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…..