Widowed: Now What?

by Gary

So often I get your bulk emails in my in box. I never felt motivated to reply, frankly I simply did not pay much mind to those emails. You asked how our week went and that we reply on it. I do not know you, and maybe that makes it easier to talk about what is going on in my life.

Aside for the aches and pains that seem to pay us a visit when we pass that 70 mark, my week was pretty exceptional. I am 74 years old and widowed.

Lately I have doing things to keep me busy as this house seemed pretty empty for a while. After awhile that empty house seemed pretty comfortable and I did not feel the need to run from it any longer.

What is amazing as soon as I got used to being with myself things started to change. I found I wanted to know more about the city sitting right in front of me.

Most of my life has been designed to avoid the city and in the process I avoided things that could have been fun or in the least interesting. So, now I want to know more about what I have been avoiding. It is called change.

I can sit here and wait for death to arrive or I can face life in the face and inhale all of it I can get. I choose to breath. I have been in a rut most of my life doing the same things the same way.

I sought companionship from those who shared my values and things we mutually found enjoyable. That is great if one is trying to raise a family. That job has been done and they are doing very well without my help.

I need someone who is different and has values different than I do. Differences are something uncomfortable if we avoided them in the past, but they foster new attitudes and perspectives. I needed someone who could jolted me out of my rut.

I have recently found an adventure guide. She is well acquainted with the many things I wish to discover and showing me things I haven't even before considered.

She is French born and maintains the sensibilities and sensitivities of the French way and yet functions well in our American society as she is also American.

She knows her wines, her food, the museums, the jazz clubs, fine dining as well as how to feast at home. Lately we had a decadent meal of caviar (the red stuff not the black), smoked salmon, pumpernickel bread and smooth Cabernet. Cost? Oh about $50.00 tops. That adventure took place at my kitchen counter.

Next is finding those little spots that you see people on the TV shows attending. That one restaurant that offers good food, great atmosphere, reasonable prices and the owner knows you when you walk through the door. Yes, they do exist, one just has to look for them and of course go to where they will be.

Where is that you ask? Well, more than likely the city. I have to leave behind my safe retreat in the slow country like world and drive 30 min to find the other. Do not get me wrong, I still find comfort is that slowed down world, but it lacks adventure.

What about my guide you ask? Well she is a willing participant in this adventure, only a year younger, so I am not vicariously seeking youth. She is younger in her heart than I and it is contagious and I like it. The fact that she is a tiny little red headed and cute as can be doesn't hurt either.

Now this writing is about living life after retirement and not about my personal relationship with my guide. That might be a story to be told yet.

I find that I grow closer to her each day and maybe there is a future for us. But back to living life after retirement.

My guide loves to travel and has done so extensively. When I first met her I had no desire to do so. In fact, I had a disdain of it.

What I have found is as I grow in this adventure is the attitude that I previously held has begin to soften. I see things from a perspective I had not considered before. Will I change so that I will travel in the future? That is good question and I can tell you that never before was I interested enough to ask if the fare was round trip. So, yes, probably, but (as this is important) one cannot rush changes.

We have lived lives as we have for years and change does not occur overnight. Let change come as it comes. The important point is to allow it to happen. The thought I choose to hold is that I am not planning the end of my life but rather the beginning of a new one, a selfish one, do I not deserve it?

I can already hear it out there, that "yeah, but". OK, like all adventures the time of discovery will pass, but not the enjoyment found in those newly discovered things we wish to keep.

My guide? What about her? I can't say. I am just enjoying what she has to offer for as long as she chooses to offer it. If it ends, it will be greatly disappointing but then the rewards will be what I have gained from her in the process.

We are too old to mourn over what could have been and still young enough to search for what might be.

Time is not our friend and our health could get worse even so bad we can no longer do the more adventurous things. So, sitting back and waiting for it to happen on its own is likely not the best approach.

As long as our minds are alert we can still discover. When that goes, it really doesn't make much difference does it?

Comments for Widowed: Now What?

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by: Loyce!

THE NOW is where we are and it is important to try TO REMAIN OPEN to what is presenting itself; so I try to talk to as many peeps as I can, avoiding negatives.

I talk to peeps at my health club, the bowling alley, the golf course and even the mailwoman and checker at the market. I talk to many young peeps as I find our commonality is that WE ARE all GROWING.

I start my own groups and my uke group is on hold for now so I opened another door--bowling--and now helping to start a league. My eccentric dogwalker Dan has given me a billiards (pool) lesson and I bought a mini pool table to practice at home.

How Wonderful!
by: Len/Pacific


I felt so happy reading what you shared! I wish you and your adventure guide the very best. What a wonderful elating story!

Kudos to You, Gary!!
by: Wendy, www.retirement-online.com

Gary wrote this as an email to me, and I asked to share it on the site.

He is very motivating, because we all truly have this same optimism inside ourselves, even if buried deep inside for a very long time (just as his was).

We can all grow into something new in retirement - or at least someone adventurous about life.

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