I love fall. I even love fall in Arizona. The days cool a bit and in the evenings it is even getting down into the low 80’s! The sky is a crisper blue, the air smells different, the kiddos area used to being in school again and things seem to be on track…but I’m still feeling frustrated. The weather is changing a bit and the hot, hot, blistering, hot days of summer have almost passed here in Arizona. In the month of August, we had a ridiculous amount of days over 110 degrees this year. The heat is frustrating sometimes and I find myself longing for cooler, shorter days, even though the kids are all in school again and doing well, even though my work is going well and I’m almost done with my masters program, even when college football has begun and I’m so thrilled to spend some time on Saturdays enjoying the games, I’m still finding myself frustrated. This past week was particularly frustrating for some reason and I’m having trouble pinpointing the origins of my short temper and restlessness.
I’ve been feeling down since my trip to San Diego for Camp Widow. I’m not down all the time, but, on and off through the month after meeting and witnessing some of the others who have been in kind of the same boat as me for kind of the same amount of time, I find myself comparing me to them. Me – I thought I was doing pretty well…I get up every morning, I have pretty normal days, my kids seem to be doing pretty well, and I’ve started putting things in place for my future. Them – founding organizations to help others, remarried, published complete books, kids are thriving, futures already begun…leaving me feeling, well, I’m feeling a bit behind I guess.
The good news is most days I feel ok. Sadness doesn’t overwhelm me anymore and I’m actually thinking about me and a future where my kids and I can thrive. Any of you in this similar boat know that this is pretty huge. So, why when I see others do I feel so behind? Why when I meet folks who have been able to start and have successful relationships do I feel like there’s something wrong with me? Why when others have great successes do I feel like my successes are somehow less?
In my world of widow, there really hasn’t been a measuring stick to help me see my progress. There are only those internal reflections that really help me see how far I’ve come. When I went to Camp Widow, all of the sudden, there was an external measure. I could look around and see people, hear their stories, see their new spouses and it was real. Suddenly, I could see my journey in the light of someone else’s journey. I’ve read about other people’s journeys, but, being with people in the flesh is very different.
Since the trip, I’ve been pondering my contribution to the larger group – well, I’ve been comparing my little blog, my survival to their things like Soaring Spirits, Camp Widow, Widdahood, and many of the other wonderful things people have transformed their grief into…and, well, I’m feeling smaller. I’ve been wondering what I’ve done, or do that I haven’t been involved in a new relationship…not even an interested party…when all of these other folks are finding new relationships or even getting remarried?
So, I’m frustrated. Some of the reasons are there, some of the reasons are nebulous. It may be the change of seasons, it may be the lack of changes…I just can’t say. All I know is that I’ve hit this spot and I’m not too happy here. I was feeling on the verge of something good and then, boom, I’m feeling inadequate again.
I guess that’s just part of it. I guess it will pass. I’ve been in similar places before and survived…but it still sucks while I’m here. I know I’ve come a long way since Dave died. I know that I’m doing better than I ever thought I would do when he died. I just want to get to that place where I feel satisfied again. I want to feel less tired, less frustrated, less restless and more energetic, more satisfied with life and myself, more…well, maybe it’s just as simple as feeling more loved again.
Maybe it’s that simple.
Frustration boiled down to the basic…I want to be loved again. I want to love someone again.
Maybe it’s that simple…