Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Connections


I'm not really sure why I'm writing here today, as I haven't felt much like writing lately. I'm going through a period of time that I like to call my Walking the Walk time. For most of my first year here, I was pretty much focused on Talking the Talk. That is not to say I wasn't actively "doing" something, but I was mostly focused on recording my thoughts, than out pursuing a change in my life.

It's funny, because I often find myself being quite careful in my word choices here. I don't want to come off as sounding critical of my own prior behavior and choices,and I don't want to come off as being judgemental of how others are spending their time. I just feel the need to be a bit self critical, as in an analytical, of my current state of being.

Writing this blog, and posting any clean, or dirty, laundry, is my way of taking little snapshots of where I am at, or where I think I am at. I suppose these snapshots are open for your critical analysis, but probably best kept to yourself. I'm much more fragile than these word choices appear.

Recently I made a correlation between 12 step meetings, and support group gatherings for the widowed. I was half joking, but there is always some element of truth in my humor. In the past, I made regular use of Al Anon Meetings to help me deal with issues being faced with my daughter's choices. I found these meetings both satisfying, and quite rewarding. They taught me that there is so much value in the experience of others. If you haven't attended a 12 step meeting, there is always the disclaimer given at the beginning of the meeting, reminding those that gather that there is no cross talk, and that we are not there to give, and receive, advice. I know that for some, the question then becomes, then what is the point of such a meeting.

The meeting, as is this blog, is so that by hearing of an other person's daily challenges with this area of their life, we can see similarities, reflections, from our own life. It then becomes a catalyst for further self examination, and also encourages our own thoughts and feelings to rise to the surface. I always tell my children to be patient with their feelings, and let them fully rise to the surface before acting on them. By doing this, I am able to respond to, or reflect, on a deeper level, rather than off the cuff.

My writing is there for that same purpose. It gives way to my own deeper stirrings, that may rise later in my post, or later in my day. This is the same internal interaction that occurs when I visit other blogs. I do, at times, leave encouraging words, but mostly I tend to reflect on what their words have touched on in me.

So, what was the purpose to all of this rambling anyway?

I have a lot of time on my hands currently, being in between jobs. What's interesting is that the weather has not been that great, so my plan to do some exterior house painting, or further landscaping, have had to be put to the side. In their place have been a lot of connections, or attempted connections, with other people. I am doing a lot of writing, but primarily through chat room conversations with others online. I don't usually enjoy this mode of connection, but it has been both interesting, and encouraging, for me.

I am putting more attention into developing a better social life for me here in San Diego. I am talking to other gay men about the new direction in my life, and what I am seeking in way of new relationships. I am also seeing myself beyond the life imposed label of widower. While this label has come up here and there, it is just one of many that fit into the list of descriptors that help others get to know me. I like that. I like that I am being reminded that there are many sides to me, and that my being widowed is not always going to be the most dominant descriptor that I rely on.

It's all good.


  1. Lovely. I was going to write a post about this today - might. Who knows. But about reading others posts and not leaving a comment, just being touched by what they wrote. Not having anything to add or say.

    So much "advising" happens. Part of the reason why I don't say much to anyone these days. Never have liked being Advised.

    Anyhoo. That's it. Just a ~ Hi Dan.

  2. Nice. I get many, if not most, of my ideas to write about from reading others' words, thinking, and commenting on them. I think we are good for each other. It is nice to know I am not crazy, or, if I am, then lots of other people are too. Sometimes I wonder if identifying as a widow and hanging with other widowed people is keeping me here in this low place, but I have received so much unconditional support and virtual love here with you all.
    My new tattoo, which I got on our (my?) 21st wedding anniversary is symbolic in several different ways, all of which resonate deeply with me - or I couldn't have gotten it etched permanently onto my body. One way the spiral shell is symbolic is that it represents the part of me, the core, that is still here, intact, under all the rubble of grief. The part of me that is and always has been separate from "wife", "partner", duo, and is still alive. As a married person I was always more independent than may have been utterly helpful to our relationship, which is one reason I am so devastated at how devastated I am. If that makes any sense.
    When I was first widowed, I thought I'd need six months. At six months, I knew I would need another six months. At one year, I was nowhere near finished grieving. Coming up on 22 months soon. It has been a terribly difficult winter. Perhaps better not to predict. But it makes me feel more grounded to read about where others are in this continuum.
    Love you.