Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Rocking Chair

You know what they say... Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.  (Actually Glenn Turner said it, I looked it up).  Fortunately I don't own a rocking chair, but I may occasionally worry. 

A friend recently suggested that I really should try to worry a bit less. I've been thinking about that a lot, and he's right, but only partially (so there). In this case I was worrying about him and Connor and Sarah all having t0 travel in bad weather on the same day, seriously my nerves. I wasn't neurotic, pacing the floor worrying, it was more the kind where you are relieved when they are all safe and sound where they are supposed to be. I actually think this kind of worrying is pretty natural, and it's something I've always done, even before the accident.  I like all of my people to be safe.  

But he got me thinking about worrying, and I have to admit I was surprised when I took stock of all of the things I have worried about (and not worried about) in the last few months. It turns out that I really haven't spent a lot of time worrying about the big things.  I don't worry about my seemingly never ending house building saga (that annoys me but it doesn't worry me and merits a blog post all of it's very own), I don't worry about bills (trust me I know I'm very fortunate in this one, I've been on the other side of that coin), and I actually don't worry about the future. The future will be what it will be, so I don't waste time worrying in advance.

 Some of the things I worry about are things everybody worries about. I worry about my kids, but that's my job. I worry that I'm not the best parent I should be or can be. And some things I say I worry about but don't really. I worry that I talk to much (Ha, that would never happen). I worry I drive my friends crazy (but they are used to me and really they don't HAVE to talk to me. Gluttons for punishment I say). 

What did surprise me was how much I've worried about what other people think of me. And that surprised me because it's not something I've really worried about before. When I stopped to think about it, I realized it's understandable I've felt that way.  We actually live in a very judgemental society. But I never knew how judgemental people (and by this I don't literally mean all people) are of widows until I became one. Think about it and you'll know it's true. We've all heard it. The whispers about the Merry Widow who laughed too much at her husband's funeral.  Or the woman who God forbid went on a date after only six months. Six months, just imagine! Harlot! The woman who spent too much of her "husband's" money on clothes or jewellery. She went on a vacation where? And with who? OMG! The one who got remarried "only" a year and a half after her husband died. What was she thinking? 
No freaking wonder I've wanted to take up smoking. And no wonder I worried so much about taking off my wedding rings. 

The wedding ring dilemma is one I know my widowed (and divorced) friends totally understand.  Taking off your wedding rings is a big step. Some take them off soon after they are widowed, some leave them on for years. I took mine off in the fall, and put them back on again because I was worried what people would think. I wore them because I felt like I should.  And then I realized how utterly ridiculous that was. Because Dan never ever wore his (which for the record drove me crazy). In fact, I guarantee you he didn't even know where it was. 

It actually took me a couple of days to find it, which involved a complicated process of thinking like he did,  and when I eventually found it, it made perfect sense. In Dan thinking, not in regular thinking. It was in the letterbox on the desk in our front hall, in case you were wondering. Because that is where one naturally would keep their wedding ring, with the envelopes and stamps. Naturally, if they were Dan. 

I'm pretty sure if the roles were reversed nobody would expect him to suddenly start wearing his wedding ring or judge him for it. So I took mine off for the last time, and left them off.  In the end it was pretty simple. I can't move forward with my life if I'm still wearing my wedding rings.  They represent a chapter of my life that is now over. It was a great chapter, but it's time for a new chapter.

 I'm moving forward with my life the only way I know how, the way that works for me. I don't always get it right, but you know what that's okay. Nobody ever gets it right all the time. I don't think I'm doing anything extraordinary nor am I really that amazing (thanks for saying it though, you guys are really sweet).  I'm just being myself. There are always going to be a few people waiting for me to fall on my face (you wouldn't believe some of the things people have said to me). Some people really are just assholes (yes I said that out loud, it seems to be a thing I do lately), and they always will be. And I really shouldn't worry about what they think.

 So one of my new goals for the year is to worry less about what people who don't matter think of me. In fact, I'm going to try to spend less time worrying in general. Except for worrying about my people. Because that's a promise I know I'll never keep. I will always be concerned about the people I care about. So you might as well get used to it. 

And in case you were wondering. ..I  did buy a new wardrobe, but no jewellery. I have bought some new furniture for the new never going to be finished house (but don't worry, I haven't bought a rocking chair).  No dates yet.  Oh, and I actually did plan a crazy trip. I was supposed to go to Petawawa (yes Petawawa in January, I told you it was crazy) this weekend but had to postpone. I'm actually massively disappointed. There's irony for you. Which is probably a subject for another post.

"Worry bankrupts the spirit".~Terri Guillemets



  1. Scotty doesn't wear his ring either. I don't know where he keeps it. I'm not even sure he does. I might, in a pinch, be able to find it if I put on my Scotty-thinking-cap too. We often get some pretty interesting looks when we go out for date-night. I used to worry about those looks...but then I got smarter and started caring less of what others thought of me because I realized that those judgy people don't know my story. They don't know yours either. I'm glad you've found the courage to start moving forward. Lingering in one moment of your life for a prolonged time is not healthy, being in the moment, in each and every moment, is.

    Hang on to those rings. Perhaps one day you can hand them down to Connor or one of the girls...then a new chapter of your life can be commemorated by an older one.

    Take care, Mon...I can't wait to see all the pics of the house, finished and settled in.

  2. Can't blame you for taking your rings off; in fact, although we've been married for 54 years, I haven't worn one in probably 40 years. Ignore anyone who comment, Mum


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