Monday, November 2, 2009

Progress Report

I thought I'd better update you, my fellow Prunes, on progress in the new house. The dizziness has abated considerably and I only feel it now if I am feeling stressed or unhappy. I had a friend staying last week, and that was great because I could be relatively normal for a while - eating out with a person instead of a book, getting a reply from another human being when I spoke, instead of having to fill in the gaps myself and, best of all, someone to help with the washing-up. One of the most wearing things I have found since my husband had the bad taste to die on me has been the grinding, never-ending list of jobs to be tackled alone. I can put them off but I know that I will need, at some point, to decorate, cut the grass, fix the washing machine, get the window leak fixed, decorate, do the ironing, buy, and worst of all construct, Ikea storage units, decorate, did I say decorate... Every time something has to be done I know I'm the one that has to do it. For those of us spoiled by long marriages to DIY-competent men, this is one of the hardest things to accept as a side-effect of widowhood.

Of course, I feel a sense of achievement when I tackle a new job successfully, and I have awarded myself many invisible gold stars. Maybe we middle-aged and alone women should set up a network of gold star awards - where, if any one of us feels she (or he!) has done a particularly brave thing, we are automatically granted a gold star by our fellows. But I still resent having to do it all, and it doesn't half wear me down. I recognise the same feeling in the eyes of widowed friends that I meet - that weariness.

Anyway, I am continuing to settle in. Feeling a bit better physically but just as lonely as ever, so far. I think I thought that I'd be inundated with company somehow, simply by moving back to town - I was wrong. But I am getting there and, girls, for any of you out there thinking about moving house - it can be done - if I did it, you can do it!


Widow in the Middle said...

It is so nice to hear how you are coming along and I am glad the dizziness has lessened. You are right about the chores and general housekeeping that consume us. Forget the decorating - just taking out the garbage can be a challenge for me on some days! It is a constant grind from which there is no relief except when we have a friend stay or we go on vacation. This is one of those hidden struggles that no one warns you about when you're first widowed. Everyone focuses on all the bigger issues - finances, insurance, the house and even loneliness. But for me it has been the little struggles like having to do everything on my own that have ended up being the most challenging.

The idea of a network of gold star awards is right on mark. I award myself "invisible" gold stars periodically and a friend ended up getting me a star necklace which was a nice recognition.

Hope things continue to go well for you in the colder days ahead.

Megan said...

Ugh. I have a pot with a distinctly wonky shape - I threw it across the room one day. Strange thing was it wasn't a significant holiday or anniversary, nothing truly terrible had happened that day, I was just fed up with the tedium of doing it all and doing it all alone. I'm not a pot-heaver by nature and haven't repeated the experiment (results: bent saucepan and a floor that still needs vacuuming) but I hold on to that saucepan for some reason - perhaps it's my slightly dinged gold star...