I know I was effectively on my own and doing things on my own for years before Greg died, but now psychologically it hits me even harder, when I see couples everywhere and I am self-consciously on my own. I suppose I always lived in the stupid hope that one day Greg would recover from his temporary madness, things would return to normal once more and we would ride out retirement into old age together. I am really not ready for another relationship yet (if at all) - Greg and I were together for nearly 40 years, so I would be totally out of touch with the whole dating thing all over again and furthermore I doubt whether I would ever want the risk of things going wrong again. I can even honestly say I am rather enjoying my own company and the calm I have so desperately needed this last few years. However, the thought of having to face couples everywhere I go until I am a wizened old lady also fills me with apprehension.
There are just some things I am not happy to do as a singleton. Going into a pub or a restaurant on my own is a no-no; a holiday or a day-trip somewhere new on my own holds no appeal. I feel as if my life has been put on hold for my remaining years. I don't mean this to sound as morbid as it comes across, because by and large I am coping with things and keeping manically busy, but, with a big milestone birthday coming up in the next few weeks, I already feel decades older than I really am and as if I am sitting on the shelf in God's waiting room.