Waiting for My New Life to Begin

I never had much of a yen for travel; I’m too much of a homebody. I wouldn’t mind seeing exotic places, but it takes too much time to get there, and plane travel is simply no fun. Still, the only way I’ve been able to make sense of the death of my life mate/soul mate and my ensuing grief is to do things that I wouldn’t have done if he had lived. Since he had been sick so long, we hadn’t been doing much, so it leaves the whole world open to me. I’ve visited museums and art galleries, taken day trips and plane trips, gone to county fairs and other festivals.

I’ve even done less edifying things such as putting together jigsaw puzzles. I’ve always hated jigsaw puzzles. They seem so pointless, but in a world where everything now seems pointless, they make as much sense as anything else. And, oddly, for such a structured activity, jigsaw puzzles seem to be stimulating my creativity. I’ve been trying to do whatever I can to create new pathways in my brain, to get out of the cerebral ruts I’ve gouged for myself, and the puzzles are doing the trick. Maybe it’s because of the pattern recognition skills? For whatever reason, I’m getting interested in writing again. I even printed out my WIP (which has been stalled for so long, I call it my work-in-pause) so I can read it and see where I am. It’s a silly story (was meant to be silly) and I haven’t been in the mood for silliness for a very long time, but poor Chet has been incarcerated in the human zoo long enough. It’s time for me to let him move on.

One day, I’ll be moving on, too. Right now, I’m taking care of my 95-year-old father, but when he’s gone, I’m going to have to figure out where to go next, both geographically and mentally. Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be? Tough questions, both of them.

I’ll be in a unique position, though, free of responsibility — except for myself, of course. I’ll be continuing my quest to try experience new things, to do that which I wouldn’t have done if my mate were still alive, and so far, such plans entail travel (and a means of making money to pay for the trips).

I’ll taking a cross-country road trip with a bereft author friend, perhaps to check out book stores and do signings, but mostly to run away from our sadness and look for fun. She wants to visit Times Square and other such populated areas. I’m more interested in bucolic spots.  Should be an exciting and eclectic trip.

Another friend wants to take a bus trip. Greyhound offers a pass for unlimited travel, so we would go wherever we wished, get off the bus whenever we wanted. Her desire is to see Washington DC and Cape Cod. Sounds good to me. I would never have chosen either of those destinations, which is the beauty of such a trip. I want to do things and go places I would never before have considered.

And still another friend, my first ever online friend, wants me to visit her in New Zealand. The thought of such a long plane trip makes me cringe. Besides, last year I flew to St. Simons Island and Seattle, so air travel holds no novelty. But . . .! She told me I could go by freighter. I had no idea such travel was still possible. It takes approximately two weeks to get to New Zealand by water. Just think of it — two weeks on the open sea (well, four if I return by freighter). A real voyage. And perhaps a voyage of self-discovery?

That pretty much covers all methods of travel except train. So, of course, I’ll take a train trip. A long one. And go first class — rent a room. Where will I go? I don’t know, but it will be somewhere I’ve never been before.

It sounds exciting when I tell people of such things, and yet these experiences don’t make up for a second of my mate’s being gone. But still, I have to do something, so I might as well experience life to the fullest. Or, at least plan to experience life. I’m still waiting for my new life to begin.

4 Responses to “Waiting for My New Life to Begin”

  1. shirleyannhoward Says:

    Go for it, Pat. Have a blast.

  2. Susan Says:

    I love train trips! The Sunset Limited is my favorite, followed by the California Zephyr. We always take a train across country when we visit the USA. Next year maybe the Empire Builder!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Sounds like fun. I’ll have to pick some place interesting to go, maybe wherever the Sunset Limited will take me!

      • Susan Says:

        The Sunset Limited takes you through the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and then the scenery changes to the lush swampy greenery of East Texas and Louisiana, before ending in New Orleans. And if you have never been to that city, it should definitely be on your list! It is a beautiful, exotic culture within a culture.

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