This last year, the first full year without my husband, has been many things, with many feelings. Between blog posts, I find myself trying to organize the random thoughts and find a pattern or category of sorts so that I can continue with what I call my blog therapy. Most recently, I find myself thinking of the year as a whole and upon reflection, one word comes to mind...untethered.
In our relationship of 32 years, Todd and I seemed to ground each other. Even through the tough times in our marriage, we were able to communicate feelings so that we could address things as a team, keep each other grounded. When things were going so well that it seemed almost unbelievable, we communicated to keep a humble perspective. In times of unrest, we communicated to process what was happening in the world.
So, when thinking about 2020, untethered is the overall feeling in which I associate. Don't get me wrong, I am in touch with my feelings, make decisions I know I am making, and even though I want to think being a widow isn't my reality, I know it is. I feel untethered in processing everything from home and car issues to political and social unrest. Two examples come to mind.
The first is my home improvement hat I have been wearing all winter. I have put my Lowe's employee discount to the test and installed laminate flooring in the basement, updated our movie room, touched up the basement bathroom, and more. There are times when I get an idea for the next thing to do and think Todd would say, "Hold on Bec, slow down a minute and let's think this through." We would usually talk and really think about any change we make as we are (were) slow home decorators. I don't have anyone grounding me when I get a crazy idea.
I'm just flailing around, working in a home improvement store a few days a week, and just doing what comes to mind...untethered. Now, I realize I am just looking for things to keep me busy, because just sitting around getting lost in my thoughts isn't fun 24/7. So, I am working to tether myself when it come to home improvements and make a conscience effort to get input from the girls or my neighbors. (I would ask my parents or sister however with Covid, they haven't really been in the house.).
The second example of feeling untethered is centered around what is happening in the world. Pandemic, social justice, insurrection, vaccines, politics, the list goes on for the year 2020! Some of the heaviest days of feeling untethered, when it comes to processing events around me, left me with a sick feeling in my stomach, even finding it hard to actually eat. When Todd was here, sitting with me in the living room, talking about the events, I could process the events and almost "file" the thoughts until they were needed for a further action or conversation. Most recently, in the days following January 6, 2021, I felt like my thoughts were like the tether ball game, back and forth within my own mind, with the string eventually breaking, making rest and sleep impossible. I had to pull out a strategy that our family had learned when the girls were younger and visualize a big old stop sign and ground my thoughts.
No longer can I process these thoughts and feelings with Todd, so I am learning what I can do to process and get that string attached so untethered won't be my word for 2021. Just as the grief journey is unique to each person, so is what keeps a person tethered. For me, I have a wonderful support system, appreciate the connection the blog brings, know that camping season is almost here, and am so proud of the women our girls have become. All this is a strong rope to keep me tethered! Will the rope break occasionally....sure....but I know it will only be temporary.
Did I mention camping season is almost here?!