Week 22 – Reality check

Week 22- February 17 2012

I had been in a contended place for a few weeks now, rising early, watching the sunrise, turning my new-found aloneness into creative solitude for writing; and enjoying the glorious down-under summer days as a peaceful place for living in today.

So uplifting were some of these days, that I thought I had progressed through my grief. Now I wonder whether I have or not. Am I really still stuck back in stage one of shock and denial? Have I really been subconsciously dealing with my pain by not facing reality?

I knew that my soul was rocked every time I had thoughts of the past, so I did not go there. I became sad about the past because I did not know what to do with the memories of my years as a mother and wife. I did not know whether I would ever be able to look back on those years with happiness. So rather than being ripped in two by those thoughts, I pushed them aside. I stopped myself thinking about my past at all. I put photo albums and memorabilia safely in boxes and cupboards until a later date when I had healed. I had consciously done that. It was a definite decision I had made. I told myself that I would think about my past sometime in the future. My living would be for today.

In the first few weeks when I thought about the future, I thought about the lost happy-ever-after dreams. That saddened me so I and brushed those thoughts aside along with the past.

Now my thoughts drifted to the future again. The thoughts that came to me now about the future were different. Now I thought about my working life, about my retirement, about my financial situation. Those thoughts of the future filled me with anxiety. Through all this la-la land of living the glorious summer days for the awe and wonder of their splendour, have I simply been in denial? Have I been using self-preservation strategies of avoiding the pain of reality – that harsh reality of being 58 years old with what will now be a hugely depleted asset base and no chance of an early secure retirement.

What bothers me most is that my future will eventually become my present. So even though right now I am contended in today, happily living one day, one week at a time; thinking about the future and determining my own future – which will eventually become my present – is a place I will soon have to go. And mostly it makes me anxious.

So I am not there yet. I am not over all of this. I still have a lot to think through a lot in order to be relaxed about my future and therefore truly happy in my present.

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