Thinking Too Much

I think I think too much!

I really need to keep myself busy so I don’t think about everything over and over again.   I guess keeping busy is an escape of some sort…..is that a good thing or a bad thing?   It doesn’t matter because this is MY way of grieving

Reality has set in, so it’s not that I don’t, or can’t accept what’s happened.   I miss him terribly every day, and so I should.   How could I not??

I have nothing more to talk about, about IT, but still lots to think about IT.   I tell myself over and over, it’s done, over and nothing can change it. 

So……

I still think about it!   And will for a long time I’m sure.    But luckily I can change subjects quickly, unless I feel that I need to be in that space for a while…..the tears that happen are a good thing….I think

This morning is just beautiful, and I’m off today, so enjoying my coffee on the deck….Ken loved sitting out there and it’s still so strange sometimes that that isn’t going to happen anymore, but I get that!   So why do I sit out there and think about it?    That is the big question.  It’s almost like I want too, or at least part of my brain wants too, another part is telling me to think about something else…..it’s not even really a toss up as to which one ends up winning because I can control that, at least I think I can! 

Last night I called K, the girl from work, that lost her husband last week.   She’s in a bit of mess right now, which I do understand completely.    We talked, or she did most of the talking, which is a good thing, for over and hour.    She rehashed it all, what happened that night, decisions she made, what the Drs told her, everything.   Because he had a lot of medical issues, her caregiving was way more involved than mine was…..almost 24/7 for her.   She just lost right now…..and living in that fog.   What should she do now?    She keeps thinking she needs to do something….it’s hard to change what you’ve been programmed to do for so long. 

K is also trying to put together the Celebration of Life for him and is a bit obsessed with making sure it’s right, I understand that too.   She’s so muddled right now that she’s worried she can’t get it all done….she’ll have some help though, which is good.   She was actually thinking of coming back to work on Wednesday!!    But worried that if she did it would be too hard to concentrate because of everything else she has to do…..I definitely agreed with her.    She should do what she feels she needs to do, even if that is sitting around in her pajamas all day, which she’s been doing.   Everyone grieves so differently……YOU do what works for YOU….nobody can tell you how to deal with this.   Only YOU can sort that out.

I told her I’d get in touch with HR at work and get the Short Term Disability forms sent out to her if she does decide to take the extra time….at least one less thing she needs to worry about right now.

I hope she does take the time, at least until after the C of L.   Even another week or so after that….when all the “busy” stuff is over.   You need that time to adjust to the “new normal”.

I’m off to lunch with a girlfriend today, which will be nice.   Then I’ll come home and tackle something else on my list……or maybe I’ll go shopping!  That would even be better 🙂

L.

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Fun Night!

the QI almost felt like a teenager again!

The concert was great, albeit a bit loud…..my ears are still ringing!

They played a lot of the songs that I knew….I’m bad for remembering the names of songs….but I’ll always know a song once I hear it.

What an eclectic combo of people….young and old. Lots of good people watching for sure.

A couple of songs brought those thoughts to the front of my mind, but luckily I pushed them back. Finally at the end when he sang “We Are The Champions” that did make the tears well up.

That song was one of Ken’s favs….not just because Queen sang it, but because it was also the song that was always played during the hockey playoffs….when our team made it to the playoffs of course….

Over the years we’d been known to turn down invitations if it was playoff season or arrive at places terribly late because we had to watch the rest of the hockey game. Hockey night always meant wearing one of the team t-shirts or sweaters, of which he had many. Those used to be the only nights that eating dinner in front of the TV was allowed!

We scooped a good deal on a parking spot last night too! It’s one of those parking lots that you key in you parking spot number and buy the time you need for that spot. Just as we were going to park some guy, that had just came out of the football game that ended next door, had a ticket that was good until 1AM! Bonus….he’d paid $30 but gave it to us to use for $10. Linds and Diana got out and followed him to his spot while I tried to get out of the spot that we’d just pulled into….they stood in the spot so no one else would take it…lol.

When the concert was over we met back at the car and while waiting for some of the lot to empty out we sat there looking at the pics we’d taken…Diane and I even did a selfie!! It was fun!

Fun is good!

L.

Concert Tonight!

I’m really excited….going to see Adam Lambert and Queen with the girls tonight.

Should be lots of fun.   The last “concert” I went to was when the Vienna Boys Choir was in town last year……they were good but I think this one might just a bit better…no? 

Queen was one of Ken’s favourite bands….Freddy had a terrific voice.   We had lots of their songs playing at the Celebration of Life.

