These last few weeks I’ve been reflecting on what I know now that I didn’t appreciate before. This is not to say that I have regrets about missing out on something because my head was not where it should have been. Those “shoulds” and regrets about them serve no purpose. The lesson is in recognizing the differences.
So much has happened in the last 7 years. Nothing is the same and most of it is the polar opposite of what it was. From married to widowed, from affluent to ok, from having a big job to being unemployed. Anyone looking at just the changes would feel bad for me. But I don’t feel that way now… even though I may have in the past.
Yes, I miss Jack and my life has a hole the size of Antarctica in it. I was however one of the lucky ones who married the love of my life and we were together nearly 36 years. That’s a rarity these days. I’ve been blessed… don’t feel sorry for me.
Financially the reversal of fortune was a blessing that I never understood as we went through that stress. Coming out of that experience I realized how much none of the stuff mattered except to those who were counting and comparing. There was a time when I’d be keeping score. Now I live as I choose without caring what someone else thinks about what I have or don’t. Keeping track creates stress and a need for more. I don’t need more. I’m happier with less.
When I lost my job I lost my identity or so I thought. My life was my career and from managing hundreds of people to managing myself I saw who I was differently. No longer was I there to orchestrate the next project but to turn my talents towards managing my life. And I needed that more than ever when I found myself in a giant chasm of time and space after Jack died.
Maybe we don’t feel like dancing from the rooftops when all we know and love is gone. We’re thrust into this space though and can explore the unknown or hide at the bottom of the hole. I’ve done both.
It takes time to adjust and forcing ourselves to be all smiles and positivity isn’t realistic but more than that it’s just another stress we don’t need. Moving into what is now our new normal however comes when we decide we don’t want to live in the low spaces anymore. Little by little we raise our heads up and float to the surface where we realize the light is better than the darkness.
I still miss my husband every day. I don’t miss his suffering and I’m grateful he isn’t even though I am without him. I don’t miss the stuff, the job or the stress. Simple has always worked best for me and I’ve rediscovered that about myself. I’ve been blessed by the tragedies, the challenges and the losses in ways no one can possibly understand until they have experienced themselves. If you haven’t and don’t understand that’s OK. I don’t wish my experiences on you but you don’t have to wish my life was different for me. Don’t feel sorry for me because I don’t feel sorry for me. I feel blessed.