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Why am I no longer confident life will go the way I plan?

As a widow I try to live life one day at a time. As a member of a couple both when Ray was well and afterwards when he had the series of strokes I would plan at least three weeks ahead. Now I am not that optimistic, I do put all my engagements on the calendar and hope nothing happens in between but I no longer have the confidence that life will happen the way I plan it. I used to be a really confident person but somewhere in the past seven years that changed. Maybe it is something to do with all the medical procedures I have been through as they all came as a surprise that changed my  life in so many ways.

I know some of this comes from being alone so much with no-one to bounce ideas off.  Ray and I were very different people but surprisingly this never mattered as between us we could see two sides of an argument. Of course this was difficult if we didn't want to compromise but mostly it was good.  So if I was uncertain about something I asked his guidance and between us we came to a decision. Now there is no-one I can do that with and so I am not always confident I know what I am doing. If I saw more of one of my children I might have been able to do it  with them but they know little of the reality of being a widow. And as is the way in this modern age they all have their busy lives to live.

Today I am having a tummy trouble day so lots of time to think as my energy level is low. Yesterday I had enough energy to take down curtains and start a Spring clean, today it is enough to get up onto my feet and make a sandwich. I foolishly bought some snack food without reading the ingredients and my old enemy palm oil must have been in the mixture of ingredients that made up "vegetable oil" and that was the cause of my troubles. I just wish there was a rule that all oils had to be listed individually and then I would know exactly what I was buying. When this was put forward for legislation the manufacturers said this would make labelling too difficult and so  it was never passed but for those of us with dietary allergies it would have made life so much  simpler.

I don't have a lot to complain about, mostly I live my life day to day. Today was Thursday and usually on this Thursday of the month I go to lunch with three other girlfriends but we moved it a week forward for the sake of one of the others which was just as well as I  wouldn't have gone. I enjoy the meet ups as the four of us have a lot in common. I do rely on these planned lunches with widowed friends now. Like most widows I am rarely asked out by my couple friends, the fear of odd numbers at dinner I suspect. Where did that come from I wonder? Maybe the unlucky thirteen? For sure I am not the femme fatale widows were once portrayed as in the movies so the good wives have nothing to fear from me.

It won't be long and we will be planning for Christmas. School goes back for nine weeks and then it is the seven week break we have as the summer holidays. Trev and Alice will be here the first two weeks in January so I will probably have Christmas Day with Shirley and family. They move just after Christmas to their new house that goes with Shirley's new job as an Aged Care Chaplain. It is not far from where she is now so not a traumatic move, just a general upheaval as all moves are. But just in case I will have enough festive food here so that if those plans fall through I can have Christmas Day at home. 

All changes bring fears of my life not having the stability it used to have. There is strength in being part of a couple that we don't appreciate  at the time. Even when Ray was really sick if I told him what was happening I felt as if we made decisions together. I know that sounds silly but it was the way I felt. He was my mate, my partner, my rock. On my own I am not that confident person I used to be. There is that saying: There is safety in numbers. And also: One is the loneliest number.... and that is how I feel right now.

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Comment by only1sue on November 6, 2019 at 8:57pm

Just had two days with my daughter and her family, planned for one, stayed for two. It worked out well as my son in law was headed this way to a job ten minutes or so past me so brought me home. Had a nice lunch out with some Salvation Army women and had an evening meal cooked specially for me by my grandson. A good two day break.

Comment by only1sue on October 18, 2019 at 2:36pm

Hey barbee, we all have our problems and airing them is a better way of dealing with them which is why I have the blogs, here and on Strokenet. A blog is a good vehicle for getting your feelings out in an acceptable way. All comments are welcome here.

Comment by barbee on October 18, 2019 at 6:42am

LJ, thanks  for the tip on a good book. Can't locate his book in our area. The library has one of his called SABBATH. My "problem" with reading now is that I must have large print and not very many books are in that format. Thousands of books, yes, but millions of books are in print. Audio books don't work for me either. Since Gary died I've become blind in one eye and deaf in one ear which makes processing information harder to do. Walking too! Both losses are on the left side, so my world is relatively skewed!

Anyone reading this probably knows from previous posts that I met Vern four years ago. Now that we live together in the same house (sold mine; moved into his) he's had to adapt -- can't leave his shoes in the middle of a room, must slide dining chairs under the table, put the car keys always on the same hook, install loud sounds on the phone and doorbell, etc. He's a great guy to help me out. We both think being adaptable is a key to getting old.

Sorry Sue, this has nothing to do with your post. I sure do miss the chat room because without it we are limited in how we can connect. Every connection is increasingly important as we experience losses. The longer we live, the more losses we have. Aren't we lucky tho to experience them?

Comment by laurajay on October 17, 2019 at 5:20pm

Barbee...have  read  your  posts  long  enough to  know  you don't  need  to  read  this  book but  I  really think  you  would  enjoy  parts of  it  being  as  together  as  you are.  

Wayne  Muller     "  A life of  being, having  and  doing  enough"      (inexpensive   available  used

on  Amazon)   others  might also  enjoy  it.

Comment by barbee on October 17, 2019 at 12:38pm

Hi, Sue. I too am a planner and like things to go my way. But, more often than not, my plans go awry. On days when I know I will be very busy with activities or appointments, I now plan for the next day to be a "soft day". I even put it on the calendar. To me a soft day is one in which I won't get out of my jammies unless I want to. Skip the laundry and any household chores. Keep the TV off and anything that makes noise unplugged. The priorities are: reading a book, taking a nap, listening to music, maybe knit or craft something, having a latte, maybe even take a second nap. It is only one day, but a planned day, to help me rest and unwind from a stressful day or two. It's a treat to myself, usually once or twice a month. I definitely do not consider it wasting time. It is taking care of me. It's also a benefit of growing old and being retired. Take care.

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