I’m going to really work on my DELETE function tonight.   I want to enjoy tonight and not think about how much Ken would have enjoyed it too.    I know I will at some point but will have to definitely work on deleting that thought when it pops up.   It’s ME time now, right?

I might have to use the elastic band trick for this…..we learned that one at a Stress Management course…..it works, at least for a while, so worth a try!

One of the girls I work with lost her husband this week……how sad.   He was only in his 50’s but has had lots of health problems.    He died of a heart attack on Tuesdays night.   She was his caregiver for a number of years….having to go home a lunch every day to do whatever she needed to do.   Among other things, he was on kidney dialysis which they did at home.   He’d been in and out of hospital a lot the last couple of months but seemed to be on the mend….or as mended as he could get.   I know exactly what she’s going through right now and my heart goes out to her.   I’m going to give her a call tomorrow as I know how those first few days can be.   I hope she’ll appreciate hearing from someone that really does know how she’s feeling.

Canada Day is next Tuesday….a holiday day for us.  I’ve taken Monday off too so a bit of an extended long weekend, which will be nice if the weather cooperates…it’s supposed to be so so ……mix of sun and clouds, hopefully no rain.   I function so much better on sunny days!   I also got a really good nights sleep last night for the first time in weeks….so I’m off to a good start!   I like when my day starts off good……

L.

 

Monkey Mind

I’m not really into meditation….I do try but am so not good at it!   I haven’t gone to the sessions at work for ages but I still do my “counting sheep” thing and it usually works but I’ve not really ever done very well at applying it to anything else in my life.

My meditation guru at work has a blog, which I must honestly say, I don’t follow but do check it out every now and again.

I came across this post  http://meaningfulwesternlife.com/2012/03/06/monkey-mind-stop-cancel-change/   and thought that is what my head has been like for the last couple of months……I actually think I have a LOT of monkeys in my head, not just one…a family perhaps, a large family!

There is only one thing I would add or change in her post. Instead of Stop, Cancel, Change…..I would make it Stop, Cancel, DELETE.    This would definitely apply to those thoughts I have about “what else I should have done, or could have done”, “what the Dr said, what he did, or didn’t do”.   It’s usually the Dr thoughts that are the worst…I actually find myself getting angry at times of those thoughts.   All these thoughts are just so useless now….wasting precious brain cells.   Thinking my brains out isn’t going to change anything!   They cause totally unnecessary stress for me at times, it’s ridiculous…but I still continue to torture myself with them.   I don’t want to just cancel or change this thought, I want to delete it altogether!

These thoughts could really set the tone for the rest of my day…..if I let them go on.   Sometimes I do for a while but then I do manage to pull up my socks (and get dressed!!) and move on with my day.

So this may not necessarily be “meditation” but being able to at least CANCEL those thoughts has really helped me get through some days. I really want to DELETE them though…. cancelling them, to me, just means they’re still there and come back again and again.  It’s like spending a zillion dollars getting your carpets cleaned only to see the nasty stains slowly reappearing over the next couple of weeks.   You either have the carpets cleaned over and over or you rip them out and get new ones!!

So now that I live alone and CAN talk to myself if I want, I think I will start saying these words out loud….STOP, CANCEL, DELETE……

L.

Preschool Graduation Day

Our oldest granddaughter had her little graduation from preschool yesterday.   I can’t believe she’ll be starting kindergarten in September…..time flies!

I took the day off so I could go. It was great….they put on a couple of little plays….hers was the Three Little Pigs.    She did really well and of course, at that age, even if they don’t, they’re all still so cute.   They all came back on the stage with their graduation caps on, sang a couple of songs and then their teachers congratulated them and they all threw their caps like the big kids…..but instead of up in the air…mostly just down on the floor.

Things like this always bring tears to my eyes at the best of times…..like weddings.   There were a lot of Grandmas and Grandpas there. I envied them. Ken would have loved it…..he was usually always front and centre taking pictures when the kids were little and had their concerts or anything that was going on.    Things like this just break my heart!    He should have been here to enjoy it!!

After it was finished she came and spent the afternoon with me.   We went shopping and had lunch.   She helped me do a bit of gardening and watering all the plants.   She loves special drinks (anything with a lime or lemon wedge in it) so we had one of those, sat out on the deck and read some books until her Dad picked her up on the way home from work.   She is so much fun and so interested in everything now.   Five years old is a magical age isn’t it…..

