Shared a post from a fellow widower just recently that has really given me pause. He made a point of urging people not to leave it too late to seek a significant other to share your life with.
Raising children on your own is no easy task, if nothing else it’s an all consuming state of being. Throw in a good serving of grief, a handful of work and a splash of socialising and before you know it, life is steaming along at a great rate. Which isn’t such a bad thing I guess. Something about the innate human need to move forward at all costs makes one feel somewhat successful at this life gig.
As a parent we all know that we sacrifice a fuckload of, well, everything, in deference to our offspring. We put their happiness before ours. Which is fair enough. I think. 🤔
But what about me? What about my own little selfish needs? (there’s a hint to a big part of the problem right there). When do I get to pursue some happiness? (that’s not related to my kids or occasionally getting hammered)
I, as most parents do, push my needs down to the bottom of the priority list, where after some time they become “little”, “insignificant” and “no big deal”. But they aren’t are they my furry friends? No they are not! They fester and bubble in the darkest recesses of my mind, occasionally exploding in breath shortening midnight furies, like some kind of (bad) trip revisited from the 90s.
So I console myself, beat down the fears, with mantras like “one day”, “when the kids are older” and “if it’s meant to happen it will”. Which is all fine and dandy to temporarily alleviate the manic anxiety (about eternal loneliness and solitude) and to get back to sleep, but does nothing to address the real questions:
Will I ever find someone else?
Am I destined to spend the rest of my life alone?
When is the right time?
WILL MASTERCHEF EVER BE AXED? 😂
See I’m a huge advocate for letting life, in particular relationships, organically form. I’m not one to push myself onto others for friendship or otherwise. And so far this approach seems to have bode me well. But will it continue to serve me as a holistic approach to life or do I need to change tack and get proactive? Bloody hell… Enough of the questions already, I’ve got too much shit to do to worry about such trivialities…
My point exactly. As was it the point made by the author of the post I shared.
It is so easy to get busy with all that life throws at you. It’s too easy to build a semblance of a happy life, lived vicariously through your children; your joy tied directly to their successes and triumphs. It’s ridiculously easy to motor on through the years with “my time will come” echoing back at you from every observed happiness of others. It’s not so easy, however, to comprehend that that time may never come.
And that is the concern:
That by the time you have sent the kids off on their adult lives, by the time you have some time to yourself, that the opportunity to find another to share your magical life with may well be passed as those years dwindle behind you. And that scares the fuckery out of me..
Thankfully, however, I now feel like I am able to stay aware of the passing of time. I believe that I will not suddenly look in the mirror one day and see a wrinkled, grey haired, lonely old man staring back at me. I am determined to weave a thread of happiness that is mine and mine alone into this life, so that when the empty nest days arrive, I will not feel desolate and hopeless.
One thing Renee used to bang on about in the later stages of her illness, bless her cotton socks, was her express desire for me to (in her words) “Find someone else that loves you and the kids as much as I do”. Now obviously at the time I wouldn’t have a bar of it, as in my mind, she simply wasn’t going anywhere. Alas I was proven wrong :(, yet I still struggle with the thought of honouring this particular wish.
It is something that I intuitively know will happen. I don’t know when or how. I don’t know where or why. But my heart is open – and that is a good start.