Reflections

I’ve had time to reflect tonight. It’s the first weekend I don’t have plans, but I’m making a few things happen.

Two years ago, I would have been devastated to be alone on a weekend. I would have thought “all these happy families and couples are together. Why not me?”

Two longer-term relationships later – I failed one and the other failed me; in short they weren’t meant to be – I feel ambivalent about relationships. I know that I didn’t have a perfect marriage. Who does? We didn’t do a lot on weekends. We worked during the week so winding down was the agenda on weekends, or we were busy with kids when they were younger.

Once the kids got older we didn’t go to beaches in the summer. It wasn’t Bob’s thing. I acquiesced, I guess, because you can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, or you can try and it ends up in a fight. Besides, he didn’t have great health so he needed to regenerate after a busy work week – at least that’s what I told myself. In relationships you often concede rather than push. 

Six years after Bob passed away I know I have lived a different, fuller life. I’ve done things I would never have done before. I put myself into situations I would have avoided – large crowds for example. I had a year at a lake every weekend (relationship #2). Didn’t turn out to be  all I’d hoped for in my mind when I thought I wanted it with Bob, but I did love being near water.

It took me four years to even think about dating (because I was battling very deep depression). And when I did, I chose online dating, resulting in more misses than hits, a typical ratio before you meet “the one,” or the “the one” you think is “the one,” (who, it turns out, actually isn’t).

Somehow I lost four years and maybe that’s why I feel many years younger than I am. But reality says I’ve actually moved ahead a full decade, as far as age numbers go.

Reflecting on what I thought and what is, I always believed I’d be in another relationship – the “after Bob,” different than our relationship because I’m different now, but that hasn’t happened. And now I’m not as sure as I was that it will happen.

I don’t believe that humans were meant to be alone, but some people make a conscious choice to spend their lives without a partner. I look at couples now and realize they aren’t always happy.  I see them making accommodations for their differences and wonder if I have the energy to do that, let alone set the intention that I want it.

But one thing I do know is that you really do have to be happy with yourself before you can share yourself with someone else (law of attraction) and before now that wasn’t where I was at.

Right now I’m the happiest I’ve been, probably in my entire life. With my depression under control I have more energy. I can work. I don’t have negative self talk. In short, I feel ‘normal.’ And that’s very strange for me because I realize now that I’ve never felt normal in my life, at least the times I can remember in my life.  

As with any reflection I don’t know if there’s an answer here. I think the question is “Will I be alone forever?” I do know that somewhere inside me I’m being told to let life happen organically, rather than pushing it (read: online dating), and be true to my new-normal life belief that you need to live life one day at a time. But sometimes, when you think you’re not looking for anything, it actually appears right in front of you. 

10 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. Marlie July 12, 2019 / 10:18 pm

    I have the same question — will I always be alone? — and don’t know the answer to it. All I can really do is be open to the possibilities that come along while living fully and richly, enjoying life in this single state. But I can also hope to someday share life with that special person …

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  2. Suzanne July 13, 2019 / 11:11 am

    Well said Marlie, and very true. I never saw myself in this position over six years ago. I considered myself lucky not to be looking for anyone. I had my life and I was content with it. We are fooled into believing that life is linear and will continue in the way we live it, but life is always filled with the unexpected. You and I are in a holding zone now where we have time to reflect. It’s not a bad place to be because there are always possibilities…

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  3. sonet swart July 13, 2019 / 3:37 pm

    pls be so kind to e-mail me this article, my husband also passed on

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  4. Linda M July 13, 2019 / 4:23 pm

    I’ve always been a loner. When I met Alan, we were perfect for one another: we both chose not to have children, we had jobs that kept up busy and fulfilled, and we had friends, but didn’t require a lot of outside influences. We had 33 perfect years, then he died three years ago. I feel stuck in my depression, but every day I try so hard to break through–some days better than others. As far as companionship goes, I’d just like to have somebody to watch TV with at night or have a discussion about something interesting that I came across today. The biggest obstacle I face is I don’t want to put myself out there, and I know what that means: I will be alone for the rest of my life. My choice, I guess. Thank you for you blog.

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  5. Suzanne July 13, 2019 / 9:52 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you for reading my blog post and sharing your story.

    It’s still early days for you, or maybe it’s just not the right time. If that time comes where you feel the desire for more than a friendship you’ll know it. If you just want friendship that’s ok too. It took me four years, some people take longer, some people less. Some never want another relationship. We are all different. I know, in my heart, that I do. Please know that, whatever you feel, that’s the right thing and don’t let anyone, ever, tell you otherwise.

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  6. Suzanne July 13, 2019 / 9:59 pm

    Email Sent: You asked me to email you my blog post. Here is the link to my blog https://writefromhere.com/, but if you can’t get into it, the content to the last post is below. I give you the link because the blog is about my journey when my husband became ill and after he died. This one piece is about where I am now, six years after my husband’s passing. I was once raw, right where you are. Those are probably the posts that will connect most for you.

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  7. Doreen Pendgracs July 14, 2019 / 11:41 am

    Right on, Suzanne. I can really relate to what you have written. The past year has been the hardest of my life without Reg at home. As you have said, nothing is/was perfect, but it was love. And as you have said, I am alone and not knowing what the future holds. But I am happy and whole and that feeling is good. Hugs to you, my dear friend. May the future bring us both lots of love and light.

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  8. Suzanne July 14, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    Thanks for your supportive message, Doreen. I can only imagine what you’re going through but I know it’s been difficult. I agree. May the future bring us both lots of love and light. Take one day at a time and enjoy each moment.

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  9. spilledinkwriting July 15, 2019 / 2:35 pm

    Even though I am now single by choice so my situation is different from yours, I think part of the challenge is redefining yourself as “not part of a couple / extended family.” In some ways being single in mid-life is a blessing because you have the opportunity to take everything you have learned and hopefully create the life you actually want instead of living the life others expect of you. I think that is also why it is more difficult to find a partner to share it with….they need to be worth the compromises it takes to make a long-term relationship work!

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  10. Suzanne July 15, 2019 / 2:54 pm

    You’re right. Every situation is different. I don’t feel like I’m single by choice, but by circumstances beyond my control – death took my husband and my life from me. I also had to start my ‘new normal’ life without any real responsibilities other than to myself. I was alone. My children are grown. I had no real social life outside my marriage. I had to ‘get through’ the grief to even feel like I wanted to put myself out there again. But when I did want one I was learning what I didn’t want by taking changes. And that’s really what it’s all about. We need to be willing and able to take chances. I don’t think you’ll ever know, right away, who that “right person is” who is worth the compromises unless you take a chance and try. That’s my thought anyway…Thanks for sharing yours!

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