Argh winter! It is creeping in with each passing day. This will be my third winter without Tom, and I thought this one would be easier, less painful. But as the temperatures dip into the 30s at night and the days barely hit 45, my emotions move closer to the surface, and, overall, I’m not feeling very upbeat.
I think about how chilly my old house is getting, how cold my bed is until I turn on the mattress pad heater and coat my feet with two pairs of socks. I dread getting into my car in the morning and making that drive across town to work. It takes 15-plus minutes for the heat and seat warmer to remove the chill from my bones, and it’s only November.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I love being outside, and, each year, even when winter is at its coldest, most icy, snowiest, I embrace it. I walk all winter, sometimes even at night by myself. But I’m not feeling good about that right now. My energy level, usually high, is waning. Maybe it is my faulty heart (I had bypass surgery eight months ago); maybe I’m just tired of dealing with grief, people who disappoint me, lame-ass men, decisions about what I should do next, and my ever-miserable health issues, which I’ve endured and fought since I was a kid.
Yeah, I’m kind of sick of a lot of things, and the oncoming winter isn’t making it any easier. This used to be a good time of the year for Tom and I. We had our son’s birthday, followed by Tom’s, followed by mine five days later and, finally, our daughter’s — right after Christmas.
It was a time of celebration and new starts. It was a season of happy holidays. All of that helped me cope with winter. Now what?
I’m trying to focus on the vestiges of those happy times and create new fun occasions. I’m trying to count my blessings, as my one friend told me. But it is slow going, and the winds howling outside, blowing off the last of the leaves still clinging to the trees around my house, accent the fact that winter and, yes, lingering grief and loneliness, are playing havoc with my happiness.