27 Things

27 Signs You Really Are Getting Older
27 Things No One Tells You About Widowhood

27 Signs You Really Are Getting Older

  1. Every time you’re about to go down a staircase, you think to yourself, “don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall…”
  2. Standing up at your desk counts as “exercise”
  3. You finish dinner by 5, get your jammies on by 6:30 and you’re in bed by 8
  4. You congratulate yourself on waking up in the morning
  5. You congratulate yourself when you wake up at 2 a.m. for making it through at least 6 hours of sleep before getting up to pee
  6. Your primary criteria for new pants or shoes is comfort
  7.  You don’t even try to open a jar before you bang it on the kitchen counter a few times
  8. You post something on Facebook remarking on the passing of any actor, writer or musician who had been working prior to 1970 (I’m looking at you, eldest brother)
  9. You have a weekly date in the bathtub with Dr. Teal (Epsom salts)
  10. Even though you use a non-slip bath mat, you wonder how you will get out of the tub without slipping, falling and possibly dying of a broken hip after your date with Dr. Teal
  11. You devise creative ways to avoid slipping, falling and possibly dying when you get out of the tub after your date with Dr. Teal, like turning over to your hands and knees and slowly rising up from there
  12. While you’re pushing yourself up out of the tub from your hands and knees position, you’re thinking, “don’t slip, don’t slip, don’t slip….”
  13. Once you’re on your feet in the tub after your date with Dr. Teal, you hang on to the wall with one hand and use your other hand to help lift your knee to step out of the tub
  14. While you are lifting your knee with your hand to step out of the tub after your date with Dr. Teal, you’re thinking “don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall…”
  15. The only television programs you care about binge watching are Masterpiece and Grace and Frankie
  16. Falling asleep in a chair while binge-watching Masterpiece or Grace and Frankie is perfectly acceptable – you can backtrack to the last episode you remember tomorrow
  17. A nap is more important to you than a meal
  18. Five grapes and an ounce of soft cheese count as a meal
  19. You can’t find your keys, water bottle, re-useable grocery bag or sunglasses until they beam back from whatever alternate universe they disappeared to and reappear RIGHT ON YOUR DESK, KITCHEN COUNTER OR HALLWAY TABLE, where you swear you JUST LOOKED A MOMENT AGO
  20. You don’t mind the neighbor’s dog barking in the morning because he always barks at exactly 5 a.m. and you should be congratulating yourself on waking up by then anyway
  21. The most difficult choice you’re willing to make in the hour after congratulating yourself for waking up in the morning is which pair of stretch jeans to wear that day
  22. You’d rather skip breakfast than cook it
  23. You’d rather brew coffee than buy it, because back in your day, a cup of coffee cost 25 cents, dammit!
  24. You know that horses, dogs and babies communicate telepathically through their eyes and you just “get” each other
  25. You talk to yourself and your deceased spouse and relatives out loud and unapologetically
  26. After you congratulate yourself on waking up in the morning, you notice birds are singing and you say, out loud to your deceased spouse, “hey, loves, birdie sing!” because that’s what you used to call that time of morning when you woke up together
  27. Birds, bunny rabbits and butterflies are inestimably delightful and you could sit  and watch them flit and frolic in the backyard for hours and it occurs to you that dying while watching birds, bunny rabbits and butterflies flit and frolic in the backyard wouldn’t be a bad way to go and you wish you could have gotten your dying spouse outside somehow one last time to see them but it doesn’t matter anymore, because you’re sure he is watching them with you now.

27 Things No One Tells You About Widowhood

 

  1. Women with living husbands will treat you as predatory, almost immediately
  2. Men with living wives will treat you as available, almost immediately
  3. Other widows will judge you for not being widow-y enough
  4. You will judge other widows for wallowing in their widowhood for too long
  5. “Getting out there and doing things you love” doesn’t cheer you up
  6. “Getting out there and doing things you love” doesn’t find you a new partner
  7. You will realize no one really ever understood your marriage
  8. You will wonder if you every really understood your marriage
  9. You will find things hidden in drawers and closets you don’t understand
  10. You will find things hidden in drawers and closets you understand all too well
  11. You will go through a year or so of “widow brain” where you alternate between
    giddiness and despair, spend too much money, change your hair, your clothes and your home, and none of it changes your life
  12. You will be furious at how much of your life and your marriage you wasted on stupid disagreements, miscommunication and resentment
  13. You will declare your intention to become a better human being
  14. You will regularly fail at being a better human being
  15. You will throw things away you wish you hadn’t, and keep things you wish you could throw away
  16. Things that used to be very important to you won’t seem important anymore
  17. You will allow yourself not to finish books if you don’t like them after three chapters
  18. You will make a reading list of everything you think you should have read by now
  19. You will become generous with your time to people you used to ignore
  20. You will quit activities and friendships that don’t seem worth your time anymore
  21. You will tell your siblings the truth, that your spouse was not a saint, but they knew that already
  22. You will tell your children that your spouse was perfect, and they’ll know you’re lying
  23. After a few years of frantic “keeping busy,” you will finally learn how to be still
  24. In stillness you will discover the depths of your grief and the magnitude of your loss
  25. The magnitude of your loss will help you remember the quality of your strength
  26. The quality of your strength, putting one foot in front of the other and getting by one day at a time, will lead you to your truest self
  27. You will recognize that your truest self was forged in your marriage, your love and your loss, and you will be grateful for all of it

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