Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's All About Me

That is what Donny used to say early in our marriage.  He would tease me by saying that whenever I would be serious about something that was bothering me.  It was his way of getting me to smile and lighten up a little.

It took me a long time to figure out that was why he would say that.  I would only see it as a selfish statement.  Oh sure, I would laugh when he said it, but inside I would think that he didn't get it.  He was married now and was a father.  It couldn't be all about him!

He took his role as husband and father pretty seriously.  He felt a responsibility to me and our girls. He had to provide for us and see that we were cared for.  He did a good job of that, so much that as our years together accumulated I could see that his sense of responsibility weighed on him.  I was the silly one making him smile or trying to cajole a smile from him.  I would always see something good even when times were at their worst.  (Hence the name of this blog...The Hopeful Romantic)

It was only in the last couple of years that I was able to see his intention.  With a devilish glint in his eye and a grin on his face he was taking of me.

I was writing to him recently (something that I do regularly) when I told him that he would laugh at my attitude being all about him.  Even though he is not physically here with me anymore I feel him all around me.  A song on the radio that he especially liked...something I made for dinner that he would have really enjoyed...a blouse that he liked on my.  It occurred to me that I am looking for him and that he is here in all of those ways and more.  It seems that his is still taking care of me.

The Hopeful Romantic

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Talking to My Husband

Yes, I talk to Donny every day.  I thank him for things he did that help me now.  He set the mortgage payment up so that it paid without me having to do anything.  He told me that password for his laptop...again!  I never could remember what it was and I asked him just days before I lost him.  I found that he had bought a multi-pack of the bar soap we both liked.  Some things seem little, others give me pause and I am grateful for the things he did for me.

Besides talking to him, I write him a letter most every day.  In those first few horrible days I poured my grief out to him in those letters.  I told him I loved him, that I missed him and wondered how I was supposed to get by without him.

I don't regularly reread those letters, but recently I read the first couple again.  I was surprised to find that things I had told him in those early days were repeated in later letters.  I don't write to him every day and I don't have a certain time of day that beckons me to his computer.  I just write him when the mood strikes.  Sometimes I want to tell him something that happened that day.  Being empty nesters we spent a lot of time together.  I always looked forward to seeing him at the end of my work day and catching up with each other.

So I talk to him.  I know that somewhere out there he is still listening.

The Hopeful Romantic

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My Best Guy

Well, it has certainly been a long time since I was here.  I still love to write, but I like to be in the moment and there just never seemed to be a time when I wanted to sit and write.  I will tell you why that changed.

My husband, best guy, best friend, lover, partner, etc., has died.  I lost him just over a month ago and I still feel rather numb.  While his health was not the best I never thought I would lose him at such a young age.  He was only 57.  Far too young to be gone.  Far too little time with him in my life.  For now I can't really talk about his death.  Maybe later.

Right now I am focusing on getting through the next hour, the next day.  Thanksgiving was no worse than any other day.  It was sad that he was not there, but it is sad that he is not here everyday.  We were empty-nesters with two cats and a dog.  Just us.  We saw our children weekly or more often. But for the most part it was just us.

We were married for a bit more than 15 years.  We were not youngsters when we met and I had been married before.  Like most couples, we had our good times and our bad.  Don, my husband, told me that neither one of us was perfect, but we were perfect for each other.  So true.

I find myself looking back from the moment I knew he was not going home with me.  I found myself being thankful. I am thankful for the last two weeks we had where there were no cross words, no arguments, no rolled eyes or exasperated sighs.  We certainly have had all of those, but as I reflected back there were none in those last two weeks.  I stopped at two weeks because I really couldn't go back any further without a calendar and I was glad.  Glad that I did not have guilt about saying something mean spirited or anything else that would have had me wishing for a do over.  

There are a lot of things I am thankful for and I try my best to focus on those.  I try not to deny my tears.  I do try to create a buffer around me when I am in public.  I try to not go places alone right now.  I don't want to talk to people who may not know he is gone and end up crying in the aisles of the grocery store.  I am trying to be kind to myself and to go with the flow.  If it feels right, I do it.
Right now being here and telling you about Don feels right.

Thank you.
The Hopeful Romantic

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Rewards of Being Helpful

A few Sundays back I was trying to not do much housework.  It was Mother's Day and I felt this made sense.  Right?  Right!

Anyway, I did want to get clothes ready for the next work day.  Passing the washing machine I knew my DH probably had a load that needed to be transferred to the dryer.  Mother's Day or not, I do try to be kind to him.

I opened the lid of the washer to see this!

I was about to gather all those $10 dollar bills and lay them out to dry when I giggled to myself and thought, "Now that is real money laundering!"  The "reward"?  Just the giggle; it made my day!

The Hopeful Romantic

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finding My Way

My toes in the sand...ah, happiness!
Or finding me, I am not sure which is more applicable.  I have been an empty-nester for a bit more than a year and am just coming to terms with all that means.

