to rest and reflect and ponder and recharge. So no matter what chores do or don’t get done it is a valuable time for me.
Every once in a while my friends will get together and do something fun. When I find out about it it makes me feel left out even if it is not something I would like to do. This doesn’t happen all of the time but it happened today. I wondered why I felt left out when it was not something I would have enjoyed doing.
I guess self-pity is a thing I need to keep under control. I am glad that my friends are doing fun things. I am content with my activities and hobbies. Feeling left out is not unique to me. But it hurts sometimes.
This is one reason why I try to stay busy with things that I enjoy. If I am busy then I don’t have time for anything else. And I find it is easy to bring those thoughts back under control and not to let my emotions run away with me.
Do you ever feel left out?
Here are some thoughts that are not new or unique or original to me. What do you think?
1. What got you here will not get you there.
2. If you want results you never had before you must do things you never did before.
3. When you hit the wall as a person or group what do you do?
a. Do more of the same?
b. Do less of what you were doing?
c. Do something new or different?
If we are going to work smart as well as work hard we need to examine if what we are doing is working or not.
It is interesting how my life is changing. Not always in great and grand ways. Mostly in small but critical ways. For instance, I received in the mail an offer to receive ballots for elections in the mail so that I can vote from home. I never thought that this was a good idea. But today I filled in the form and mailed it in.
These small changes in my life rattle me sometimes. Things that I have always done now I don’t feel compelled to do. Things that I would never have done now seem reasonable and appealing. It makes me wonder what other things in my post grieving life have changed.
At least it is comforting to know that my life is not stagnant or static. Things still shift and move and change. I hope that these changes in my outlook and attitude are not leading me down a slippery slope or leading me over the cliff’s edge. But I trust my mind and my feeling and my faith. And I believe that better days are ahead for me.
I have been a bit worried since my good full-time position at work was eliminated. My company put me into a job that I have done before and it was the job I was doing when Kathy died. I was a little worried about how I would handle the emotional strain and how I would survive the financial reduction.
First, while the memories are alive the pain of Kathy’s death is not there. Someone asked me just today if I missed her. I said yes, but later thought, I remember her but I do not miss Kathy. Second, while I do not make enough to live on in this new position, I no longer have to live on just what I make. Thank you Social Security Retirement! In fact I don’t need to work full-time at this low paying position, I can take time off up to 1/2 of a month if I want to and be fine.
So while it may be natural to worry about the future, once again I find that there was no need to worry at all.
Little by little I am making this house my home. As long as Kathy was alive this was her house. She chose the paint and the floor covering and the furniture. I went along with her choices. She had good taste too.
But since Kathy is in Heaven and I live her by myself I am slowly making this house mine. I took down pictures that made me sad already. I cleaned out a lot of stuff to make room. And today the white picket fence that Kathy wanted around our front yard has come down. The nice couple who is taking it is happy to have it and is doing all of the work. I am happy to have one more thing not to have to take care of gone.
If I were rich I would hire a decorator to help me and advise me on what to do. But instead as things begin to slowly come to clarity in my mind and as I have resources to deal with it I am making changes.
One last thing. I have stopped asking family and friends about what I should or shouldn’t do. I will tell them after it’s done, but not before. I have ideas that in the end are good ideas once all of the outside advice is cast away. I am learning to trust myself in doing what is best for me.
The reason we are unable to come to a consensus or find a solution to hard issues is because we have lost our ability to see that the other side has a valid point. As long as everything is judged as a right or wrong issue it is impossible to solve it without bloodshed.
Not everything is life is black or white, right or wrong, Heaven or Hell. Most of the time we do not know all of the issues or people or personalities involved so how can we think we can come up with an absolute one size fits all solution?
Think about gun control. Think about illegal immigration. Think about marriage or education or government. Think about any issue that seems to be unsolvable at any level and then ask yourself why we cannot solve it.
