- Tom's back to work and recovering well from his motorcycle accident.
- We made it through our very first hurricane last month. (6 days without electricity, 2 weeks without TV, 3 weeks without Internet)
- The week after Hurricane Matthew I enjoyed exhausting myself with my first Book Fair for the school library I work in.
- Today I plan to vote, and who knows what tomorrow will hold!
* * *Do you find yourself with a lot of "alone" time now as a widow? Besides dealing with the grief, solitude can be a time of re-collecting oneself, re-structuring yourself and recovering from loss.
But is there such a thing as too much solitude?
Truly, there is. Do some googling about solitude vs. isolation during grief, and consider your own situation. Are you just alone, or are you intentionally hiding? Are you avoiding certain situations and people who would be good for you? Are you afraid to go places simply because you're afraid? Are you building a wall around yourself so you'll never be hurt by grief again?
Once some time has passed and you realize you can't be stuck in your house forever, it's time to make some choices about solitude. Decide whether it's friend or foe. Chances are it's a little bit of both.
When I first moved here, I had lunch with a wise widow I'd met at church and we touched on this subject. I spent most of that first summer in isolation. I was in a totally new part of the country. I'd had face-to-face conversations with exactly five women here in this town. That's not much happening in three months! Tom worked twelve hours a day, and I had holed up to write and unpack. The beastly heat and humidity kept me indoors too.
But it wasn't good. I'm the sort of person who needs solitude, but I was in isolation. It was very negative. I asked Brenda, my lunch partner, how she dealt with the silence and the long hours of widowhood. Even though I'm remarried, I knew I could learn a lot from her experience. She said when the walls started to close in on her she headed out to the mall just to be around people. So simple! But I treasured her advice and it really worked!
How about you? Are you benefitting from solitude? Or are you hoarding (and hurting) yourself with isolation? Could you use a change of scenery? Let's urge each other to regain some balance in this area. What are some things you can do to guard against isolation? Share your comments today.