I have less people who rely on me daily for food.  I have less messes to clean up.  I have less demands on my time.
Sounds pretty good, right?!  I am just getting to the stage where I could agree with that notion.  I spent so many years taking care of others that now I struggle to take care of me.  I have so many choices of what to do that I sometimes feel overwhelmed.  What to do first?
I can be very decisive, but when it comes to my free time lately I have felt challenged.  There is no set schedule so I can sew, cook, read a book, play a game of backgammon online, watch TV, call a friend, etc.  You get the idea.
Sometimes I get to the end of the day and think I wasted my time.  Frittered it doing one thing when so many other things called for my time.  You've done that, right?
Well, no more!  I am not being very nice to myself always feeling like I could spend my time more productively.  I want what most people not have regrets.  To not get to the end of my life and feel like I left something undone.
So I embark on this new chapter.  I will allow myself to do what makes me happy.  I will not feel guilty, well not as much anyway.  I will...that's it, I will!
I hope that you will, too!
The Hopeful Romantic

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why I Like Tuesday Afternoons



Do you think it is funny to like Tuesday afternoons?  Afterall, the coming weekend is no where close and the past weekend has been buffered by Monday.  Yet, I like Tuesday afternoons!  Here's why...

  1. I generally only work in the morning on Tuesdays.
  2. I usually go out to lunch with Chris, co-worker and friend!  It is a tradition we started a few years back.  Really, this should be reason #1!
  3. I can do an errand or two and feel I have accomplished something on a "work day."
  4. My couch often calls to me for a nap.  I am a champion napper...20 minutes and I am good to go for the rest of the day, refreshed and recharged.
  5. Even if I choose to do some errands there is almost always time to do something fun.
Ok, the list could go on and on, but you get the idea. 

Today all of the above came into play.  Got off early...lunch with Chris...went to the bank and picked up a few things from the speciality grocery store (two errands!)...I heeded the call of my couch for a wee nap...then time for fun.

Today the aforementioned fun was time in the yard.  Now, yardwork can certainly be a chore, but today was an almost perfect day to be out getting the yard in shape.  It is Spring, or so I have heard, but it was coolish today.  Cool enough that I didn't get overheated in my jeans and sweatshirt.  Cool enough to want to stay outside and do yardwork. 

I pulled some weeds, moved a few plants that I thought might do better with more or less sun, picked up twigs and, rather sadly, decided it was time to deadhead the tulips.  My tulips bloom earlier than some of my neighbors, but then the fade earlier, too.  From a distance their color still brightened that corner of the flower bed, but upon closer inspection it was obvious they were past their bloom. 

After I loped the heads off of the bedraggled tulips, there just weren't enough to do the flower bed justice.  So the last dozen or so also felt the blades of my clippers.  But, those lucky blooms are resting in a vase and are all ready to go the work with my tomorrow. 

Tippy and the end of the tulips.
So as I head in to "hump day" I will bring a bit of Tuesday afternoon with me. 

The Hopeful Romantic

Sunday, April 21, 2013

For me!

I began this blog for me.  If someone out there reads it, that is Ok.  I wanted a place to record my thoughts and feelings.  What about a diary?  I have one or two of those, but when I write here I can share if the moods strikes me.

Now I have embarked on something else for me.  Change!  A change of the way I eat, the way I move and a change of attitude.

For the past 8 days I have been grain-free.  Not just gluten-free, but free of all grains.  I have been edging toward this for the past couple of years, but now things have changed so that I want to make this a way of life.  I may not be grain-free for the rest of my life, but that could happen.  For now,  I have promised myself 90 days. 

Several months ago I developed Frozen Shoulder Syndrome.  I have lost range of motion in my left arm and when I push past those limits I am in pain.  Sometimes pain and then there is PAIN! 

I go to a chiropractor, but I have had little or no relief there.  I have taken countless supplements (I don't do drugs - perscription, over the counter or recreational.), but again little relief.  I have pored over countless web pages looking for information to help, done yoga specific to this syndrome, gotten massages, stretched...hmm, there may be other things I have tried, but none come to mind right now.

So, here comes the change!  I began a cardio kickboxing class a couple of weeks ago.  I go twice weekly and I am having a blast!  I am overweight, out of shape and have a bum arm, but I am there jabbing, kicking and doing everything the rest of the class is doing, although sometimes with slight modifications.  At times there are even things we do in class that make my shoulder warm.  I equate that with more movement!  Time will tell!

Now for the big change, no more grains!  I have limited my intake of grains for the past two years because I don't think they are a healthy addition to any diet and certainly not mine.  Grains add weight and I want to weigh less, not more!  Grains can lead to tooth decay and as I get older I am more intent on keeping all my parts! 

Last Saturday was Day One.  Since I have been reducing grains in my diet it was not much of stretch to figure out what to eat and be happy with what was on my plate.  Here is a compilation of what I ate in the past 8 days.

Eggs (every morning!), salad with homemade dressing, lean meat - chicken, beef, pork, fish, scads of veggies, some potatoes, nuts, cheese, coffee, tea, water (of course!) and a small amount of fruit. 

I tried to get inventive with the ingredients allowed and I was happy with the results.  Pot roast on Sunday gave me a couple more dinners and some lean meat to top a couple of salads.  The fruit is mostly as a dessert.  The veggies were mostly raw, but some were cooked to add variety.  I want to be successful, so I really put my thinking cap on!

Here is what I have noticed in these 8 short days.  Almost no digestion, my runny nose is not so runny, my feet are softer and less ithcy and best of all my joints are not as achy.  Good thing too, since doing cardio kickboxing with achy joints saw me hobbling a bit and generally being in more pain than I like.  I know, I pain, no gain.  Well, that saying seems to be losing ground and I am making gains and having less pain!

I am making these changes because I want more out of life.  More dancing, more moving, more walking and hiking.  Just MORE!

Now it is time to get to the kitchen to make a fritatta for dinner.  Shhh, don't tell my hubby, but he is participating in the change, too.  He just doesn't know that he is! ;)

The Hopeful Romantic