I’m starting to become comfortably single. I don’t think about people seeing me as alone or the poor widow anymore. I don’t see myself that way so much. I’m not focused on living alone or eating alone. Most of the time, I’m accepting it without feeling sad.
Maybe the biggest difference in recent months is the calmness and downright pleasure of staying home on a weekend night. Until recently, I would almost get in a frenzy as I inched forward to a weekend without plans on a Friday or Saturday night. The thought of staying home alone on a Saturday would make me sad all day and, if nothing came up, I’d end up crying like a baby. Pitiful I know, which spurred me to keep plans rolling every weekend. As long as I had plans, I was fine. No plans — bummed out.
Now I can stay home on a weekend night and keep my cool. I almost enjoy it, taking a long walk alone, plucking weeds from my yard, reading, watching a movie. The solitude is fine. No need to cry.
Tom died almost two and half years ago, and it’s getting harder to remember the small details of my lifestyle with him. I used to meal plan, usually when I got up. Now I rarely think about cooking. In fact, my house, which often smelled like pasta sauce or pork loin or chicken or soup, is starting to smell like the old house that it is — not stale exactly, but like a house without much activity or people around. When I get home from work, I walk into my house and the essence of the house’s odor hits me like I’ve never noticed before. I guess this is what happens to a house sparsely populated and rarely cooked in.
This will not prompt me to cook. I did it for about 28 years and don’t miss it. But on the rare occasion when I whip something up, I like the smell and the warmth of the food. I appreciate when my daughter comes home from school and makes soup or grilled cheese or eggs. That empty house smell goes away for awhile.
But I’m easily appeased. I can make a batch of popcorn in a pan on the stove and, voila, the house smells good. A cup of coffee — another comforting fragrance. Yeah, it doesn’t take much to satisfy me these days.
I guess in the widowhood world this is progress. This is learning to be single after almost three decades of coupling. This is healthy, and this is my new life.