It just dawned on me last week that next month will be the one-year anniversary of my sabbatical!! Uffda…where did all the time go??!?!?? There were so many things I was going to do, places I was planning to see, people I was going to spend time with. And now, like the Christmas countdown, I am seeing days flash before my eyes. And guess what? I don’t care all that much.
The primary reason for my sabbatical was to rest and recover my equilibrium from the grief experience. Mission accomplished! I have found my natural rhythm, which is about 7 hours of sleep, sometimes 6, sometimes 8, and only a rare nap. I am back to staying up late and sleeping in in the mornings. It’s not uncommon to find me up past midnight. And the good news is that the dogs have adjusted as well. It’s unusual to have them need to go out urgently in the morning, although Bo is still my waker-upper one.
A secondary activity I wanted to indulge myself in was reading. For quite a while after Kevin’s death, I could not manage to read a magazine article all the way through. My concentration skills were zilch. Even though I haven’t read some of the books I had planned to read, I have enjoyed 2-3 books per week on average. They are a mix of trashy romance, cookbooks, biographies, a few mysteries, some self-help, and some business advice-type books. I have even re-read some of my favorites: The Prophet and Something More among them.
I also wanted to get to know the woman I am now and am still becoming. I don’t ride my motorcycle much, but I did buy the camper and have taken it out a few times. I have used my kitchen more (yesterday I dried apples, am making granola now, and have given my juicer and my crockpots a workout), and I have gotten to know some new people. I cut the cable (tv) but did get Netflix (I have now seen all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls) and am reconsidering the tv thing. I cleaned up my yard (well, I hired someone to do it), and I play with my crafts again. It feels so right to do what feels good. Interestingly, I notice that I don’t spend a lot of time in retail therapy, or if I do go out, it’s window shopping instead of buying. I don’t need things like I used to. I’d rather spend my time with people.
So do I need a big push here at the conclusion? Nah, I don’t think so. I still want to find an apple orchard, visit my niece in Baltimore, get to the Biltmore in Ashville (via the Blue Ridge Parkway), and maybe finally release some of Kevin’s hunting and motorcycling clothes to those who will enjoy them.
And the book I was going to write? Well, that is still on the list, too. In fact, I am joining a new writer’s group called Word Weavers. The first meeting is tonight, and I am excited about it. New people, fresh motivation; what could be better?
I don’t consider myself a procrastinator, even when I know I am deliberately distracting myself. I am a recoverer, a creator, a human being, and a happy one at that. It’s a beautiful, fulfilling thing to know you are taking good care of yourself. To enjoy your own company. To appreciate the little things as well as the big things, and to be okay with taking small steps along with the crazy leaps. It’s not what I would have ever asked for, but this is all part of the gift of grief. I would take him back in heartbeat, but since I can’t, this is the next best thing.
This lifestyle also has other costs in addition to the loss of a loved one. The real costs of insurance, food, utilities, mortgages, etc. So one of these days soon I will have to work harder at building an income source, but I’m ready to do that now. I am truly blessed to have had this year, and it’s not over yet. Watch out, World, I’m on my way!!
I always enjoy your journal through life and all the messy emotions that come wit it. I feel struggles tend to broaden our view of other people and how they find ways to make their lives meaningful.
I would not wish hard times or struggles on anyone but they do tend to strengthen our resolve and give empathy to others with different hardships they themselves find ways to cope and go on. I wish I could articulate how much I admire your willingness to share your journey.
I love your posts. They give me an insight that took me 7 years to find. I also love life and friends and learning something every day
Beautifully stated. You’ve set a great example.