I know Halloween 2020 is probably looking different for your family. But remember to enjoy it and make some great memories! These are the memories that will stick. You know what Halloween I remember the best with my kids? The year we hardly had any money so I told the kids that they had to come up with costumes using what we already had in the house. Their costumes that year were some of my favorites.
November resolution list:
Like most couples, Tom and I had certain "jobs" that we tended to do. For example, I generally did laundry and he usually did things like changing out the a/c filter, filled up the water softener salt, etc. After we got our gas fireplace hooked up a few years ago, Tom was the one who almost always started it so I had only done it once or twice. So with the ice storm this week, I wanted to go ahead and light it in case the power went out. I had to google how to do it because I had done it so few times that I could not remember how to do it. It just got me to thinking about all the new jobs I'll be taking on with Tom gone.
With Tom being so sick the last few years, a lot of those jobs have shifted to me or to someone who helps me out. I cannot carry 40 pound bags of water softener salt down the basement steps so either our friend Pat or our son Josh has done that. But today, I wanted to share a funny story about one of those jobs.
Several years ago, we had a mouse and had put out sticky traps and caught it. Tom asked me what I wanted him to do with it. I told him to just consider me a "mob wife". I knew there were bodies, but I didn't want to know what happened to them. LOL. After Tom got sick, I told him that I really missed being a mob wife when I had to take care of things like that. When I hit a bird with my car and the bird was caught in my grill, I had to take care of it. That was pretty much the grossest thing I have ever done.
I think these are the types of things you don't realize will have such an impact on your life when your loved one is gone.
Walking 25 minutes a day/9,000-10,000 steps per day five of seven days per week: I walked every day and got 10,000 plus steps four of the seven days.
Write blog/posting in Facebook group: I posted in my blog and Facebook group every day.
Tracking food/blood sugar and drinking water: did this every day
Devotional/bible study/prayer journal: did these every day
Fruits/veggies: I met my fruit and veggie goal six of the seven days
Working on classes: I did this four of the seven days, but mostly because I had webinars and had a lot of work to do for them. I haven't started working on a new class yet.
De-clutter/house/paperwork: My goal was to do two of the three of these each day and I only did that two of the seven days.
Private goal: I did this all seven days
Today has been 10 weeks since Tom died. I guess at some point I will stop counting the time in weeks. In some ways it seems like it just happened and it also seems like a really long time ago. I was just thinking yesterday how much fun it would have been to be curled up next to him in this weather watching TV or talking.
Another thing I picked up from Gretchen Rubin is called the "one minute rule". Basically, it means if you have a task that will take one minute or less to complete, you do it right away rather than putting it off. Often we put off little things which then pile into big things. Examples from my own life:
Mail: if I go through the mail and sort/file/trash it every day, it's easy to do. If I pile it up and wait days, weeks, (and honestly, sometimes months) to go through it, it's a huge job. Not to mention that it can cause other issues (such as paying bills late, etc).
Folding laundry: If I fold and put away a load of laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer, it usually does not take very long. If I let it pile up, it becomes a bigger job. For just me alone, it doesn't take long to take care of a load from the dryer. I know for families, it is a bigger task, but it's still easier if you do it a load at a time rather than let it pile up. But believe me, I was guilty of that most of the time lol
Hanging up a jacket or putting away another piece of clothing.
Loading the dishes right into the dishwasher rather than piling them in the sink.
Do you have tasks that you tend to put off? Take a stop watch and time how long it takes you to do them right away. It can be very eye opening. Sometimes we (and by we, I mean me) tend to spend a lot more time putting something off than it would take to do it in the first place.
As I vacuumed the floors Wednesday morning, it made me think of Tom. I loved having him vacuum because he would always leave these really nice straight lines. This was a skill I never mastered. But I can't cut a straight line or draw a straight line either, so there's that lol.
It's just weird how the strangest things will make me miss him so much.
On one of the podcasts I listen to (can't remember which one right now), they talked about the power of "noticing walks". So rather than listening to music or other stuff on headphones while walking, you focus your senses on what is around you and what you notice during the walk. I have been trying to do this on some of my short walks around the block that I take to get steps throughout the day.
Some of the things I've noticed:
Sights: the changing leaves, cats, leaves blowing around, people's Halloween yard decorations,
Sounds: wind chimes, the sounds of the wind rustling the trees, the sounds my shoes make on different parts of my walk, dogs barking, the sounds of leaves blowing across the road
Smells: smells of meals cooking and other not so pleasant smells (like the big pile of dog doo lol)
Touch: The warmth of the sun on my skin (not today obviously lol), the feeling of the wind on me, sometimes stiffness or soreness in my body
It's almost like a meditative walk doing it this way because I am really concentrating on what is around me and paying attention to it in a way that I don't do very often.
If you've ever done this (or if you do it now), tell me all about it! I really want to know what you think.
Oh, and another thing I've noticed? I walk A LOT faster when it's cold outside lol!
In some of the literature that the chaplain from hospice brought me, there is a quote that says, “I must feel it to heal it”. I thought I would write about some of my feelings:
Thankful. Thankful that Tom fought as long and hard as he did, never losing his sense of humor or his good attitude. Thankful that we made the decision early on to enjoy the time we had together, whether it was days, weeks, months, or years. Because the truth is, no one knows anyway. Thankful that while I was still doing child care, my families were amazing and not one single time did any of them make me feel guilty for having to take off to take Tom to a treatment or a scan or an appointment. Thankful that after I closed, I was able to have a career with a lot of flexibility that gave me the freedom to take Tom to his appointments. I could go on and on with all the things I am thankful for.
All of the feelings are valid and all of them must be felt. I often say in my child care classes “Feelings are just feelings. It’s what we do with them that matters”. We often forget to let children feel their feelings and we often forget to let ourselves feel them as well. God made us these incredible humans with these complex emotions, and I believe he meant for us to feel them. Take some time today and really notice what you are feeling. Feel those feelings.
My passion is to share the importance of playing, and not just as a child, but as an adult also. It is so important to take the time to play and be active. Our children are losing that.