Continuing with my back-to-basics present participle list of prompts for August. You can see July, here. A LOT can change in a month.
REMEMBERING my Bill. He was so many things to so many people. A tremendous positive influence on everyone he knew. He was the love of my life. I knew that when I first met him in the lunch line our first week at university, 37 years ago, and know that today, 23 days after his death. We wove in and out of each others’ lives until I got brave and told him with complete honesty, clarity, and vulnerability how I’ve always felt. I had him for 299 days. Way better than zero.
READING the oodles of books I ordered as a result of a brilliant 3-hour class with the incomparable Anne Lamott. One thing all exceptional writers do is read. A lot. Time to read more.
WATCHING hockey. So much hockey. It’s fabulous! Any day I can find a game. My goodness, it’s hard to watch without constant (expert) commentary but I’ll muddle through.
MOVING things around the house. A week ago all of the new furniture – in my attempt to elevate and adultify our home – was finally installed. It was originally ordered in January. Bill’s office is complete. Ah, the irony.
LISTENING carefully to the wants and needs of my mind, heart, and soul. More of my time is being spent in guided meditation where I am able to get in touch with what is missing – other than the obvious.
LOVING how he was loved. I think he’d be surprised, delighted, and a little embarrassed by how profoundly he touched everyone in all manner of ways. The tributes online and the texts and emails have been touching and heartbreaking.
LEARNING how to live in the “now”. Grief can be a complete mind-fuck. I’m finding it far safer, if not easier, to live in the present tense as opposed to the past or the future. I’m taking one day at a time, really, one minute at a time. I’m not moving forward or backward, just bobbing up and down in the “now” which feels like dark, sticky, molasses.
FINDING clarity. Mixed with sadness. Funny how one can coexist with the other. I’m not quite ready to make a list yet (GASP!) but things are percolating. At least I’m clear on what I don’t want. Time to gently allow what to keep or invite in to reveal itself.
GOING outside as much as I can. I have built a beautiful back yard and the weather is inviting me to enjoy it. The fresh air is doing me good. Once the humidity is gone I’ll be taking the beasties out for evening walks, in the meantime, I enjoy having them sit next to me as we listen to the birds and the bubbler.
FEELING greatly loved by my children and countless friends who check in regularly with a quick call or text. His, mine, and ours. I love them all.
WEARING my hair naturally – no blowdrying or straightening. I’m not just embracing the gray but the natural bend in my hair which has been cut so that whatever curl can be coaxed will show up.
GIVING thanks, every minute of every day for the last 10-months. I will never be the same again, and that’s a good thing. I learned to love and be loved for the first time in my life, at 55. That is gratitude worthy! My children saw me happy for the first time in their lives. They witnessed a solid, loving, and committed adult relationship. I hope they take that with them in their own future relationships. Bill was a gift to all of us.
PLAYING our playlist on Spotify – a great mix of his favourites: Springsteen, Bob Segar, Jackson Brown, Die Straits, Eagles, Jim Cuddy, James Blunt, and some (ugh) country; as well as mine: Keane, One Republic, Killers, fun., James Morrison, The Script, P!nk, Dido, Sarah Bareilles (he introduced me to an expanded selection), Tracy Chapman, David Gray, Imogen Heap … and ours – the list is too long! Suggestion: If you haven’t heard The Spark by William Prince, go listen.
DRINKING a lot of mineral water (Gerolsteiner), Earl Grey tea, and very little wine. I recently drown myself in too much wine for a week or more and the results were sloppy. This choice of bubbly and flavoured water definitely makes me feel better.
NOTICING hints of autumn. The temperature is cooling down, the humidity is not as stifling, leaves are turning colour and falling from our huge trees in the back yard and the cemetery beyond. Sweater weather is definitely the best.
WORKING on getting all of the right paperwork to all the right people. There is a lot of paperwork – which I do not like – so I’m procrastinating. This ING should really be AVOIDing.
EATING again. After weeks of not being able to look at food, I’m now able to as my appetite has come back with a vengeance!