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I call them "I Am Spartacus" after a widow friend who I know only online and by phone who was always there for me during Steve's illness, death, and aftermath.  After her husband died, she had to do many of the things she was used to her husband doing, always saying "I am Spartacus!" afterward.  

"I am Spartacus!" moments are those things you never thought you could do, but that you've managed to take on since the death of your spouse.  They don't have to be things that s/he/they did; just things that we've taken on that we usually rely on others for.

Mine have to do with computer and audio/video equipment.  I'm not a technological illiterate, I used to do tech support and I was a programmer for 20 years.  But I always left the computer stuff and audio/video connections to my husband -- and then left the house.  When I moved, I had to do it myself.

This week I had TWO of these moments.  After being away for four days, I started up my computer and Windows wouldn't load.  After doing a bunch of Google searches on another device, I managed to restore Windows 7 to a previous version, run a full backup, and also back up my data files.  

Then my garbage disposal went on the fritz.  It was getting power, but nothing moved.  Again -- consulted Dr. Google, ordered an Insinkerator wrench, and was able to fix it in about 45 seconds.  And yes, after each of these I yelled "I Am Spartacus!!"

I think perhaps women have more of these moments, as we learn how to fix garbage disposals, clear drains, hook up our computers and TVs, and change toilet valves.  But I'm sure men do too, as you have to learn how to sort laundry, hard-cook the perfect egg, and so on.

So just for fun, what are YOUR "I am Spartacus" achievements?

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I have had quite a few of those in the last 6 months.  I didn't realize how much I relied on my husband until being widowed.  Thanks to youtube I managed to replace the washers in the kitchen zink taps, I managed to fix a leaky toilet.  I 'fixed' the gate motor when we had a powerout and the gate would'nt open fully.  I managed to get the pool blue again and keep it that way.  I managed to plant and successfully grow my first batch of brinjals and spinach.  

Today I used YouTube for instructions on how to change the cabin air filter in my car.  This usually costs $75 just for labor at the dealership.  It takes about 1 minute to do!

I would have to say doing my taxes all by myself since Frank died.

I have taught myself how to put the string in on a weed wacker. Amazing how simple it was once I overcame the hump on not wanting to be responsible for it!

I called and set up the appointment for a tune=up on the car and took it in to the dealership and waited while they checked everything out! In all our over 47 years of marriage I had never handled any thing related to our cars! I had the landscaping redid and outside gutters replaced.....I noticed outside drain pipe had no cover.. I went on YouTube to get some information, went to Home Depot who didn't have what I needed in the store, finally found what I needed at Amazon and ordered. Got the right size but had to improvise and came up with a way to attach the cap securely! Had a underground sewer pipe bust which resulted in an inside kitchen disaster....after having a major emotional breakdown I negotiated with the insurance company and oversaw/managed the renovation of the kitchen and the living room/dining room.....I welcomed the latest addition to our family without her grandpa Tony by my side.....these were my "I Am Spartacus!" moments so far this year.. God bless us all!

Have to add, within a month after Frank died, I bought a car, which involved looking at two different dealerships and saying NO to one of them. Not easy. I think I made a good decision though.

Also rented an apt., sight unseen, and moved in with a futon and a set of dishes.


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