So last week I wrote in here about dreams unrealized, and how I had to give up my dreams 9 years ago, or begin the process of giving up my dreams of acting, comedy, writing, entertaining etc – when my husband dropped dead suddenly, and I ended up having to leave my NYC life behind and move back to my homestate of Massachusetts. Now, here I am, almost 49 years old, got an apartment with my boyfriend of 3 years, and Im a Real Estate agent. Its a job I love, but its not my passion. My passion is helping people through loss, and Im trying to figure out ways, slowly, to be able to not only hold onto that, but to bring it more into focus and be able to spend more time and energy doing it. Its proving not to be easy.
My awesome boyfriend, who is always very supportive of my passion for helping widowed people, came up with the great idea for me to try and set aside Wednesdays on a regular basis, for “widowed stuff.” Responding to messages from widowed people reaching out, shipping out my books to those who have ordered or donated for one, responding to comments on my TED talk, connecting with bookstores and libraries and places to book myself for future book-signing events , connecting with podcast hosts and radio hosts and other people in the grief world in order to set up guest spots, on and on and on. I said: “we could call it WIDOW WEDNESDAYS!”, and I got excited for a few minutes at the idea of being able to set aside actual time each week for my passion. Its not ideal, but its a start at least, right?
Then, yesterday, on the very first ever “Widow Wednesday”, real estate took over, and suddenly I went down the rabbit hole of home inspection prep, setting up showings, fielding texts and calls and emails from angry sellers agents, lenders who have deadlines for me, and buyers who want every minute of my time. Documents needed to be signed, in order to stay under our home-buying contract schedule. Things needed to get done, problems needed to be solved. Important stuff – time-consuming stuff – but, again, not my passion.
I like my job. I dont like feeling like a terrible person or going to bed crying because a widowed person who is hurting like hell and doesnt much feel like living, reached out to me for some words of comfort or validation or anything at all – and Im too damn exhausted to offer up anything, or I fall asleep before I can respond to her, or it gets put on the back burner AGAIN because my client who helps me pay my bills is needing me right now, and I have to go and deal with that.
I cant plan a day of the week for widowed people. Sometimes it will work out, other times my schedule is just too crazy. Here it is Thursday night, and Im writing this blog tonight instead of tomorrow, because my tomorrow (Friday) is insane. I need to be at the property of one of my buyers at 8am to meet a contractor who is giving us an estimate on some work he might be doing after closing to make a home handicapped accessible. Then Im meeting another guy from a water well mitigation company, to be there as he installs a mitigation system, to get rid of arsenic in some well water. Then I have a home inspection 45 minute drive away from the first home, which is an hour away from where I live. Then Ill be home for about 15 minutes, grab some food to go – protein bar or something – and we are off to go see my 12 yr old nephew play baseball in the “playoffs” of his baseball league. This is just how my life is now – insanely crazy. But I dont want to give up my dreams all over again. I want to find a way to fit helping widowed people into my life more, not less. I hope it all works out.
(pictured: me with boyfriend Nick, founder of SSI Michele Neff Hernandez, and friends Colin and Tammy, at Camp Widow Tampa, 2019.)