to Meet the Magic
It all started with remembering how my late husband, an extrovert, was so great about having energy for everything. Last minute gathering with our kids? No problem. Just tell me where and when. Holiday fun in town, or out of town, or two events in a row? Bring it on!
My introvert energy runs out.
It is important to me to show up authentically. The thing is, sometimes that means staying home while everyone is off making merry! In some ways, I seem to others quite extroverted. But remembering Dan’s unlimited energy for the extrovert scene, I realize that I often suck at it.
Which is why I began to think about this in terms of
…how does one know when staying home a lot is too much?
I’ve had a few good lessons on this lately. For example, when my grandson texted me last week, saying,
“Hey Grams…I’m doing a gig at Mario’s Place. Why don’t you come and see me?”
When his text landed on my phone, I was getting ready to climb under four layers of bedding and have sweet dreams about how I love to sleep! He said their foursome jazz band would be going on at 9:00 pm. I called my daughter, Denise, to see if she wanted to go with me and she announced, in the first text, that she was going to bed early. The second text said,
“Izaak just called and asked me if I could go and I told him I would. I’ll pick you up on my way.”
Dressing up a bit, I headed out the door into the holiday-lit downtown.
Denise’s partner came with us and we parked about a half mile from Mario’s. The route took us through magical Christmas Carnival activities including cotton candy, Christmas music, and endless colored blinking lights.
I was no longer tired. It was exciting and fun. We stayed at Mario’s through their set and didn’t head home until around 10:30 pm.
I was glad I pushed myself to go.
Keenly aware of my love of solitude, I have no clear line on when too much alone time is exactly that; too much. I do send emails to all the widowed folk in our group (about 11 in total) and sometimes I wonder if anyone reads them. Last Friday I found out they do.
At our group’s monthly Breakfast Club, on the first Friday of the month, it’s a tiny group. This week I learned a lesson through two other widows about what can happen when you push just a little and show up.
It came in form of a text on my phone:
“Are we having breakfast this morning?”
It was a newcomer to our group who had only attended one meeting. The text proved that she really does read the emails I send and knew we were down for breakfast that day. I was giddy. On a whim, I texted another woman who had mentioned that breakfast was a maybe:
“Hi there! We having breakfast over at Art’s right now. If you haven’t eaten, why don’t you join us?”
Soon, our party of two doubled and we moved from the table for three to the foursome a few feet away. It is often from small talk that the magic arrives.
It began when they realized that their husband’s died from the same, rare and invisible heart disease. Next, in the process of their conversation, they learned that their husbands had the same first names.
There is also a bit of magic that comes to widowed folks through their intuition. A feeling that says,
“no, not this time—I’m staying home…”
or that says,
“I’m not taking the substitute job today….I need a break. I’m going to breakfast at Art’s.”
If you’re reading this, congratulations on taking this widowed experience one small step at a time.
I know that there will still be times when I climb into my warm blankets and pass on an activity…AND…I’m finding ways to say yes to other spontaneous opportunities.
I’m consciously making space for the magic…and picking up some resilience along the way.