It was such a fun day but it made me sad too.   After they left I went on a little cleaning spree which took my mind off of it.    I want so badly to really enjoy things like this and I almost hesitated to go because I knew what I would be thinking.   But you can’t not go to things like this…..birthday parties, anniversary parties (for others..) celebrations of any kind….they’re fun and should be gone to…..and enjoyed!   I guess it all gets easier as time goes by……

L.

Living Alone

Living alone is new to me.

I’ve never lived alone in my life!   I lived at home until I got married and then of course lived with Ken.

When the kids moved out and we became empty nesters, I thought of US as alone then because it was an adjustment.   Not a bad one though….just different.    After one kid moved out…..two actually because our, now daughter-in-law, also lived with us back then ….so after they moved out, things like the laundry, groceries, the amount of food cooked, the number of cars in the driveway…..stuff like that changed.   Then our daughter moved out too….that was a bit of a bigger adjustment in a way….now there were just the two of us.   Things definitely changed.  We had less of a schedule or routine….grocery shopping and meal planning changed a lot….we started to eat out more often.   When we did eat a home, sometimes we didn’t even sit at the table…we’d take it into the family room and watch TV….that was never allowed except for nights when there were hockey games on….we always ate dinner at the table, as a family, and talked about our day, the news or plans or whatever….that was really important to me!    There was way less laundry and dishes to deal with.   The house was quiet, a lot more quiet.

Not that any of them were noisy or disruptive or anything, it was just normal family noise….talking, laughing, a TV too loud, phones ringing…stuff like  that.   It was quite amazing the difference it made….

Within a year we had settled into our “pre-retirement mode” routine as I think of it.   Bedrooms became spare rooms that we could use.   One became a sewing/gift wrapping, catch-all room, for the other one I bought a nice armoir which held all the “theme” dishes, tablecloths, napkins and Christmas stuff that I’d kept in boxes downstairs….and had to haul out every time we had a dinner or party.  We were really laid back and had come to enjoy that quiet, easy lifestyle that came with being empty nesters.

Of course that only lasted a year or so before Ken’s diagnosis….then one of the bedrooms turned back into a bedroom, the spare room as we called.   Some nights Ken slept in there because I would snore and keep him awake or he just felt crappy and tossed and turned and he’d keep me awake.    We started to experience our first “new normal”….but we adapted to it and it all worked out. 

I was alone a couple of times…..for a few days when he had his surgery, then once back in 2011 when Ken was in hospital for almost 3 months and of course this year, when he went in hospital in February.   But I didn’t think of myself as being alone then really…..I didn’t think too much about anything really, other than him.  I just did stuff day by day, one step at a time….

Now I truly do live alone and that is a bit of an adjustment.   I’m not lonely though, so that’s a good thing.   But it’s just strange not having someone to talk to…..I like to talk!!   Not that I have anything terribly important to say, but just to be able to share things about my day at work…good or bad, or someone to tell that I ran into so and so today while at Safeway, or that I read this or that today.    Or when watching TV…..answering the questions on Jeopardy just isn’t the same now.   Nor is there anyone to tell me about their day…..

I didn’t notice all this at first, probably because I was so absorbed with everything else and our daughter was here for a while too, so I wasn’t really alone at the beginning.   But now, over the last few weeks this is becoming so noticeable…..I don’t talk to myself….at least not too much… and I do have the cats, but they don’t listen at the best of times……lol that said, I’m not sure anyone actually listened to me anyway at the best of times…..but at least they were there!

Lots of people, for one reason or another, start living on their own…alone…and they adjust to it, so I guess I will eventually…..maybe I am already, sort of…..

L.

 

Smile Everyday!

Journal1

Eventhough it might sound like I’m sad all the time….I’m not really.

There are times throughout the day that I don’t even think about IT.   I am busy at work or out with friends.   I have many good times.   I laugh and, like my trip, I make plans, fun plans….we have to think ahead!   That’s the only direction we should be going……you really can’t go backwards.

But there are also many times a day that I do think about IT and everything else to do with the last few years.    So many things can trigger those thoughts……

….seeing couples doing stuff together is one which is really difficult sometimes.

….I’ll see a nice car, new or an old restored one, and I still actually think to myself….”I’ll have to tell Ken about it”!

….finding the odd piece of paper on my desk or in a drawer at work with a note about an appointment or something.

….someone mentions his Oncologist name….

….coming home and finding a piece of mail addressed to him.

….the odd phone call for him, usually from a car dealership that he visited at one time or another.

