Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why This Blog?

This started as a brainstorm on a Saturday morning after watching an amazing sunrise (something I try to do on a regular basis). I’ve been thinking that I need to get off my behind and do something. My husband, Bill, died on July 29 after a short and brutal battle against lung cancer, and I have accepted that I will be living with Grief as a companion for some time to come. We’d been married nearly 28 years, and I had been his full-time caregiver since his above-knee amputation in June 2007. Before that, I was wife, mother, housekeeper, full-time instructional system designer, career AF NCO...

Now…no job, no children at home, no husband, no one to care for -- but me. Should be easy. Right? Except, what is my identity now? Who am I? Why am I here? What am I going to do with the rest of my life? What do I WANT to do with the rest of my life?

And I am exhausted from the events of the last couple of years. The concentration and intensity of life experiences has been numbing. Lots and lots of losses. People, places, dreams…I feel beat up and I kind of feel like I have been following a script– a script of my own writing, certainly; but I don’t feel like I have always been conscious of the action. I want to go forward with some awareness of what is going on around me and in me.

In this space, I will discover and create that awareness. The rules are that I have to write something daily (beginning 1 September 2010), whether I feel like it or not. If it is going to be a busy day with lots of activity, then I will just have to figure out how to get this work done, too. And if I don’t feel like it, then that’s a part of the discovery, too.

This is a real life, not a fantasy life. I am not going on dramatic searches for experiences to write about. This is about discovering who I am and creating what I want to be for the rest of my life. It has to be authentic, and it has to be sustainable (and I can’t sustain it very long if I start spending money on trips to Bali). I will be going on about the business of putting my life in order, and noting the stuff that comes up as a result of that. I have a couple of trips planned (San Antonio in September and Arlington to bury my husband in November), and they will definitely be incorporated into the journal. They are part of the discovery.

Every day will be a day of DISCOVERY.

  • Discovering what I have in my house
  • Discovering what I have in my heart and on my mind
  • Discovering things that are in my world
  • Discovering where I am in that world
  • Discovering within and without

There will be the Daily Dose of Wow! A photo or a thought that got my attention that day.

Every day will also be a day of creation. Each day, I will ask myself, “What did I create today?” It might have been a moment of laughter, a great meal, or a clean space for creativity to happen. If it is something I can “show and tell,” then that’s what I will do; but if it can’t be shown, I will at least try to describe it.

What I probably won’t write a lot about is politics. I’ve determined that paying attention to and being involved in any kind of politics gets me worked up and anxious. And anxiety is just another form of fear – an emotion I am no longer providing aid and comfort to. I will give it passing attention as context, but will try to avoid it as I would an accident on the highway, by moving on.

So, the question is: Will you join me on this journey of self-discovery and recreation? If you think you might like to tag along, please sign up to follow Sharon’s Sabbatical Year, and join in by commenting or emailing me. See you on 1 September!


Barbara B said...

Healthy, healthy, healthy!!!

Debbie Neeley said...

awesome adventure Sharon, i would love to read along in your journey, You are an amazing woman and others will learn from you, God Bless and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Marianne said...

I have followed your journeys since Niki and Josh were 15, and I'm down for this one. This, too, will surely be an adventure!

Lissa Forbes said...

I'm sure this is farthest from you mind, but what a great way to create a book about healing after loss, personal growth, a journey of discovery. I know you will come out on the other side the best you yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon,

Everything you are feeling is perfectly normal. I can not know exactly how you feel, but I do know pretty close. The next year, and more, will be all about discovery of you and what the Lord meant for you to do on this planet. It may not be easy, probably will not, but it will be very worthwhile and at some point fulfilling. I applaud you for setting the goals and beginning on the journey. As was said, you will come out the other side and be a better person for it. I am here to help you along the journey any time and any way that you need it. May the Lord continue to bless you in this difficult time and every day of your life.

Love Ya Cuz.

Arla said...

It's scary ... at first. Baby steps, learning to TRUST; getting a grasp of things like "gravity" (not necessarily knowing WHY or HOW - but just .... that ... "what goes up ... ")
You will be fine. No! Better than that.
(And if you need solitude, know that you will always be welcome in Cherry Creek.)

Sharon said...

You guys are all the best! Barbara and Lissa, I knew I could count on your support of the journaling approach since you are both advocates of the journal as an approach to healing. I have learned from you both. George, you are such a dear sweet man! I am so glad we are family so that I have you and all the other cousins in my life. We really are stronger together than we are separately. And Arla, I just might take you up on that offer! I know Jack and Gidget would love some real outdoor time as would I. I haven't been to Cherry Creek since I was in single digits! Marianne, my sister-friend, thank you for sticking with me through some really tough times, and coming back for more. I love you all!

Niki said...

Sharon, I think this will be the best thing to help you start to heal! I admire you! Love, Niki

Anonymous said...

If needed:

I know of a natural, homeopathic REMEDY I took when my mother unexpectedly passed and have recommended it through the years to others with great success for grief. It is natural, not habit forming, can't overdose, and zero side effects. It is called Ignatia Amara. It is a sublingual (placed under the tongue) homeopathic remedy for grief. It works in 5-10 minutes. The action of this simple remedy is that it manages to keep your thoughts on a very comfortable level, you still process your grief, but you don't sink to the levels of despair. If you feel despair coming on, you place 3-5 of these pellets under your tongue for relief. They taste like sugar and are the size of a teeny BB. I can imagine this working well for depression as well but would not know about it as a recommendation. You can buy it at most herbal apothecary shops and whole foods type stores. It is in a small blue lipstick sized tube. (I have no connection with their company, but have used homeopathics since 1983 with great success)