25 October 2010

Noah's Ark

picture from
The Glory Site and Treasured Graphics

While I was at my mother's, I took the dog for a walk at a well-known beauty spot. Everywhere I went, it was like being on Noah's Ark. People were in twos....old, young, middle-aged. They walked hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm, kissing, even arguing, enjoying a walk or admiring the view. I stood out a mile on my own (even if accompanied by my canine friend).

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.


Nota Bene said...

I remember being out of a job and someone saying make the most of it, because when you get another one you'll miss the free tme...I think the same applies...enjoy the single life now...who knows who or what will come round the corner when you least expect it

Kelloggsville said...

I think you notice what you are missing, I see pregnant women everywhere I look!!

I think if I am ever on my own I'm going to go on women's walking holidays/weekends. I've always fancied it.

I think a bit of solitude is good but if you ever feel lonely dib into Guiding - company abounds!

I think I'm with NB on the single to coupledom, you never know where life is going to lead...

Blimey 4 sentances starting I think...I think I need to expand my vocabulary...sorry x

Spencer Park said...

Being out of touch is no reason to give up on dating. I never was in touch with it but seem to have done okay!

It seems you are entering a new phase in your life. I suggest you sit back, see what happens and enjoy it. Be brave - take a walk into that pub and you'll see that the sky doesn't fall in because you are drinking on your own. You never know you might even make new friends!

You deserve happiness Addy - we all do - so let it happen!

Sending hugs!

Nechtan said...

Hi Addy,

I can't imagine how hard that is for you and a bit surreal too. Life seems to have a way of sorting itself out sometimes when you apply the least pressure to it. It does read though like you need some companionship among others following similar interests just now. For me that would be, were I not stuck in a box, off with a photography club somewhere enjoying the same pursuit. You strike me as a creative person who has interests so possibly something along those lines just so you are not so on your own.

Keep well and all the best,


Ellen said...

Be bold. I am sure that your intelligence, compassion, warmth and wit come across to people whenever you meet them - just as they do in your blog. I am sure that good things are round the corner waiting for you, because if anyone deserves them, then you do. As they say in AlAnon live and enjoy life 'one day at a time' and I hope that today is a good day.

DogLover said...

What a lot of sensible comments on your post! As you know, my situation used to be similar to your present one and I used to feel the same. The regrets about not having Greg to share a sober midlife with you are natural. I have no desire to have another partner, but you are younger and you never know what may happen.

Do go into that pub, as Spencer Park suggests - you won't stick out as you expect - and anyway there may be other singletons there! Or take a friend with you for that nice meal in a restaurant!

Nora said...

I very much feel the same way as a single middle aged woman and I don't have the solution either. I appreciate my freedom, but feel kind of lost as a single unit who doesn't do a lot of things because I have to do them on my own. Yes, in God's waiting room. That is very well put. I do have to get out of there. How does one go about it?

Flowerpot said...

I think you are doing incredibly well but I know just what you mean about coupledom. However, I find trips out are fun if I can take Mollie. Depending on where we go of course - has to be dog friendly. Wishing you all the best and for yoyur upcoming birthday. Take carexx

Kit Courteney said...

Hope is never stupid. Hope is hope, and it is something that pulls us through the bleak times.

I think you are an absolute inspiration. And this birthday of yours... you have a very young/outgoing nature so bollocks to the actual years! Excuse my French, I was never any good at it.

The people you see, the couples, they are possibly quite unhappy deep down. We portray an image to the world that we desperately want others to believe. Hell, we even want to believe it ourselves.

It's not that simple though.

I think you rock. You have such dignity in the way you write that I just know in person you are a wonderful woman... and I'm damn sure every one of your followers thinks exactly the same!


Millennium Housewife said...

There's so much good advice there Addy! I'll just say that we're all still here with you xx

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I'm sure it is because it is still "early days" for you Addy. It will take some while because you have been through some pretty troubled times during the past few years and even though you did everything by yourself whilst Greg was ill, you were still part of a couple. Now you are able to grieve for Greg properly you are going through all the necessary stages. I think you appear to be coping marvellously and I admire you enormously. Relax, keep strong and keep on enjoying your peaceful space. A x

Working Mum said...

I'm sure your perception is skewed by your circumstances. Before my daughter was born I went everywhere on my own (husband at football), I ate out, went to the cinema, went shopping, etc and I didn't particularly notice people in couples or alone because I didn't have a view of my own circumstances.

Lots of people have already commented very sensibly here, so I'll just say, "never say never"!

Achelois said...

I must have dreamt commenting because its not here! Wow what thorougly lovely comments here.

I am quite odd I think, strangers bear no worry for me. As a youngster I would happily walk into a pub, restaurant anywhere really alone. Ask me to go to a party or meet people I know and my social phobia bites me on the bum. You can find me always talking to random stranger, in the library, at petrol stations. If I were up to it I think I would enjoy the thought of a walking holiday or short break away somewhere nice like Tuscany where food courses were held or a holistic theme.

I think what you are feeling is entirely natural and that is missing being a couple. Even if for a long time coupledom was lonely.

Without going in where angels fear to tread I would try out a Saturday course at a local college as a taster. I think you would find like minded people who fancy some company. I think company and friendship is a good place to start. Perhaps even volunteering at a Charity Shop for example a morning a week. Or if thats not your thing volunteering for The Lions Club for example could bring a variety of new people into your life.

My mother-in-law has been widowed a long time and she is a regular in local restaurants. Lunching. The Italian is like a second home and they spoil her. She takes a decent magazine but really she is people watching. Many pubs these days open for coffee with magazines on the table.

I find your blog so inspiring. Its honesty a breath of fresh air.

Camping may be an option but there are dog friendly sites and campers are super friendly. A night away with the dog somewhere different where there is a pub attached could be an idea for the summer months. Other dog lovers would immediately see you as one of their own and the dogs break the ice by doing the introductions for you.

We have a beautiful place near us that does weekend courses in all sorts of activities. Pottery, art, etc. Some are pricey but people make lifelong friends. My imagination running wild now my thoughts turn to a cruise.

There is more but i think as usual I have gone on enough! Commenting late as ever....

Retiredandcrazy said...

I am on my own too Addy, as you know. I was very independent too but whereas I chose to be independent, now I have no choice. It's hard but we must move on to the next phase in life "one day at a time". Remember, nothing stays the same forever.