Saturday, November 13, 2010

Moving Beyond the Path

We had a week of unusually warm weather and it was lovely. Today we were struck again with reality, it was a typical November day in the Chicago suburbs - chilly, damp, grey, rain, blustery. But I went out and took my walk anyway. I luckily dodged the rain. I have been walking now since late August, almost every day. Just a half-hour. I've mapped the route out in the small forest preserve/park I go to near where I live so I know how many times I need to go around for 30 minutes. This walk has become something I look forward to greatly and now that I've started taking photos, there is even a more positive result.

I don't think the walk is doing that much in terms of exercise but it does have an impact on my overall mood. I like that I make time for myself and that I have kept up a goal for some months now. I'm not sure what will happen when the snow and real cold arrive, since I'm not a fan of winter. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Today as I walked I thought about how knitting gives me a sense of power and control by being able to create a piece of work on my terms. Walking gives me a sense of control too.

When I was newly widowed I met a woman whose husband had been shot by a disgruntled co-worker at his job. She had two boys about the ages of mine when her husband died. She was retired and had remarried, active in her church and with her grandchildren. She related that soon after her husband's death she would wake early and go walking around her home while her sons were still asleep. It was the only time she could do so. She said that the walks were what ended up saving her.

I am grateful for the walks I have been taking. The steps around the path seem to give me courage to go on ahead. I sense that these walks are the beginning to my taking more steps in other directions - to a new job, meeting new people, getting out more socially. Tonight that hits home because now that football is over, the boys are each out with their friends and here I am, alone. It is time for me to take the steps to move beyond the wooded path and see where it leads me.


  1. It's me again anonymous,every time I read your blog I feel a nerve has been struck. I am feeling so isolated and spent yesterday afternoon talking with two "widow" friends. One has been widowed for 12 yrs and is somewhere in her 60's the other four years and in her mid 50's (I'm 52). The 12 year widow told me to get out there, don't isolate yourself don't do what she did or you'll end up alone. It hasn't been a year yet but I do feel like I want more and don't even know where to start. I don't work, I spend most my days at golf (with girlfriends), the gym and at home. I feel so strange now in large group settings like I don't fit anymore.

    I have taken a step, I've been researching different volunteer opps. trying to find the right fit. I just don't know what to do. Any advice out there???

    I'm not looking for a man, just poeple like me, new friends a future

  2. Love your post! I see courage and determination in your attitude and I know you are going to make a wonderful life for yourself! You have much to offer others -- you already have to those who read your blog.

    To anonymous: First, I am so sorry for your loss. I am 52 also and it's been 7 years. You are still so "early" in your grieving process, but it is great that you want more. Your thoughts of feeling strange and like you don't fit in are not unusual. We have all felt and still do at times what you are talking about. I think looking into voluteering and having other widows to talk to is a great step. This is a difficult journey you are on and you need to allow yourself to walk it like YOU need to walk it. Following this blog is a good step also -- she is so honest about her life. You are not alone!

  3. A - I think on of the aspects of widowhood that people struggle to understand is that you can be with others yet still feel alone. I believe it may be because we have lost our deep connection that we had to another person, our husbands. It is good that you have a number of activities you are keeping busy with. There are some widows out here very isolated and without social contacts so that is a blessing. It is also good that you have other widows to interact with. Checking into volunteer work is right on! Good for you. When I was widowed I still had relatively young sons to parent and it was difficult for me to start the socializing process. It took me 2 1/2 years before I got the courage to join eHarmony. Anyway, looking back, I wish I could have gotten out there sooner. It wasn't possible under my circumstances but I think what I would tell new widows is to take that leap sooner than later.

    My grief counselor told me that we have to keep on living while we are grieving but to just grieve isn't the answer. When you say you don't know what to do I give you credit that you ARE doing by golfing, meeting friends and now investigating some volunteer work.

    It feels nice to me to be interacting with other widows my age - I'm 51 and you and Beth are both 52. That in and of itself is helping ME and I hope we can all stay in touch.

    Beth - I thank you for also replying to A. and for reading and being out there!