 ….and like today, running into someone that I haven’t seen for years…and years, asking about him! That’s a tough one for me and obviously for them too! 

 ….or the worst yet….a survey from First Memorial asking how they did!!   What the hell??

A happy moment can change to a sad one in a second….and it can take a while to snap out of it…..some days depending on how I’m feeling, it can take a long time!

The other day I was looking for a nice journal for my trip.  I have always kept trip journals….I love doing that.    They aren’t anything fancy but I try and find one that has a nice cover with a theme that pertains to our trip.    I didn’t really see any that I liked.   It’s still a few months away so I thought I’d just keep looking….then I spotted one, in the bargain bin….it was there for a reason!    It’s kind of ugly…, no, it’s really pretty ugly, quite tacky actually…purple snake skin or something……but it was the cover that caught my eye…in gold lettering, it says…. SMILE EVERYDAY.  

I grabbed it! I think this will become my motto or mantra or whatever….SMILE EVERYDAY….there is definitely something every day that I can smile about….sometimes I just need a reminder…..

L.

Sore Back

I have a sore back, which could be from a number of different things.

I don’t like my new bed…..there is a 60 day return policy and I might just be taking advantage of that.   I’ll give it another couple of weeks.  I’m not getting a good nights sleep…..I’m not sure why, really.    Could be many things, I guess.    I seem to fall asleep OK, still wake up at least one or twice through the night, which has been normal for years but no matter what time I go to bed I still don’t seem to get enough sleep for me.    I was tired of course before but had good reason…..caregiving is hard work!    Now, I don’t know what the problem is exactly, but I’m tired all day, no matter  how much sleep I get…..which makes me think that, sleeping I might be, but it’s not good sleep.    And I wake up achy all over…hips, shoulders, back, which is worse than ever today.    To be fair to the bed though, considering the last few months, I’ll give it another week or two before I take advantage of their return policy.    And I don’t really want to have to shop for another one!!

My back is probably really sore though from getting more propane for the BBQ….. It’s really easy to do…you (or someone!) just unhooks the old tank, take it to a gas station, 7-11 or somewhere where they do the “exchange a tank” thing.    Easy peasy!    Except that the tank, when empty is pretty easy to carry…with one hand, no problem!    However, once you get your new full one, you need two hands and it’s really kind of awkward to carry, let alone lift into your car.    Once home, I had to get the damn thing up the stairs and onto the deck…….one or two steps at a time.    Then you have to get it back into the BBQ!!    Thank goodness my daughter was here….I don’t think I could have managed getting back in….lots of bending and lifting to get that done.

That was another first for me……I had never had to get the tank myself.   Even last year when Ken wasn’t feeling too good, I think he must have done it or maybe our son did, I don’t remember, but I know it wasn’t ME!!

I know I could have called someone to help or probably even get the new tank for me, but really…..who else would have called someone to do that!!    I don’t have this great need to be independent or anything and I’m not beyond calling someone for help when I need it, but it’s not like this was rocket science and will there always be someone around every time I need something done that I’ve not done before?    I’m not a very patient person….if I need it or need something done now, that’s the way it’s got to be, so figuring all this stuff out is important to me. 

But today I’m paying for it….I know I managed to do something to my back lifting and carrying that thing.   The grandkids were here all day too so definitely some lifting involved there, which probably didn’t help either.

They say patience is a virtue, so I may have to work on that……….

L.

Table for One, Please…

I don’t think I had ever gone into a restaurant by myself for lunch or dinner……until yesterday!   Years ago I used to have to travel sometimes for work….if I was by myself I don’t ever remember going to a restaurant for breakfast.    I’d just order room service…..it wasn’t because I didn’t want to go by myself….I don’t really think I thought too much about that then…..it gave me more time to get ready if I didn’t have to go down and have breakfast.   I know I never went for dinner on my own….there was usually always someone to go with.

I’m really bad for not eating breakfast on the weekends.   Through the week, at work, I’m pretty good….I usually take yogurt and grab a muffin or toast but come the weekend, I just have my coffee……maybe once in a while I’ll have a bowl of cereal or something but not too often.

Yesterday morning I had a bunch of stuff to do and was out and about around 9:30.   It was close to noon by the time I finished.   I was starting to feel a bit hungry and I still had to go and pick up some groceries ….definitely not a good thing to be hungry when doing that!!   I thought I should probably eat something….I did consider going through a drive thru and just parking and eating in the car, but it was pretty warm yesterday and I didn’t really want to do that.

