Sunday, November 28, 2010

A New Bunch of Hope

A few weeks ago I received an email from a woman I didn't know. I curiously read it and was surprised at the strange kinship I felt with this unknown person. The subject was about the books this woman was reading and I scratched my head thinking that this was like an update sent to a group of book club members. The thing that made it even more interesting was that the books this woman wrote about were either ones I'd read or also had an interest in reading. Then there was another strange connection. This woman added that she had been contemplating about how we need to work at making our ordinary days into ones less ordinary. I had just written a post about the same subject titled "The Sameness of Days." I was intrigued and ended up enjoying the email so much I saved it but then didn't think much more of it.

Then I got another email the next week and put two and two together when this woman listed all the knitting projects being worked on by a large number of other women. Turns out, this kind angel in disguise is one of the two women I randomly met at the knit shop about a month ago - the one who invited me to join their group and who asked for my email address (I'd forgotten I'd given it to her).

The week of Thanksgiving I received another weekly email and again was struck by this woman's insight and thought, "I like this woman - we think in similar ways." She wrote that she was listening to the new audio book by Carolyn Myss, "Navigating Hope," which deals with finding strength under adversity. First of all, I thought this was a good book for me to check out, then I appreciated her taking the time to relate some of the author's beliefs, which were appropriate for the Thanksgiving week.

She related that Carolyn believes we all need to be more mindful of every interaction made during our day and to strive to be kind in that every action. Since this is a goal I strive for myself, I was very interested. Then she described Carolyn's belief that she is a realist vs. being either an optimist or a pessimist. And I just loved this description! Because I think so often in widowhood I have been perceived as a pessimist for admitting that my life is what it is. Now, there is a new way for me to look at myself and to view the world. I can strive for a good outcome without being overly phony and fake with my optimism, while being real about my life. I just loved this outlook! It gave me some relief and new perspective. I was so thankful for having received it that I wrote the "unknown" woman an email back thanking her after explaining that at first I hadn't known who she even was.

I really thanked her for her kindness in reaching out to someone she didn't even know. I got back an almost immediate response in which she disclosed a bit about herself. She said, at age 55 she had been feeling at a loss because of not being able to find work so she is taking the Library Assistant Training Course at the Community College and doing her best to keep her mind active and strong. Having trouble finding work myself and being interested in the LAT training besides is another commonality.

All in all, this exchange again makes me think about the seclusion and isolation I have felt in my widowhood over the years. We need friends and interactions and stimulation to keep us alive and kicking. We need to hear new thoughts and ideas, whether we agree with them or not to keep us on our toes and our minds clicking. Living with my husband provided so much of that daily stimulation. We would discuss our jobs, news items, people we knew, events in the world and so on. All that was lost in one fell swoop the day I became widowed. I do admit that over the years I have become somewhat self-centered and selfish. It is hard not to when living alone. But I hope to start changing all of that. Just this small interaction occurring within the context of these emails has broadened my world, opened my eyes and given me new insights.

I chose today's photo because of the bunch of berries it depicted. We all need group support and contact with others. Relationships of love, trust and friendship. I am going to do my best to not lose my resolve to attend this week's knitting group and to continue to broaden my group of outside contacts. I don't want to become a withered single berry on the vine.


  1. I loved this post.
    It is amazing how kindred spirits find us. We can intentionally go out and search for one and get absolutely nowhere, then one comes into our lives while we are looking the other way. It is a lesson to all of us never to close our minds to the possibilities of life.
    Enjoy your knitting group this week. :D

  2. BEAUTIFUL!! I am so happy for you and this post contains a powerful message for me. I love the idea of just being a realist! Perfect.
    Happy knitting and reading to you.

  3. CCK - I loved the part of being a realist too and will update more about that once I read this author's book.

    J - Nice to hear from you. I believe that we are probably surrounded by more angels or kindred spirits than we realize.

  4. Wanted to come back to you to say I linked to you on my blog this morning as what I read in this post changed my entire TERRIBLE day yesterday.
    Today dawned with golden light and an entirely new outlook. The ebb and flow of being human!
    Thank you!

  5. CCK - If you get this message would you mind relating what specifically inspired you from this post? I do blog for selfish reasons - to help heal myself but I also hope my words have benefit to others. Knowing some good comes out of my reality makes this all worth it.