Monday, January 26, 2015

It's a new day

I don’t usually dream about Ron. I think about him and I miss him – and I even “talk” to him. But to say that he’s in my dreams would not be totally accurate. In the 10 months since his death, I’ve probably only dreamt of him a handful of times. So, when people say that their dearly-departed comforts them in their dreams, or they see “signs” that this person is still with them, I’m skeptical at best and jealous at times. Do I want to see that special sign, feel that soft caress, or hear those special words of endearment... You bet I do. I miss those things just as much as the next person.

I managed to make it through our anniversary month and my birthday (both in August) and the holidays. I kept myself busy over Thanksgiving (went to visit a friend) and Christmas. Amy and Rex were good about including me in their plans and I went to the farm with them again this year. My sister wanted to go to Walt Disney World to celebrate her 50th birthday and I decided that was a wonderful thing to do as it would get me away for Ron’s birthday (which is one day before hers). We had a “Magical” time and it was a great stress reliever. As it gets closer to Valentine’s Day (our last meal together) and the one-year anniversary, I find myself getting more and more “antsy” and stressed. I’m not focusing on the things I need to focus on.

During the past 10 months, I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I’ve taken some time to deal with the stress of being in this new situation and “thought” I’d come back to be stronger than before. As I made my way through the holidays and the situations without Ron, I realized that I needed to step back again from this life and re-evaluate. Financially, I’m not independently wealthy and I don’t have tons in savings. Can I make ends meet without a job? For a few months, but I need to have some kind of income. Do I need the stress associated with my current job? No, I don’t. Because I’m not adequately dealing with everything else, I don’t think I’m doing as good of a job here as I should be doing. I don’t want to jeopardize my reputation so decided that I’d take an early semi-retirement.

I’ve never been in a situation where it was just me. Yes, my kids love me and my grandkids are awesome. But, when the lights go out at night and the day is done, it’s just me alone with my thoughts. Who am I? What have I done in this life that is a positive impact on others? (That’s a rhetorical question; not looking for answers.) Besides taking care of Ron, what have I accomplished that wasn’t selfish on my part? Am I leaving behind good memories, tangible evidence that I cared about others, or what? What do I want to do with myself that will be better for those around me? I don’t know but I do know that I need to find out.

So, I’m saying good-bye to Corporate America – at least in the full-time sense. I need to work some hours but can afford to take a little break and look around. One goal is to get my fingerprints and background check on file with the school system as I’d like to substitute teach. There’s a little coffee shop in town that I thought I’d go apply for some part-time hours. I love coffee and thought this would be a fun outlet for me. I have a few “work from home” contacts (for legitimate jobs) and thought I’d check into some of those opportunities. My brothers would (and probably will) think I’m crazy. If I had tons of money invested, it “might” be OK but since I don’t, I “should” probably continue plodding along in the status quo until I can start drawing social security (in 18 months, I’m eligible to draw about 75% of Ron’s and then once I reach full retirement age I can compare mine to his and draw the largest). But, for my own sanity – I cannot wait until September 2016. Because of my outside stress, I’ve had “frustration” evident in some conversations and messages – things that aren’t horrible, but things I’m not proud of and aren’t my typical fashion. To pre-empt any future embarrassment on my part, I know I have to do something now.

Which leads me back to the first paragraph. I had a very vivid dream about Ron. I don’t go to the cemetery too often because it just bothers me to go. He’s not “there” and I can talk to him anywhere. But I was at the cemetery and looking down at his marker. Suddenly, I felt that someone was behind me so I turned to look over my shoulder and saw Ron. He was dressed in black – but not a somber, funeral black; more like a “spiffy” black (black and red were his favorite colors) and he was very vibrant and more “him” than he’d been in years (if that makes sense). I immediately started to cry because I missed him so much. He looked at me and smiled and said I was beautiful. He told me that everything was OK and would continue to be OK. He told me it was time for me to move forward and to do whatever I needed to do for me. I’d already done all I could do for him.

So, I’m going to take his advice and move forward. I gave my notice and my last day here is January 30. I’m not sure what my future holds, and I know that healing will continue as time goes on. Ron is surely watching over me and encouraging me to find my place, wherever that may be.

1 comment:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Sounds like you have a carefully considered plan and I'm impressed at how you take care of yourself and listen to your gut. Cannot imagine your loneliness, but what a comfort to have his spirit well and with you. Good luck as you retire and restart a less stressful work life.