Out of the Fog – a BIG Step

Last August as I was struggling to figure out what my life would look like in the coming days, “something” came to me.  It was a simple thought.  You need to live in Lexington.  Simple as that.  But not so simple for me.  Rooted describes how I live in a place.  Henry County has been my home for 37 years.  That’s a lot of roots!

I can’t describe the weight of that simple thought.  It had enough pull that I gave it my attention.  There are lots of good reasons for Lexington.  But I’ve lived in the country for the last 37 years!  I have a son and granddaughter there, but then I have a son and two grandsons in Henry County.  There are places to eat, things to see and do.  My business is based in Henry County and Louisville.  At my age I can attend the University of Kentucky at absolutely no charge.  I can sit in my backyard and hear nothing but the birds and critters.  As foreign as it sounded to me, I needed to step out of my solitude.  Wherever that thought came from, I needed it.

A plan formed.  I would find a small house in Lexington, and for the time being, I would live both places.  I would work in Henry County and play in Lexington.  People have second homes, although they are usually by the ocean, or a lake, or in the mountains.  My vacation home would be in the city.The Dudley HouseMy house in the city – The Dudley House.  It was hard to find, and has been a journey making it livable.  I rang in the New Year in the Dudley House.  Well, if you can call being asleep long before midnight ringing in.  Soon I’ll be telling you all about it and sharing photos of the makeover things I’ve done.  Can I see the future clearly?   Of course not, but there’s a twinkle in my eyes.

 

 

A Year of Thought

For almost a year, I have been in thought.

thoughts

It hasn’t been that I was unhappy or sad — well, of course, I was sad some days, but not all days.  A fog surrounded me.  I did my regular things in a fog.  I thought that if it were not for the fog, I could think more clearly.  I thought about it.  And when I finally put my finger on it, I realized that joy was missing.  I thought I might never feel it again.  What would life look like?  I thought about it.

I felt that I needed a plan for the future.  And I thought about it.  I sat outside this summer enjoying the quiet and the solitude; nothing but birds chirping and my thoughts.  What would the next phase of my life look like?  I thought about it.  I couldn’t picture it, unless it was a continuation of my routines, work, etc.  I would continue to exist.

As the fog cleared, I realized that I want to live, not just exist.  That I need to create this next phase of my life.  Can I picture it?  No.  But I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, and I’m determined to live.  A year is long enough to think about it.

Exploring and trying new things are filling my days.  Getting back to writing on this blog is part of my exploration.  My heart is aflutter.  I can hardly wait to share with you all of the things that I’m doing.

 

 

Embrace

“Embrace” is my word for 2014.  It seemed perfect since I have so many new situations to embrace in my life.  In the last three years I have participated (using that word very loosely) in Ali Edwards’ One Little Word.  I was always faithful for at least the first month, as you can see here, and here, and here.  Nothing up yet for 2014 — I can’t seem to get going on it.  And of course, the Focus on Life challenge which I did last week, now a minimal color self photo.   And various other things for which I have signed up — life goes on.  Or so they say.

me blog

Ten days.  People expect you to grieve for ten days.  People call, visit and bring food for ten days.  I think of myself as a strong person, and I think most people I know think of me that way too.  Sure I can understand the confused and disoriented widows that I see in my accounting practice — their husband took care of everything and they have never been alone.  Me?  I’ve lived alone, and enjoy the quiet solitude.  There is very little around the house that I can’t do or find someone to do.  I knew our finances; I did our tax return.  No problem.

I planned a visitation and funeral.  I wrote thank you notes.  I set everything necessary in motion for an estate.  I sorted, tossed, filed, donated, stored — from early morning until I collapsed at night.  I traveled to south FL to visit with his elderly father.  Sure there were a few quirky things that I struggled to do.  But slowly, I marked them off my list.  After all, it’s been almost three months.  Connie is fine — she’s strong.  Not taking new clients, and even letting go of a few was my plan to make up for me maybe not being quite up to par.

This week, I discovered — Connie isn’t fine.  My dear, dear friend — my college roommate, wrote me a note talking about grief since she had experienced the sudden and unexpected death of her brother years ago.  She said she read everything she could on grief.  I, who buys a book about anything that comes to mind, had never thought to get a book.  Maybe I don’t know anything about grief and should read a bit.

As I read and cried, I saw myself in the book.  My exhaustion which no amount of sleep overcomes.  My exhaustion which had made me think that swift death is surely on my heels too.  The scenarios that go through my mind — if he had called, if he had stayed home, I know I could have saved him.  He would have had more years; we could have done the things we had planned.  My inability to multi-task  How easily I am overwhelmed with things that once were mere irritations.  Simply put, I’m not fine.

Grief isn’t something that one decides whether or not to do, I’ve learned.  There is no time limit.  Embrace is after all the perfect word for 2014.  And the first thing that I need to embrace is grief.  In time, I hope to embrace much more, but for now, I’m going to be gentle (this is tough for me) and give myself time to heal.

Focus on Life

I’m starting the new year with a year long weekly photograph challenge called Focus on Life and hosted by Sally Russick.  Focus on Life is certainly what I need this year in more ways than just photographs.  This week’s challenge is:  The minimalist photograph – capture an image using a single subject.

I couldn’t decide between my two, so I’m posting them both.  Ironic that in a challenge titled Focus on Life, my actual focus is on death.  Which do you like best?

watch blog

The Watch? or

rose blog

The Rose?

How is it you’re not here?

beach1fb

How is it that you’re not here?  Of course my intellect knows — you have passed.

But me, I don’t understand how it can be.

You were here doing everyday things.  All of your stuff is here.

Your van sits in the driveway.  Still full of firewood, your gator sits in the garage.

I look in your closet, and I can even smell you.

How is it that you’re not here?

Your body came back on an airplane.  I saw it.

I held your hand until it warmed up in mine.

I know you are dead.

Everything here looks so ordinary and as it should be.

I went to Sanibel Island and walked the beach.

Your memories were everywhere, but I was alone.

In a moment that I wasn’t aware, everything changed.

How did it happen that you’re not here?