There’s a nice restaurant across from the bank so I thought, what the heck….it’ll be another first.   As I was walking over I began thinking about what I’d do while I was waiting for my lunch to be served….I could read one of the newspapers they usually have in restaurants….but what if there weren’t any papers?   What would I do then?    Just sit there and look around??   And then what would I do, besides eat, when my food came???   That didn’t sound too exciting!   There’s a bookstore right there too, so I went in and bought a magazine to take to lunch!   I was ready!   When asked “how many”, I would say “just me, thanks”…..

All this drama going on in my head turned out to be rather anticlimactic because I didn’t end up going to the restaurant!    I did get to the door but it just didn’t feel right…..  I decided on the little café next door instead.    At this café, you go in and order your food from the counter, then seat yourself!!   It was really nice out so I decided to sit on the patio.   I was still alone of course, but it just seemed a lot more casual…or a place where there would be others sitting by themselves.   I got my magazine out and started eating and reading….I was just really flipping the pages…and looking around at everyone else sitting on the patio.   Then I started listening to bits and pieces of conversations….I don’t think I’d ever really paid attention to others and their conversations in restaurants before because, well…..I ‘d never had to,   I’d always had someone to talk too! 

The young couple beside me seemed to be on a date…..maybe a blind date or maybe they’d met on the internet or something….it sounded like first date chat…… “Where did you go to school?”  “What did you major in at university?”  ”Where do you work?”

There were two men at the table behind me….obviously they were real estate salesmen…..one of them had a client that was putting an offer in on a house the other had for sale…..the offer was too low….”insulting really and won’t fly” according to him.  They were discussing “comparables” in the area….

An older couple were just having coffee and getting ready to go grocery shopping…she was hoping this and that was on sale and why didn’t he bring the flyer off the table with them….he was sure there would be one in the store that she could look at.

I also wasn’t the only one all by myself….there were a couple of other people.   They were reading the papers or playing/texting on their phones while they ate.   I had my phone but hadn’t really thought about using it…..I could have played a game or something too, I guess. 

It was really quite interesting….but I can’t say that I enjoyed it very much.   I don’t think it’s something I’d want to do too often unless I had too.    I know lots of people, regardless of why they’re alone, do this every day.    My daughter does it all the time…..she thinks nothing of it……doesn’t even hesitate to go where she wants……but she’s used to doing it, I’m not! 

When I did pick up my groceries, I made sure I had some of MY cereal in the cart!   Next weekend I just have to make sure that I do eat breakfast BEFORE I go out…..but then again maybe trying the restaurant thing on my own isn’t a bad idea….we’ll see!

L.

Trip Planning is Done!

This all started about a month ago when my friends thought a trip would be good for me! I met them for dinner the other night and we’re all set now. Finally decided on the best flights, which we booked yesterday.

I’m really quite excited now and it’s so nice to have something really exciting to look forward too. It’s a tour, which is not something Ken and I had ever really done before, but this time, because it’s just us girls going and the area that we’re going to, we thought that was really the only way to go. So…..another new experience.

It’s still a few months away but this will keep me busy now….more reading to do, picking up a few new things to wear etc….I think I definitely need some new sandals! Eventhough I don’t have Ken to yap at about it here…..I’m still feeling really good about it right now……this is a ME thing. He could never understand how I could read everything I could get my hands on about where we were going…..to him it was the element of surprise or seeing something that you didn’t expect to see. His theory was “I’ll see it all when I get there”. I, on the other hand, have to know all about wherever….I know I can’t see it all, but I would hate to know that I was only a few miles away from SOMETHING….and miss it because I didn’t know it was there!!

I was little worried about not having Ken to plan the trip with but it’s a little easier since I’m thinking of it as a “girls trip” seen it is just the girls going. So no couples….which will definitely make it easier while we’re away……I think that’s a good thing for my first trip on my own! Slowly work my way into the new normal.

My friends are sisters, so they will be the ones sharing rooms…..I will be on my own, sort of that 3rd person thing, but at least it’s just us girls. So, yet another part of the new normal, depending on who and how I travel in the future, is the world of “single supplements”….those extra dollars they charge when you….just you as a single, book a tour or a cruise….not terribly fair really but it is what it is I guess. Just not something I had ever had to think about before!! But I know now……..

If anyone is interested, here is a link to the trip…..it was on our bucket list, or at least part of it was…..

http://www.adventures-abroad.com/itinerary/gems-of-the-middle-east/crra

L.