All the Responsibilities

The last little bit has been very busy for me. I have report cards due at school tomorrow and I’ve been sick (again). I’m finally getting over it but I’ve fallen behind in the things I need to do. So I’m writing this at 10:00 pm at night, just after finishing report cards, which is not like me but I haven’t had any other time. Not to mention that there’s still everything around my house that needs to get done and it’s just sitting there waiting for me. It’s times like these (among many other times) that I feel alone.

I guess it really has to do with living alone. I alone am the only one responsible for managing my house, cooking, cleaning, Tango (my dog) and taking care of me (extra credit to the widows doing it also taking care of young kids). Gone are the days of, “I am swamped at work, would you be able to figure out dinner tonight?” or “I’m not feeling well, can you take Tango out today?” If I don’t do it then it doesn’t get done. It’s a lot to do and it’s overwhelming at times. David and my family help me when they can but it’s not the same ownership or shared responsibility as sharing the house.  I know I could ask for more help but I know everyone is busy with their own lives and I really don’t want to bother anyone with silly little things. Plus, it’s not like I’m the first person ever to live on her own. I just had the advantage (or disadvantage?) of knowing how it could be different and shared and so now it’s hard not to think of that.

I do sometimes pretend to ask Mike to do things for me when I feel like this but really, that’s my crazy, tired widow coming out. Like knowing there will be no response, I’ll say,  “hey Mike, do you think you could take a turn watering the plants today?” or “I cleaned the washrooms, could you vacuum the floor?” And then I half laugh to myself because what else is there to do when you’re overwhelmed and tired talking to yourself/dead husband about stupid, unimportant chores? It just solidifies that if I don’t do it then it doesn’t get done.

I guess that can be a benefit of living alone too though, depending on the perspective. I can decide what I want to do and what I don’t. No one else is depending on me. If I leave the washroom a mess because I’m in a hurry then no one else is going to see it. I can decide to make my bed or not. Or just how dirty and full of dog hair I can handle my floors. I’ve learned to let things slide. (Dust) bunnies can be cute until they turn into larger (dust) coyotes. As long as the oven and stove are off the kitchen will be there to clean tomorrow. The plants might wilt but they should hopefully come back (stronger than before?).

I’m always doing my best. Some days I have more energy for that than others. I have to prioritize other things and manage my time for what is important. Dust bunnies can stay. Besides, I could use the company. Half joking. What I need now tonight after finishing my report cards and my writing is to leave the dinner dishes in the sink, the laundry in the dryer, take a deep breath and go to bed.

There’s another day to widow tomorrow.


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  • Indira Bijlall
    commented 2018-07-19 17:38:19 -0700
    U said it just perfect hon. When we can just move one foot in front of the other well thts progress.
  • Pamela Deratany
    commented 2018-07-02 18:53:53 -0700 · Flag
    I did not chose to live a life as a single, life chose it for me. Never did I think or prepare for such an event. Yes, I have heard all the women before me warn to learn all you can and be prepared. I tell my sisters this on rare occasions. But nothing can truly prepare you for the thousand small and large changes we go through. For me it was 4 months of survival denial. Then my business man, handyman, auto mechanic, yard man, accountant, councilor, lover, best friend, my everything, left. Dying not was his plan, his plan was to live just one day longer than me, so he could make sure I would never need or want for anything. So here I am, learning so many important lessons, from how to fill batteries, pay bills, haul trash, mow, sell excess stuff, but most of all I will never take anything for granted again. In the blink of an eye, everything in your life can change. And you are left alone to wade through, all the emotions, physical short comings, and the terrible sense that your life is forever changed. I am not in complete dispare however, I do make the choice every morning to get out of bed, get dressed, and find something positive to think about. It does take effort, and I find someone that has a need that I can meet, and this is the only time I feel I have a purpose in life.
  • Debbie Hinderhofer
    commented 2018-07-02 17:45:46 -0700
    It really is such a lonely feeling when you realize your “person” is really not coming back. That every decision, major or minor is now up to you do handle. It truly is the most alone I have ever felt, that moment when I realized my guy, my one and only, my Don was never coming home to me again.