Taking Big Leaps

I knew my partner’s death was inevitable.

I, like everyone else, had no real knowledge of a timeline for that eventuality. But I was pretty confident we were not going to grow old together. This fact was often part of conversations that he and I had over the years. He knew that his time on this planet as a human was going to be shorter than any of us want.

I can’t say he was ever ok with that. He wanted to live, he had projects to finish and love to give. He wanted to see his kids grow and see his grandchildren. Anyone who knew him, knew how much he got a kick out of babies. It makes me sad to think he won’t get to experience that with us.

On the other hand, who am I to say he is not experiencing it?

I have no way of knowing what lies beyond our carbon-based selves. I like to think he’s out there in some way. It sure would be nice to have a clear sign though. It is damned hard to get a straight answer out of him these days.

Anyway, in the back of my mind, I knew I’d be facing life without him and now it is here. I miss him every day. But I had already been missing him for the last year as his body forsake him and he became less and less able to live the life he wanted to.

Stress and how it can sneak it’s way into your life

While working to keep our lives together with the major change in Aaron’s health about 5.5 years ago; the challenges of dialysis, doctors appointments, kids, parents and work, I started stress eating. It wasn’t a huge problem but I felt it and every once in a while I would do a mini-purge with a diet. This, of course, was an attempt to take off some of the 30lbs I had managed to hide in the middle of my body. It never really worked, but I know now that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to lose it either. As soon as I would start a crisis would come up and I would shovel a plateful of lasagna or Fettuccini Alfredo for comfort. I knew this was totally reasonable given the circumstances and I didn’t beat myself up too much about it.

Over the Holidays, as friends and family brought copious amounts of food, reached out, offering support, dinners, lunches, spa days( I LOVE spa days and Le Nordik Spa). I realized that I needed to make changes in my life.

So Now I am Saying Yes

One of the biggest challenges I’ve had has been letting go of control of the outcome. Even in the final months of Aaron’s life, it became apparent that I couldn’t control his trajectory, I couldn’t save him from his own fate. I had to take a step back, it was the hardest step I have ever taken. But, it was also liberating for both of us. Upon reflection, I have realized that I have had a lot of anxiety over the years stemming from the crisis’ I’ve been part of. Things with my loved one’s health were so out of my control and chaotic, I would try to control everything else around me with precision. This served me well during this time, but I feel now it may hold me back from experiences.

So I am letting go. When someone invites me to something, I am taking the leap and jumping into new things. I am hoping it will help me grow as a person and lead me into this next phase of my life. I think that I just have to accept what is coming to me, having faith that it will lead me in the right direction.

Times of Change

A close friend who works out at a gym in town has been trying to convince me to join for months. I haven’t worked out in a gym since my 20s but in January, I went in and signed up for the whole year. I felt I just needed to commit. I’ve now been working out 2-3 times per week and I am already feeling physically stronger.

I was invited by another one of my close gfs to go over for a sauna and dinner, ok – I love saunas, so yes, I was in. Over dinner my friends mentioned that they were doing a Whole30 Challenge. After some brief discussion, it seemed clear that I needed this as well. I decided to have one last day with my milky sweet black tea and cheese, then started on January 8th.

Shall we Dance?

The next offer came in the form of dance lessons. Again, a close gf told me she was signing up for Salsa lessons. I was so excited for her, then she asked if I wanted to join her. OMG Yes!!! I love to dance, always have. So now we go once a week into Ottawa and dance. It’s been challenging, I am trained in Irish Dancing, which is notably… stiffer. But I am getting the hang of it. It’s such a social dance. I can’t wait to be deft enough to actually go out to a club, maybe after a few more lessons though.

New Habits

It’s been a month of these new habits. I know I have lost weight ( I am waiting until day 30 to actually weigh in). At Christmas, I had to leave the pockets open on my snow pants in order to zip them up and there was no chance of closing the clasp. Now I can zip them up and have a little room behind the clasp after it is closed. (you know you live in Canada when this is how you measure your waist). This feels great!

I know that not everyone who is in grief mode can take these types of changes in their lives. This has been great for my self-esteem and knowing I can actually get ahead of this and have some control of my physical health has been so wonderful. It is helping with clearing my mind and I am sleeping better. Hopefully, in the coming months, it will help me focus better on my business. One day at a time…