Friday, December 17, 2010

Coffee Break

I have not realized with the intensity that I have felt the past few days, of how essential conversation and connections are in our lives. Maybe these past few years I've been so busy just dealing with all the turmoil and changes that have resulted. But now that the dust has settled a bit, I realize how much these two elements have been lacking in my life. I suppose this blog has served as a way for me to "talk" and "communicate" - to release and get out some of my feelings. But it is only a substitute for what I used to have in my life - someone to talk with at the end of the day, to share and relate with, to bounce off ideas, problems and solutions with, to joke and laugh with. It is not the same talking on the phone with someone. There is a different chemistry when you're actually with someone and that person is close and intimately known to you.

Random thoughts circle around in my head. Before, I would have shared them with my husband. So I will now get them out here.


1. Solved the cookie dilemma by baking up some Tollhouse cookies in a pan vs. on cookie sheets. Just do not have the time or desire that the extra steps of baking individual cookies takes. I try to cut corners wherever I can to save time and energy. At least for now that is what I have to do. Maybe in the future, I'll have more leisure time to do more.

2. They love my son at his new job. One of his football coaches came in with his children and sought out the manager to tell him they'd hired a great kid. The manager replied that they already know that and he has proven himself and is extremely trustworthy.

3. I'm doing okay at my restaurant job. After two days of training they've cut me loose on my own instead of having to complete the typical four days of training.

4. My younger son (boy does he know me) asked if I'm able to be pleasant on my job. He said, "I can imagine you feeling resentful and jealous of all the people coming in and being able to have a lunch out," etc. I replied that I am very nice, upbeat and pleasant with the restaurant guests but yes, do envy the women who can sit in a booth all day chatting and drinking wine (4 glasses each!). But instead of being upset about it, I am realizing how much more we all need to go out once in awhile and add more fun activities into our lives. That will be a goal for 2011!

5. I hate doing laundry in public machines. Whenever I have gone to the apartment office to add money to my laundry card this week they've been closed. It has almost become comical! Yesterday it was for the office Christmas party. I would start doing laundry at another facility but with the cold it is more convenient to do it in my building. But come the new year, I'll check out less costly places. Another thing to add to the list.

6. I do my best to take care of my sons and think of their needs and I want to do that. I had a very tough and difficult childhood and I have always felt my sons have had a heavy load losing their Dad. So if I can make their lives a bit easier I have no aversion to doing so. But it would be nice to receive a thank you once in awhile. Yesterday, I asked my youngest for one. Just another aspect of this life that I don't believe I'd be dealing with if my husband were alive. Because husbands and wives often provide that type of feedback and support that doesn't come from the children.

7. Being at this restaurant job is a little odd for me. I feel like I am regressing and going backward. I mean I've had my share of cashier, server, sales clerk, babysitter, etc. type jobs as a teen and in college. Working with these younger people is a bit disconcerting. I want a sit down, office job. My son told me that one of his duties when he closes at his job is to clean the restrooms. I told him I did that too when I worked at the Big Box Store. I guess I grew up with the expectation that once you hit middle-age, that would be a job no longer even in your realm of consciousness. Oh, well...

8. Getting out and meeting new people and then interacting with the public at this restaurant job has been a good thing for me. Forcing myself to be social and pleasant helps me remain so the rest of the day. And even at this "fake" job, I do feel a sense of accomplishment leaving and having done something positive with my time.

9. It has been very difficult starting a job along with the boys being in their last week of school before Christmas Break. I wish I didn't have to do it because I have ended up feeling more frantic and crazed with it being the holidays as well. I know I don't have a choice. I hope in the future that I have more options and choices. Being forced to always have to do something or take something or there being only way gets very old quickly.

10. I look back and see how I've been living my life the past few years. Always on the go, driving one of the boys to some game or activity or another. Frantically trying to clear out storage sheds. Being buried in past possessions and memories. Never really stopping and taking a moment or two for myself. Or when I do, it is crammed in between some other activity or tied in with one (such as visiting Sam but helping him out with his son). Seeing all the people come into the restaurant and take the time for a break has make me realize that I need more coffee (tea) breaks too. More nature walks, more time for reflection and fun! I think a lot of us widows are way short of self-care, self-nurturing, time alone and doing things just for the pure pleasure of it. We lack extra free time in our lives and have so much on our plates already. And I think I feel guilty too letting domestic duties sit to take a breather. But seeing how the real world functions a little more, has been an eye opener. And so the dishes can sit another day. I'm going to make more plans to smile, laugh, joke, get out and about and be with others. It's time for more coffee breaks and fun. Time to get a little tipsy once in awhile and stop constantly worrying. To throw caution to the wind again and take a few more chances... I want to be able to go with a girlfriend to a restaurant and sip wine all afternoon, while talking and laughing (just once!). To be referred to as "one of the wine ladies" instead of the widow!


  1. Gosh. It's been so long since I've had an adult to relate to on a daily basis. As I recall, it wasn't always supportive, as we were two flawed human beings. But it was always ultimately loving.

    The quality of connections with people matter so much to me now. During my husband's 3 year intense battle with cancer, the incessant labor of my heart, feet, hands and mind absolutely exhausted me. I shed more superfluous connections in favor of deeply nourishing ones - family and a very very small circle of friends.

    I simply don't have the desire to socialize with people with low capacity for kindness. I'm good enough at small talk to pass the time, and am friendly. But I guess I'm also pretty good at sizing a person up. Quality of contact matters so much that I make do with little quantity.

    The past week I chatted on two occasions with a woman in our Doctor's waiting room, and connected so deeply. Our intention to exchange phone numbers was derailed by our appointments. I will make sure she gets my number.

  2. I think that taking time just to be nice to ourselves - and to have a bit of fun - is such an important part of life. So important that it is probably worth scheduling in your diary if you find you aren't doing it as a matter of course.
    And yes, being "one of the wine ladies" is a Good Thing once in a while!

  3. Flo - I enjoyed and appreciated reading all of your very insightful and heartfelt comments. I too had to deal with my husband's three-year-long cancer battle and people don't realize how much that involves grief, loss and stress even prior to the death.

    Good point about being more selective in whom you choose to spend time with. I'd have to say I have adopted some of that attitude too. I am surprised at how selfish and unkind a lot of people are out there. I very much hope you and the woman you met at the doctor's office are able to connect in the future. I've thought about having inexpensive "calling cards" printed with my name and number to pass out.

    J - Happy Holidays to you! One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to have more fun and be nicer to myself in 2011. Maybe even a little more selfish besides!