Ready to Step Up

IMG_3183.JPGI’m posting my Widows Voice blog a bit late today.  I’m scheduled to publish it at 5pm every Saturday, Australian time, which is midnight Saturday over in the USA (I live in the future, you see!). 

I’ve been late before but never missed a week, however as my scheduled time rolled around yesterday, I felt so overwhelmed with everything I had going on, I opted to let it slide.

I apologise to anyone who came here looking for my post earlier, I know that in the first few months – even year – after Dan died, reading this blog every night before I went to bed was my lifeline.  So many different stories and circumstances, but every day the words that the writers shared reminded me that I wasn’t alone.  I was part of a community and others had experienced the pain of this loss and survived.

The reason I felt so overwhelmed and busy this weekend is because I’ve started studying again and I have my first assignment due on Thursday.  

I feel pretty far out of my comfort zone right now and am having a challenging time re-adjusting to the discipline and sacrifice that is required to be a student again. 

It’s been 15 years since I finished by university degree, running head on into my first job as a newspaper journalist and never looking back.  I loved my time at uni but couldn’t wait to enter the real world and for my ‘grown up’ life to begin.  I’ve had no interest in studying since then, my career took off and lead me in many interesting directions, including eventually making the move into professional communications and public relations and working in London.

I was driven and motivated… and then my husband died.  Money, deadlines, impressing my boss, keeping the organisation happy – all became meaningless.  While I returned to work four weeks after his death, none of it mattered. 

My job was a means to an end.  Something to fill my day between the emptiness of waking up without him and going to bed without him each night.  I went through the motions but my brain, previously sharp and clever was soft and filled with fog.  Not only was I unable to do as much as I had previously, I also didn’t care. 

I took a step down in responsibility (and pay) and dropped my hours to four-days-a-week instead of five.  Basically, I did what I had to do to survive. And that was ok.  That space and time gave me room to heal, to let my brain focus on processing WHY and HOW my darling husband had come to lose his battle with depression.  Working through that mess was the most important thing and it took a long time until I felt I had any brain capacity to spare on anything else.

However, with time, I have started to feel stronger.  I am now ready to sharpen my mind again and take on more of a challenge at work.  I’ve lost a hell of a lot of confidence in the past couple of years and competing for promotions won’t be easy.  This is why I’m now a student again, completing a post-graduate degree at nights and weekends while I work during the day. 

I’m spending my weekend writing an assignment rathe than catching up on my favourite tv programs, playing with my nephews, having fun with friends or resting.  Honestly, in this moment I’d much rather be doing any of those things than sitting at my computer at 8am on a Sunday and re-learning how to reference or checking word counts.  But I’m doing this for my future.  I don’t want to languish and stay in that easy space forever. 

I want to grow and move forward and while that can be hard and require energy I’d rather be spending elsewhere, right now I feel like here in my study writing an assignment, is where I need to be.   

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Steven Jenkins
    commented 2017-02-27 22:56:53 -0800
    I am glad that you are going to write again and present us with some good things. In, you can find things that might interest you and keep you inspired. Visitors do not want to feel bad after getting into the page.
  • Rebecca Collins
    commented 2016-03-20 15:26:49 -0700
    Thanks for your comment Lisa, it means so much when people take the time to let us know that they’ve read and it’s meant something to them. I feel like it’s taking so much energy to find a drive to push forward when it would be so easy to stay comfortable in the little cocoon that I’ve built for myself. I hope you find a path for yourself that is rewarding and makes things easier after June.
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2016-03-20 00:35:00 -0700
    Rebecca your post is so timely for me. I’m realizing the long days, horribly lonely evenings and empty weekends are leaving me feeling stuck. Though I’m a bit older than you and my career is winding down, I’m feeling a need for a new challenge to fill my time but also add to my income. My widow’s benefits from my husband’s social security end in June so I’ll need to do something soon. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone in all these feelings. It’s reading here that keeps me pressing forward.