Have you ever watched a bulldozer at work? It puts down its scoop and powers through, moving whatever is in its wake. Rocks? Boulders? Ruts? Valleys? Hills? They’re nothing. The machine just keeps going. It may stop every once in a while for the driver to try to figure out the next move, but once it’s going, it just keeps going. It’s like the Energizer Bunny of machinery.
Building a new life after becoming a widow can make one feel like a bulldozer. You don’t have a choice but to keep powering through. For those of us who are widowed at a relatively young age or, as in my case, in middle age, it can be a really difficult trek. Most women my age are either retiring, planning their retirement, enjoying empty nest, or even enjoying grandchildren! How many 50-somethings do you know who have to begin a completely new career, and not by their own choice? And while what I’m doing now is a good fit for my skill set, these days I’m having a bit of a pity party.
WARNING: RANT AHEAD! (And yes, I’ll take some cheese with this w(h)ine!) I seem to be living through the screen these days, watching everyone else have lives on Facebook or via email, while my days are simply get up, eat, go to work, come home, sleep, and do it all over again. I’m averaging 10+ hour days, six days a week, and no, it’s not by choice. Being in management, I’m the fallback person who has to make sure the customer is happy and things are done. So, when I finally get home around 8pm and sit down to relax for two hours or so before bed, I log on to Facebook and see the fun everyone else is having. I see photos of my great-nieces and nephews who I’ll rarely see, family who live too far away, friends going on vacation and enjoying trips with their spouses, and the anger settles in. This should have been our time! It wasn’t supposed to be this way! Now, here it is, September, and once again, I had no summer.
It’s been 3 1/2 years, and I have no idea where the time has gone. One week blends in with the next and suddenly, another month has passed. Before I know it, another season is gone, and then another year has passed. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what I have to show for it. Yes, I know. He’d be proud of me. Yes, I know. Supposedly I’m so strong. But at what point does surviving become surthriving?
I’m tired of being a bulldozer. I’m not sure what machine I should be instead. Is there one that gets to rest sometimes and lets the big boys do the hard stuff? If so, that’s what I want to be. Actually, I just want a life. I know I can’t have the life I used to have, but I sure would like some time to enjoy what’s left of this one.