Frustrated, just a bit…

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…

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13 thoughts on “Frustrated, just a bit…

  1. I’m not a widow, but in ways I feel like one much of the time. A serious chronic illness took my husband from me, and regardless of what I tried to do to make things different, in the end it wasn’t enough.

    Yes, we are fortunate that he is still alive, but he has not been a real part of our lives for many years now or at least not in the way that he was. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve even begun to tackle the grief that I feel, that all of us feel (I have four children).

    I tell you this in the way of a back story, so you’ll understand why your blog resonates so strongly with me. I understand what you’re feeling right now. I try to tell myself not to compare my life, my achievements, my struggles, my success or lack thereof at times with others. In the words of “Desiderata” — “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.”

    I particularly understand your closing sentiments. I see people around me that have moved on to new relationships and wonder why I have not done the same. I am not sure I even know how. I question why I’m on my own, or if anyone will love me again; perhaps even how others have moved on so quickly. Sometimes, although it’s been very hard at times, I understand that I’ve been strong, so very strong and I didn’t look to others but instead focused mostly on my children. Maybe I felt that I had to be everything I possibly could be for them since there was no one else. I don’t regret that in any way, but I do hope someday to love and be loved again. I’m just not sure I know how to make that happen, but like many important things in life, perhaps when we stop wondering, we finally allow it to just happen.

    Thanking for sharing your journey.

    • cmt says:

      thank you for reading…I so get the doing everything for your kids because your the only one doing it. i have thrown most of my energy into them through the past years. They are getting older now and finding some social outlets for myself is kind of difficult. It is definitely a long journey, no matter how the journey began…I am so sorry for your husband’s illness. Please be gentle with yourself-

  2. *Thank you* for sharing your journey is what I meant to say 🙂

  3. megan says:

    Can I just reframe a wee little?

    Having read you, and met you, it seems the focus you’ve had these past years has been to listen to yourself and to listen for god. If you’ve compared yourself to others and felt down, maybe it’s not because you’re doing it wrong, or you’ve not progressed in comparison to others. Maybe what you got from CW is just a new longing, something ignited or revealed because of who you met and what you saw. Maybe you have mistaken a small tiny spark of some new direction for a judgment of not enough-ness. You HAVE progressed. You HAVE done beautiful work. Maybe what you feel is a call to jubillee, my dear, to use your own words back to you, not a reprimand that you haven’t arrived there yet.

  4. megan says:

    That’s the exhausting part. I’m with you on that one. Exhausting just to think of it.

    xo

  5. I wonder if you are aware of how many folks who met you at Camp Widow who are envious of how far YOU’VE come? 🙂
    There’s no end to the bad places we can go when we compare ourselves…. but we all do it.
    It IS exhausting building a new life — the sad thing is that remarried, community leader, author, blah blah blah, whatever we do — we are still working at it, and a lot of the time, the struggles just don’t show.
    It was great to finally meet you and I think the insights you share here are all part of the journey, and will remind others (and me, and you) of how unique we each are and how far we have ALL come.
    X
    Supa

    • cmt says:

      Thanks Supa – It’s so weird, because I felt almost invisible while I was there…I never really thought anyone noticed me…thanks for the new perspective. I do know that it’s a journey and the path will seem long and lonely sometimes, but the last month has felt so stifling to me. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. C

  6. Diane says:

    Hi, again, Chris. I’m the negative, angry & bitter one who’s written to you before…:-) As always, you express your feelings in a such a real way, to me. I’m sorry to hear you sometimes feel you’re not as far as you “should” be. We know about that bad word “should”, don’t we? From reading your blog, I feel you have accomplished so much. You mention the widows you met who are in relationships and even remarried. That’s the point where every blogger loses me – when they remarry. I’m “happy” for them, for lack of another word, but I will never relate to it. My husband that died was already my “second chance” at love. It’s not a goal for me. Since it’s something you want, I hope you find it. But, you know, if it’s ‘okay’ for widows to remarry, than it must also be ‘okay’ if we do not.

    • cmt says:

      Hey Diane – I do get the ok to be alone thing and maybe that’s part of my deal. I always wanted to make sure we were ok before getting into another relationship, but never thought I’d be this far down the road with no one even interested…oh well, it is what it is- for many years I was just too sad and not even able to consider it and most days, I really do think of myself as still married – crazy – he’s been gone for so long it seems. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – they are always welcome!
      C

  7. Diane says:

    It’s been 2+ years for me, and I definitely feel that I am still married. I don’t think it’s crazy at all. It’s actually how I want to feel.

    It’s 3 a.m. here, so maybe I should go to sleep – thanks, as always, for providing this place to talk.

  8. Amy says:

    Chris
    I have been thinking on this blog for the last few weeks. It struck me on alot of levels.
    I look at you and am so impressed on what you have done and are doing and all the support you give.
    The comments from others are also very true, and i have had some of those thoughts too, and that are helpful to me too, but it is frustrating and there are no answers. from man anyway. I do not know what path god wants me to follow right now and I feel lost. I am retiring in another two weeks, because I do feel that there is something out there for me. I just do not know what. But I pray and have faith mostly- that it will become apparent to me. But will I just be more lost…….

    • cmt says:

      hey Amy – first, congratulations on your retirement. when i see the last line of your comment, what strikes me is that i think the real joy comes when we find what we are seeking and realize it…without the feeling lost, we’d never know that joy – that said – it doesn’t make the feeling lost any easier…for me at least. I was thinking today, really, lost in my thoughts about finding joy again. so much ran through my head…all the things that have happened, so many things, and still, just feeling empty…i know for me, i really miss sharing my life with someone. i miss Dave of course, but i miss being with someone too..if that makes sense. i miss the comfort of another grown up human who cares about me and how i feel and even wants me to feel good and happy…i also miss giving those things to someone. i’m rambling…know that i am thinking of you and i’m still looking for those envelopes to drop…if i get one, i’ll let you know. thanks so much for being on the other side of my words…it is always so wonderful hearing from you. and again, i am so, so sorry that we share this journey and so, so sorry for your loss.

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