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What can I say, a month went by and I didn't have anything to write about, or maybe that should be nothing I wished to write about..  I dreaded the thought of Christmas but I did gather with the family at my daughter's house and it all went well.  It was good to see the little cousins interacting, good to have my son-in-law do all the preparations so my Christmas Day was relaxed but there was also a strong feeling that I wanted to be there as part of the old couple, Mum and Dad, Sue and Ray, Granny and Pa. It  was as if I sat there waiting for that other person who was so important in our lives to appear.  I have that feeling at other family gatherings too.  It always felt right to me to be part of the couple "Sue and Ray" and now just Sue Alone still does not always feel right.

I had my younger son visit and now I am staying with him for a week, that does make a difference, anywhere away from home for  while does, we need that distance sometimes to see the way forward.  I think  that is one of the things that I find so difficult now, no-one to talk things over with.  It is one of the reasons I am still looking for a companion but realise now that with my age and current state of mind that is not a likely scenario.  So am looking for a new way of looking at life.  I hope for 2017 to include a lot of different activities, I think I have been having too narrow a focus.  It was nice today to go to the local swimming pool and swim with my grand daughter and son, last year I didn't do a lot of swimming so maybe I could do more this year.  I also let a lot of my connections with the overseas part of my family lapse, that is so easy to do. Especially considering that out of sight does mean out of mind.

My word for 2017 is  ENJOY, it is a verb and a doing activities word, I need to do those things I enjoy.  This past year my word was JOY and I think I did manage to get some joy out of each day but I need to consciously do things I enjoy now rather than trying to sort through the days activities, like a sparrow looking for crumbs, to find the joy in it. I need to be pro active.  I will be 70 next year and I do not know how many good years I have ahead of me so I need to make the most of the time I have left to me.  I see some of my past activities as marking time now, they have been good to keep me busy but have provided no new opportunities for learning or experiencing more of life and I need to do that now.

It is mid-summer, hot and humid on the coast, hotter inland where I am right now.  Summer over the years has given me great joy, I love our summer days, long and hot and full of opportunities for living outside.  I love to garden but hot summers don't provide much time for that.  I like to be outside, out of doors, out in the open, so out in the shade is good, Aussie summers are hot and exposed to the sun is not the place to be for too long and you have to put on sunscreen and a hat and only send a limited time in the direct sun so planning is an important part to being in the outdoors.  I might leave the long walks to autumn rather than take off on long walks now.  But there are plenty of beautiful places in the area I live in to do walking so that is back on the agenda.

It is hard to realise sometimes that four years have gone by since Ray died, sometimes it seems like only a few months have passed, other times it seems like an eternity and as if I have been on my own for too long. I find I am having those uncertain feelings again, maybe it is the change of year and people asking if I am going to make changes in my own life now.  It gives my some uncomfortable feelings and I find it is as if I walk into a room and find myself staring at strange pictures on the walls.  And what should be familiar, like the furnishings I found comfort in have gone and I am in an unfriendly space. Maybe that is why I have clung to my home as the other things in my life can be so uncertain. I have made very few changes but some of my attempts to change things have left me wondering what I am trying to achieve.

So, new year, new decisions.  Why does it take so long to mourn and move on?  I wish I had an answer to that. I read what other people have done, what great changes they have made in their lives and I wonder if what they are doing is right for me?  I hope that as time passes I will be able to make more decisions to make changes in my life that I am comfortable with.  Nothing hasty, nothing without a lot of thought and planning.  The story of my life really.  Nothing changes without due consideration, or maybe that is wishful thinking because we know life is what happens when you're busy making other plans, to quote John Lennon, so I will just have to wait and see what 2017 holds for me.

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Comment by only1sue on January 9, 2017 at 10:31pm

I have a connection to a group of older people who meet near one of the coffee shops in our local shopping centre (mall) through a friend of mine who has been a long term member of the group. Today one of the younger men was celebrating his birthday so one of the women had brought a cake and home made pastries.  I was glad I was there in time to join in the celebrations as I didn't know it was happening. It is good to join in any group who are cheerful and non-judgemental and as the older men (80s and 90s) usually have coffee in the same spot three or four times a week I can always sit with any of them and feel comfortable.  The birthday boy confessed that the last birthday celebration he had was when he was fifty and his wife was still alive and that is almost two decades ago.  It is not unusual for the family to ignore special events like birthdays so a group of friends who do acknowledge them is great he said.

Laurajay like you I need to concentrate on "individual survival" but also make myself part of diverse groups so there is social interaction at a group level that will provide some extra interest in my life. I find i really need that now. Yes, there  doesn't necessarily have to be a permanent male companion, or a soulmate in my life, anyone who offers friendship is a bonus at this time in my life. Especially if that includes coffee! 

Comment by laurajay on January 6, 2017 at 4:53am

It’s true that Lennon worked the phrase into his lovely song “Beautiful Boy,” but he didn’t come up with it, despite what Google says — over and over again. So who coined it? According to the Yale Book of Quotations editor Fred R. Shapiro, the origin is attributed to writer and cartoonist Allen Saunders. A variation of the quote, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans,” was published in Reader’s Digest in January 1957, when Lennon was 17.

 Sue!   I knew I remembered  your supposed  Lennon quote from my younger years....so thought I'd let you in on this...   I think from reading all your posts you have achieved a lot of insight and wisdom in the past four years.  I also believe every decade birthday is another wake up call and you are right about enjoying things while you still can  especially without waiting to hook up with another male companion to do it!   Go for it without longing! I will reach 5 yrs this year  and the changes in my own aging are vast.   From here on I think  " independent survival" is my daily mantra.
Think on things and act in ways that allow me to be as independent as possible and maintain  graciousness and exercise   compassion  when and wherever possible.  I don't give a fig's worth about counting "accomplishments" to establish worth or purpose anymore.  I believe we are this age with divine reason and being alive is purpose enough reason enough by the time you reach 70   to go on enjoying your life- as it works out for you. 

I pray you will continue to seek and  find life full of happiness and joy. Mourning for our beloved  can simmer  on the back burner safely  while life sizzles  in other areas.  They  are not mutually exclusive.  Seems like it  would be fitting to share a spot of tea were distance not a factor.  But it's still good to at least  share online.  Enjoy your day. 

BTW  I find great joy and solace in my home remembering- no ghosts or sadness so I would  never move by choice only by need.   Shhhhhh!   Secret....( whispering)  lots of folks have moved and made great changes  only to find the loneliness had followed them snd  not left and the changes did not hasten nor improve their grieving  process.  You see, we take ourselves with us wherever we go!  And grief will take the time it requires without consulting us, every time!

While you are warm....we have freezing with single digit temps and below zero wind  chill temps.  Further north  plenty of snow as well!.  Hugs your way and  prayers.    lj

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