Thursday, March 3, 2011

Recharging/Replanting Needed

I feel like I can't win. I complain that I don't have a social life, yet am too tired to participate in one. I've been invited out for drinks and dancing tomorrow night with my new friends from the complex, but now want to just stay home and watch Dateline. It is the end of the week and as usual, so much going on between work, show choir, school, dr. visits, picking up prescriptions, making dinner, doing laundry...

My son will be performing on local t.v. tomorrow and has to be at school no later than 5:45. I am at the dry cleaner every other day to make sure his multiple show choir costumes are clean and pressed! Then on Sat. the group will be performing locally. I plan on being at the contest all day and am looking forward to it. But again, I'll have to see my son off early in the a.m., etc.

The nice people who have invited me to join them tomorrow are not currently raising children and some do not work. Still, I feel so guilty for not wanting to go out with them. Well, I'll rephrase that. I'd like to join them but I'm so tired and not in the mood for a crowded bar/restaurant type place with loud conversation, drinking and dancing.

I hate that widowhood brings with it all this new stuff to worry about. When I was married, on Friday night it was a given that my husband and I would just be at home relaxing with the kids. It was happy, comfortable family time. We let down our hair and just were ourselves. Now I have concern that I'll be offending these people and can't understand why it is so hard for me to do what I want to do which is to stay home and relax after a hectic week.

I guess the right way to define it is that widowhood has made my life so much more complicated as illustrated by just his one example. I am trying to make a valiant effort to only do things that I want to do and if my heart isn't in an activity I'm not going to force myself. As lovely as it would be to go out and socialize, I'm not a machine or robot. My battery has run down and recharging is needed. Yet I still struggle with that internal voice that tells me I have to be superwoman and make new friends and get out there and do the Friday night social thing... Many women struggle to say "no." Widowhood doesn't make that trait disappear, although I sure wish it had given me more strength to not care so much about what others think and pay more attention to my own feelings. I have found that widowhood has made me more sensitive to the opinions of others. I am constantly justifying my actions and thoughts. You'd think that the hardships I've faced would have toughened me up a bit. Funny that it hasn't worked out that way. I can already feel myself wavering and considering going just for one drink or just for an hour...


  1. Like I have told you before -- you need to do things for yourself on occasion and not worry about what other people think.
    Wishing you were here...

  2. How did it go this weekend? You have been in my thoughts. I understand!!!

  3. Darling I know how you feel because by Friday I'm usually very tired.
    However, socialising is recharging and sometimes putting yourself out there is fun and can give more than it takes out of you.
    Maybe you could open yourself up to the possibility it will be fun and you will enjoy it??
    Sometimes I force myself to go out, with about 50/50 whether it is worth it or not. Whatever you decided it was your choice and there should be no guilt!

  4. Thanks Beth and Comedy Rocks.

    Julie - My real struggle was with what you exactly point out in your comment - that socializing is recharging and good for us. Friday night my oldest son begged me to go out - he is concerned that I don't have much of a social life besides going to the sport and school activities of he and his brother. I pointed with guilt at the sink full of dishes and he shrugged and said, "SO, what? Who cares about the dishes?" But in the end I was simply too tired to go. And that was my reality. I couldn't keep my eyes open, and needed to just go to bed early. I'm glad I didn't go but am sorry to report, still struggling with the guilt. The next day I knew it had been the right decision. Still, sad to lose an opportunity for fun and going out. Not a lot of those come my way. Kind of a no-win situation either way this time. But feeling guilty on top of it all just makes it worse. Need to work on that big time!

  5. Sheesh, I don't suppose said son actually offered to wash the dishes for you?
    What are you rewarding yourself with on a weekly basis?
    How about planning rewards/indulgences maybe on a monthly basis, and have a plan of attack. For instance, once a month go out with friends, and make it a night where you have leftovers, and the boys wash up?
    I totally understand about the tiredness, but this is important, and deserves project-status.
    Now you are not allowed to feel guilty, just think about putting socialising on a higher priority level, or at least think about it.

  6. Julie - Well, I have been attending my Wed. nite knit club and last week my youngest whined that there would be no one home to pick him up from track since his brother would be at work. I advised him that he had two options - to walk home (two miles for a kid in track doesn't seem impossible - I walked two miles to school as a kid); or he could catch a ride with someone. I never even asked him how he got home but he got home last week (am sure he got a ride or I would have heard complaints about the walking).

    You're right about elevating going out to project-status. But right now I think thinking about it is the best I can do and a plan for action will have to follow. But thinking about it is at least more than I've been doing, except for moaning about my lack of free time. There has to be something more than that - some action eventually involved for change to occur.

  7. That is great about your youngest getting himself home!!!!!

    I look forward to seeing some more actions following the thinking.