I had a hard time coming up with what I wanted my “C” to be. I had written “coffee,” “Cuba” (my daughter, Christie [another C], and I had gone to Cuba last December), but as I lay in bed last night, what floated into my mind was chaos and confusion.
Perhaps that is my state of mind these days. It’s partly because of the current political state of this country, with a president who seems to think his job is to sign executive orders and show his signature to the camera, whose nominations show an inclination to destroy all parts of government except the police and military, who is at heart a con man and entertainer. I fear only chaos will be the result, chaos not only in this country but around the world. And climate change, which that president ignores, may make all of our futures obsolete.
But my psyche also feels chaotic and confused. My husband of 51 years died a year ago. I was going to save this fact for tomorrow, when D will be about Death, but this fact is at the root of my personal chaos and confusion.
We had a good marriage; in many ways, we meshed very well. But we were also quite different. All the ways we were different that caused conflict are now gone, and while I often feel relieved (oh, I can cook whatever I want; I can pile up books and magazines on chair arms), I also feel, yes, confused. What do I do now? I’m 74, soon to be 75, and my life is not as open-ended as it would be if I were 35 or 40, or even 50.
I’m not looking for another partner. Relationships are hard work, and I’ve already seen one partner through ill health, hospitalizations, rehab, and I don’t want to do that again. When I think of that, I think, it’ll be my turn next. And yes, it would be helpful to have a partner to take care of me, someone I’ve known only a short time wouldn’t be any more comfortable than someone I would hire.
Do you think I’m being too utilitarian here? What about love? Even sex? I’m confused about those, too. What is love when you’re not young and full of lust? I’m not a romantic (my husband was). I feel more like the uncertain young person I was when my husband and I first met.
I’m having to learn to be a grownup all on my own, and that is confusing and chaotic. Wish me luck.