Thankfully, the lawn service came today to mow the yard. Every Spring, I put off hiring them thinking I can do it on my own but the grass and weeds overpower me and I give up! This all made me reflect on a long-term aspect of widowhood for me - feelings of failure. I know that my measurement of myself is unrealistic. I keep trying to accomplish what two people used to do and I am forever coming up short. But it is hard to cut myself any slack because everywhere I look there is such stark evidence of what I can't get done (the yard, laundry, dishes, unread newspapers/magazines/mail, unorganized piles of "stuff," outgrown clothing and unused items that need to be weeded out...). It is depressing and sad. Just way too much to do and not enough time - we all can identify with that, widowed or not.
For me, a large part of my being unable to be less hard on myself comes from what I perceive as other people looking down on me. When they drive down my street they see a more rundown house than the others on the block and the yard is more unkempt. This embarrasses me. I feel bad about myself and my situation. I hate to always feel that others are judging me negatively based on appearances. And that is where I start getting down on myself - if only I were better, stronger, faster then I could get more done...
It is a losing battle. The longer I live on my own the harder it seems to be (not easier!). I am more drained, more lonely, more discouraged. The house seems to get more rundown and that is how I imagine my body is reacting as well - like a car that is aging year after year, the rust becoming more evident; the creaks and dings more prominent.
Today I am grateful:
1. That the yard service mowed the yard.
2. That the yard looks a little better.
3. That the neighbors won't be so upset with me (I hope).
4. That I can knit because it is one of the few things right now keeping me sane (although I get such little time to actually knit).
5. That I am not drinking to excess.