Monday, February 23, 2009

Facing the burned-out light bulbs

This morning after taking out the recycling/garbage which takes an hour or so, I changed the burned out light bulb by the garage. It had been out for some weeks. This symbolizes my new outlook and acceptance that I'm on my own again and just have to do it myself. Changing the light bulbs outside is such a pain it takes me time to get to them. (I don't think I have ever changed one the day it burned out.) I have to drag a chair from inside the house to stand on and the light fixture itself is hard to manipulate. Plus it is cold out there!

Part of me sometimes puts off doing chores like this as some kind of protest, I think. Part of me is angry that I got forced into this role of widow/divorcee and not completing a chore is my way of exerting some kind of control over this situation even though that doesn't really make any sense. I guess it is my way of saying it sucks to always be the one having to change all the light bulbs, much less buy all the light bulbs in the first place!

I had really hoped my remarriage was a new, fresh start for me and some freedom from the drudgery and tiredness that comes from having to do everything on your own all the time! If I could convey just one thing about the difficulties of being widowed, it would be on this topic. How hard and endlessly draining it becomes to have to do and have to think about everything! Even more so when there are still children at home. For me it is hard to relax or have downtime ever and over the course of years that is taking a toll. I find that even when I have an opportunity to relax that it is almost impossible to do so because I'll start worrying about some task or the boys. People just can't imagine or put their shoes into this situation. "How hard can it be?" is one response I have heard over the years. It is almost that I have become numb inside emotionally and outside physically from the constant worry, stress, stain and drain.

But I faced that light bulb squarely today and it got changed. And I'm going to try and face all the other burned out bulbs, clogged sinks, overflowing laundry baskets, flat tires, overdrawn checking accounts, bills that have to be paid, meals to be made, computers to fix, weeds to be pulled, garbage to be hauled to the curb with at least more courage and strength. I don't have to like doing all these tasks on my own but I can face them more timely and honestly. I have been hiding behind my grief over the end of my marriage and the death of my husband. There comes a time when you just can't hide behind the sorrow anymore and you have to face reality. That is where I am today - I don't like it one bit but I have to face it.

Today I am grateful:

1. That I have the ability to walk the garbage to the curb - what if my leg was broken or something worse?
2. That there is plenty of food to last through the month.
3. That I am somehow getting through all this and facing/dealing with it as best I can.

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