I’m not sure that I could say with any accuracy specifically what I was doing three years ago today but I can paint a general picture of my life at the time, I suppose. My daughter was away, having just begun her first year of university. I was excited for her but missed her terribly and it was hard to get used to not having her around all the time anymore. She was allowed to have overnight guests in her dorm room for a few days each month so I was going to stay with her as often as I could. It was wonderful to see her so incredibly happy and thriving there!
My boyfriend, now my ex, was away a lot working and even when he was home, it was becoming clear that things weren’t all sunshine and roses in our relationship. It was definitely the beginning of the end. We still had some really happy moments, but much of our time was spent apart; reflecting on it now, I’d say we were avoiding each other quite a bit. The tension in the air was palpable.
We had a “friend” living with us. I use the term lightly because she really was NOT my friend. She was his friend whom he invited to come and stay with us (without asking me, by the way) because she had ended her own relationship and now had nowhere to live. She was supposed to be with us for a month while getting herself situated in town and finding a place of her own. By this date, three years ago, she had been with us for over a year and my patience was wearing extremely thin. I won’t go into details about all the many annoyances of having her live with us but I was quite ill at the time and her presence with us was supposed to also help us out with extra money coming in and with an extra pair of hands to help me out. Let’s just say that having her here cost us more money and was more work than it had been prior to her arrival.
Because of my health back then, I spent the majority of my time on bed-rest. There wasn’t a lot that I could do – some reading, watching tv, a bit of artwork on occasion, and a lot of daydreaming of what I would do if and when my health improved. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t sitting around depressed and miserable. I’m too much of an eternal optimist for that. But my world was smaller and more limited than it is now.
Not wanting to leave this on what sounds like a negative note, let me just contrast that to my life today. My boyfriend and I have broken up and I’m very happy and at peace about that. We weren’t right together and on reflection, I can see that we never were. We had much different goals and attitudes towards life. On my worst days, I’m pretty much a glass half full kind of girl – generally I see my glass as full and overflowing. On his best days, he sees the glass as half empty and on his worst, I’m not sure he even sees the glass at all. We’re much better off apart.
My daughter is thriving at university – things are even better than in first year for her. She has changed majors and I think she’s really pursuing her passion now. She has a long-term boyfriend who treats her like a queen and will likely be a part of our family one day (and I’ll be thrilled about it!). Our “friend” is clearly long gone and most of the time I live alone – alone except for the three cats and my constant companion, our dog Trinity. I still miss my daughter but I’ve found my way as an “empty nester”.
Whereas that first year there may have been a few times when I felt sorry for myself, now I have embraced my alone time and have used it to pursue my own interests and spread my wings a bit. My health isn’t perfect and likely never will be, but it’s much better than it was and with pacing, I’m able to lead a life beyond bed-rest. I create artwork and blog (I have several blogs) pretty much on a daily basis and I really love both. I even have my own online channel and do weekly webtv arts and crafts shows. I took the training and have become a Community Food Advisor, doing volunteer work in the community. I have joined a women’s social group and go out to events around town with them on a regular basis.
Now that I’m, for the most part, living on my own, I’m working towards decorating the house my own way and in my own style and it’s becoming a reflection of me. It’s a place I enjoy coming home to, where I feel safe and comfortable. Life is good and I’ve got big plans for the future.