How are you?

How are you? Three words that I dread hearing; that make me freeze and back peddle and fumble with words. Why? Because I never really know how to answer, so I say, “I’m well. I’m doing.”

What else am I really supposed to say? I mean, in the broad scheme of things, that pretty much sums it up. I’m alive. God is providing. I’m walking through life like everyone else. I have struggles and concerns, just like everyone. I have good days and bad days – guess what, just like you.

Am I depressed? No. But I still get sad. And widowhood in a pandemic has a whole new level of loneliness.

Am I poor and destitute? No. At least not yet, but I have serious concerns about my finances.

Is my house falling apart? No. But it needs new gutters and a paint job.

Am I working? Yes, a part-time job. Why haven’t I gotten a full-time job? Because I still haven’t a clue what I’m supposed to be doing, so I’m surrendered to the Lord and trusting His guidance. He still hasn’t told me to do something different.

Am I writing? Yes… and no. Some days I’m so exhausted when I get home, a comfy chair with my feet up and some food is all I can muster. And I’m grossly inadequate at marketing, so, you know.

But my son is still at home, right? Well, yes… doing his own thing. He’s a great kid, and helpful when I really need it most, but I often feel like an unwelcome intruder in my small home, which saps any motivation I think I might have. Ah, the joys of a teenager.

Do I have projects I’d like to do with a helper? Yep. Just like everyone else, I have spring yard needs, car needs, house repair projects, garage stuff, etc. But I can’t keep pleading my case to everyone all the time. Like I really want to be “the needy widow always asking for help.” Everyone else has the same projects and needs, and little time.

There are so many things, it’s overwhelming. So much so, that it feels defeating and I can shut down. Oh, I know, it’s nothing new and nothing most everyone else doesn’t deal with, too. I just don’t have my person to do them with. The one I set up life with and established this home and life with. So, yes, it’s been three years, and you might think I should be “over it” by now and “getting on” with my life. Well, I am moving forward with my life, but there is no “getting over it.” It’ll always be a thing, and always be a part of me. But, I am living and growing and journeying forward.

Projects are challenging and slow to progress. I don’t have 23 years of experience doing all the things on my own – I have 23 years of experience sharing the tasks and chores and projects, establishing my skills set within the project and task frame, not all of it. All of it on my own is daunting, and discouraging, and a little depressing. So, I tackle it little by little. I’m learning. I’m trying.

I do have 23 years of experience as a wife, homemaker, mom, and homeschooler. My years of receptionist, administrator, legal assistant, and bookkeeper pale in comparison and are far outdated,  not to mention from a lifetime ago and not really relevant to my life, skills, or calling now. Is it really that surprising that I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing, or even what I am qualified for? And is it really that unreasonable to consider that I haven’t figured it all out yet?

I do want to keep writing and publishing. Although faulteringly so, I am still working to that end. It truly is my desire to share and encourage a deeper love of scripture and walk with the Lord through written fiction. I enjoy it so very much. And I have so many stories and characters in me that I want to share, it blows me away. It’s difficult to find the balance of justifying expenses to invest and figuring it out on my own. My confidence in the marketing arena is minimal at best, so it’s a constant solitary struggle with limited, very limited, progress.

No, people don’t say anything to me. I don’t see or talk to much of anyone, really. Widowhood is isolating. This covid culture makes it worse. And silence is felt as judgement as much as words. People are watching, observing… judging, whether they want to or not. That’s a lot of pressure, too, when all I want to do is walk this walk and do this life well. I’m thinking my widowhood experience isn’t that unique to just me; I’m guessing most widows feel the same.

So, how am I?

I’m well. I’m doing. How are you?

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