News dispensers and journalists think they know all of the answers. They don’t. It’s easy to criticize, condemn, and complain. It’s hard to lay down your pride for the sake of a solution. When is the last time a journalist or a teacher or a pastor or any leader asked you or me what we thought?
If you value your life or your school or your neighborhood or your city you have to see with new eyes and hear with new ears. Not everyone is able or willing to do this. But if we truly want to make America great we must first make our part of America good.
Have you ever felt that you were being misunderstood? That even friends and family fail to correctly understand your words and actions?
Trying to set the record straight doesn’t seem to work in the arena of misunderstanding. The more you try to justify yourself or correct others misunderstanding the worse you look. It’s like having to explain a joke that nobody laughed at.
I try to be funny with friends and they lash out at me with their words. I try to be friendly towards women and I get accused of wrong intentions. I reach out to people who question me and my motives. It is enough to make me feel like being a hermit.
The problem for me is that like most people I am a social creature. I care what people think about me. It hurts when people question my motives or my intentions. I just want people to treat me as well as I think I treat them.
Of course this is not my experience with everyone. But there are some who are close to me who seem to hurt me the most. People who are quick to criticize me never ask me what I meant or ask me to explain myself. It makes me feel like AI am stupid and not worthy of their friendship. Church people I know are some of the worst at this with me.
You may have noticed that if I were a hermit or antisocial or if I didn’t care what people think of me I would not be writing this for you to read. I think I am pretty bright and easy to talk to and I can make people laugh. In other words I am pretty normal.
To sum this up, if you don’t understand me or if you misunderstand me the problem is yours, not mine. If I am too hard for you to live with, you are welcome to move on. If you think I am not worthy of your love, so be it. I still love you. That’s why your words hurt. But just writing this has made me feel better.
Several years ago I wanted to sell my home, buy an RV and hit the road for a while. Not a permanent situation, but a chance to do something I want to do while I am young enough and able to do it. I don’t want to be sitting in an old folks home full of regrets over things I never did.
Retirement experts tell us to look down the road and see how you will need to live as you age. I see that, and that makes me even more determined to do something even if it’s wrong.
I have been studying about reverse mortgages for my home. But something about them gives me reason to pause. Home equity is something I am owner of. Borrowing against that so that in the end the bank makes money on my home is troubling. I guess this is partly due to my experiences during the recession. I don’t trust bankers at all.
Ideally I should sell my home and downsize into something smaller and cheaper. Except in this area real estate is outrageously high. All of the rich retirees have eliminated cheap housing for me. My hose is all I can afford, though I do not have the money to do regular maintainance and repairs. What a dilemma!
I hear what friends tell me about roommates or a second job. But I think I know what is best for me.I didn’t live this long by being stupid. I have roots here, and friends. I don’t want to live near my family. I am not afraid of new people and places.
I am asking God to give me wisdom, since He knows the end from the beginning.
Everyone is an expert on knowing how I should live. Where and how and what. But at the end of the day what works for them may not work for me. I have to live with the consequences of my decisions just like you do. So why is everyone so worried about what I may or may not do?
My friend got a reverse mortgage on his house and it is working out great for him. He thinks I need to get one. But I don’t think that is a good idea. My friends with two incomes and low expenses who never move and who never do anything criticize me when I talk about moving or going on an adventure while I am young and fit enough to enjoy it. They want me to live like they live without their means.
I am finding out recently that ideas I had several years ago were not the crazy rantings of a grieving spouse. People like Jane Bryant Quinn are writing the same things that I thought about. So maybe I should have done things three years ago. By now I would have known if it was a good decision or not.
My pastor has said how money brings reality to life. So when it becomes unsustainable for me to stay where I am will he see how his words inspired me or will he think I am a rebel? I don’t really care at this point. My friend gave me a book that challenges us to act and venture and do and go. But when I tell him I want to go he says that is not what it means. Don’t give me books that inspire me and then throw cold water on my ideas.
There, that’s enough for now. Change is in the air. For the first time in years I feel energized to do something.