Saturday, 11 February 2012
Finding my feet
For one thing, the day being so cold would have elicited one and only one response from John, had I had the temerity to suggest we might actually go out and do something.
"Whatever for" he would have growled, "it's freezing, why go out if you don't have to?"
He was happy to sit at his computer, read, or watch TV (am or pm made no difference) and could and did go for hours without making a sound.
This was possibly the biggest difference in our natures. His, taciturn and reactive, mine, volatile and pro-active. Sometimes the cause of conflict but always an illustration of our uniqueness.
When we had somewhere to go, the boot was on the other foot, John was all feverish activity, busy organisation and impatient "get a move on woman, we'll be late". While I would simply quietly get ready and wait for the dust to settle, unmoved by the storm being created around me.
My mother used to say that we, (he and I), were chalk and cheese - never did find out which was which - and used to wonder, sometimes aloud, how we made our marriage work.
Well, the answer to that was in the question, we did 'make' it work. This inevitably called for considerable compromise on both parts, and often left one or the other, sometimes both of us on the wrong foot.
John was I am now sure, often shaken out of his peaceful unadventurous lifestyle choices, and I was often left feeling bored and flat and disgruntled by his failure to respond to my wilder flights of fancy, but on the best of days, we could both laugh at our very individual and separate attitudes and happily settle for a middle course.
Since his death my whole existence has suffered a 'sea-change', and slowly little by little, the old Ray has begun to emerge from the fog of bereavement, loneliness and change.
Late, very late, in the day, distant aims and ambitions are beginning to re-emerge, old interests slowly climbing out of their boxes and a very different person from that of the past 40 years is starting to show signs of life.
That is not to say that the past 4 decades have been wasted, simply that what I have learned in that time can now be added to my pre-marriage experiences and the combined collection of trial and error, successes and failures, happiness and misery turned to good use (I hope).
When John died I believed that was the end for me too. I didn't think there was any possibility of any kind of satisfactory life left for me.
It was quite a surprise to discover that religion, which I had thought to be closed to me for ever, was a new and wonderful path to investigate, and that music which I had also thought beyond all hope of resurrection in any active sense, was also still available.
Of course there are far more things of which I have no experience than the few I have mastered, but that too is a challenge and is full of possibilities for exploration.
The blog has been, and is still, something I really enjoy and which I regard as a form of therapy, though my IT skills are still in their infancy (and of course, I have yet to even begin to use my Ipad), but it has opened up a whole new world and one I would not want to lose.
So in summary things have changed dramatically from my perspective, though the world at large would probably see little or no difference, but I am beginning to find my feet.