Back to Work

My hiatus — my isolation — is over. I go back to work tomorrow, and I’m feeling a bit ambivalent. Not that my job is onerous — it’s not — it’s just that I have become used to an unscheduled life. My ideal has always been to wake in the morning with an empty day stretching ahead of me. The day doesn’t stay empty, of course — there is always something to do, whether undertaking a chore, exercising, writing a blog post, playing on the computer, or reading. (Always, there is reading.) And then there are the unexpected treats, such as a visit from a friend. So it’s not doing nothing that I particularly crave, it’s having a wide open day to do with as I wish.

On the other hand, working gives me focus, company, and . . . yep, money to pay some bills. And in a way, it’s its own special blessing. There will come a time when the job ends, and all I will have are empty days stretching ahead of me. I wonder if those empty days will seem as fraught with possibility when there is nothing to compare them to.

But that isn’t a conundrum I have to face quite yet.

What I do have to face is inclement weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be the coldest day we’ve have so far this fall, with low temperatures barely in the teens. Since I will be going to work, I won’t be able to stay cozied up all day as I’d planned but instead will have to go out and brave the chill. Brrr. I’m shivering just thinking of it. But then, I have warm coats and hats and mufflers in which to bundle up, and anyway, the walk is only two blocks, so I’m sure I will survive the indignity.

Luckily, in this time off, I managed to get caught up on all the little chores that have been niggling at me, such as the last of the planting and a couple of minor paint jobs (a door frame and the handrail on my front ramp), so I can enjoy my day at work without thinking about what else I could be doing.

So, work or not work. — it’s all good.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

4 Responses to “Back to Work”

  1. Estragon Says:

    I think I know what you mean about the unscheduled days.

    “Retiring” at a relatively young age, I figured we should do some living while we were physically, mentally, and financially able to do so. It turned out it was the right thing to do. I hadn’t imagined one of us would be absent in our later years, just that we might not be quite so capable in the years to come. If need be, I’m pretty sure I could find something to pay the bills later in life.

    Now, the days get filled, sort of. There was a purpose to work. There was a purpose to living life with my late wife while we could. It’s a bit of a struggle finding a purpose in life now though. Do I have one more business left in me? If so, to what end? Could I even do a scheduled day? I don’t know.

    The hoar frost in the pic looks beautiful. When the sun comes out on it, it will be magical.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I was plagued with struggling to find a purpose before I met Jeff. Afterward, those feelings just disappeared. When he died, those feelings all came back. Apparently, two people creating a life together can be purpose enough, but trying to create a life when one is alone seems purposeless. It shouldn’t be that way, though. If two people together are purposeful, then one person alone should also be purposeful.

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    Beautiful Photo. Pat is it a recent photo ? I have an idea that I have seen already. Anyway nothin matters. Naturally every autumn alike. Estragon way of thinking and your reply was very interesting.
    I am in a strange situation regarding the situation of the purpose in life !
    I think it is different from person, age, circumstances and situation of life.
    At the moment I might be little not very clear because I am still live in a shock with my grief and trying to figure out the purpose of life.
    I don’t want to get in details but sudden death of my father and surprise proposal of marriage of my French wife has changed everything. Before my relationship with my wife was purely fraternal. From the involvement in marriage life my life was completely changed and experiences of life.
    Now without any purpose of life and as a pragmatic person I must find a purpose of life.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s a photo from last winter, so yes, you saw it before. And yes, purpose in life is different for each person, especially when your situation has changed so dramatically such as the death of a spouse.

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