Last week in my nutrition course we heard some amazing lectures about Blue Zones. If you don't know what Blue Zones are, they are communities in various places around the globe that share common lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to their populations being among the longest-lived and healthiest on the planet. These areas were first identified and labeled by Dan Buettner of National Geographic magazine and was the featured cover story in November of 2005.
Sardinia, Italy. Okinawa, Japan. Loma Linda, California. Nicola Peninsula, Costa Rica. Icaria, Greece.
In these areas, people are found to eat a traditional, largely home grown and plant-based diet - but more important, stressed Mr. Buettner in our lecture, they share a sense of community and purpose. They have close-knit families and communities which create a strong social network of support and compassion, regular physical activity and positive and healthy lifestyles.
I don't really have anything particular to write about this week. No news on the house, work is going, school is going.
In the middle of it all, I am feeling that ring of sadness around it all. Sad that my life has changed so much as a result of losing Mike, sad that he isn't here to share it with anymore, sad that my future will not include him.
Just the normal, obvious feelings of grief that don't go away.
I have a dear friend here in Kona who recently lost her mother. She was a new friend when Mike died, but had met him, and after discovering we were both writers we decided to get together every so often to write and support each other. She has since become a good friend who saw the rawness of my grief right there in the beginning, but since I've been gone for so long this year, and so busy since my return, we hadn't connected in a long time. So I called her the other day to express my condolences and catch up.
Earlier this week I made the trip from my home in Kona, once again, to my parents' house in Virginia. I am grateful for the reprieve back on the island, where I was able to attend my stepdaughter's wedding, visit with friends, my boyfriend, and find some rest. Now, I am in Charleston, SC with my mom. We planned this trip to see whether this area is a place we could all relocate. We will look at facilities for dad here, as well as some real estate. Dad is being cared for in a home in Virginia now, and my brother is back there as well at the moment, working on their house to be sold, and checking in on dad.Read more
I wish there was a magical device that would tell me exactly the right decisions I should be making in my life. But there is not. Without Mike as my partner and sounding board, I feel especially in the dark about making the right choices for myself.
…but it's better than the alternative.
At least that’s what they say. I’m not sure who they are. They probably have never been widowed and had to live with the idea of getting old without our spouses, when we hadn’t planned on it… and they are definitely not being specific enough. Who wants to live a long life if you’re sick and decrepit? I’m not afraid of dying, and this is coming from personal faith, not hopelessness; I’m more afraid of losing people I love. Being left behind is so much harder, at least for me, than dying…but getting old? Suffering all the ailments and breakdowns of the physical body? I’m just at the stage of life when this reality is crashing down on me. I will never be young again…I will always and forever just be older, and then, just old. And it’s so ever much worse both doing it without Mike, and remembering all the difficulty he had with this.
It's been a hard week. On Saturday I finally received notification from the courts with the date of the preliminary hearing on my foreclosure mediation. I've been saying how I'm going to be ok with this whole situation but it's been much more emotional than I thought it would be. It's the beginning of the end of something, one way or another. And let's face it - court anythings are always scary anyway. So I will be glad when the last Friday in April has passed because I will be one step closer to being done with all of this.
Do you ever get the feeling you’re living someone else’s life? I’ve been having these kind of out-of-body moments when I look around my small world and just for a flash, don’t recognize anything. It’s not any kind of serious psychological break, don’t worry - it’s just that moment when I think…how on earth did I get here??