It still seems odd that I am so involved in activities after being in town for such a short time. (Not even a year yet.) It’s so not me. At least, it hasn’t been.

Today was one of those particularly busy days, starting with an early morning visit with the contractor who came to pick up his tools that I was holding hostage. I wasn’t really holding them hostage; it’s just that he left them here because he thought he’d be able to rent the excavator sooner than he was able to. He also wanted to talk about scheduling. Next week, he should have the excavator, so he will be able to dig the foundation for the garage. I hope for his sake, the weather warms up before he gets to work. Although it’s supposed to get up into the seventies this weekend, the temperature will drop considerably on Monday and Tuesday. (A low of 6˚ — brrrr.)

After he left, my next visitor arrived. She came to pick up the book (Unfinished) I’d donated to a fund raiser, and to buy a couple of others to auction off.

After she left, the president of the art guild arrived. We needed to go over the script for the mystery dinner — since she’s going to be the mistress of ceremonies of the speakeasy, she wanted to know what everyone will be doing, when they will be doing it, and how to cue the various skits. She also is the only one who knows who has volunteered to play the various speaking parts, so we were able to get the script cast and updated to make things simpler. (My part will be to sign people in, to take money at the door, and then later to tally up the votes for Most Dastardly Villain, best costume, and best actor.)

Since she is also one-half of the couple I bought the house from, we took the time to tour the changes that have been made to the place since I moved in.

Later, I will be going to a community dinner. I wasn’t planning on going — I’m exhausted, not just from lack of sleep (all of a sudden last night, the beginning to my next book showed up in my head took roost) but also from all the activity, but since I missed a potluck lunch earlier today (the monthly birthday celebration at the senior center), I figured I should at least do one thing to get me out of the house.

Whew! Just talking about all these activities has worn me out.

I’d better go read for a while, relax, and hope I’m still awake when it’s time to leave this evening.


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.


Overcoming Inertia

You’d think, after all these years of doing things by myself, I wouldn’t have a problem with motivating myself, but I do. Ever since Jeff died, I’ve tried to be more spontaneous, but sometimes I simply cannot overcome inertia to just . . . go.

The Union Pacific Big Boy steam engine passed within seventy-five miles of here, and I sort of wanted to see it. But the time for leaving came, and I didn’t go. Apparently, “sort of wanting” is not enough motivation. If I had really, really wanted to see it, I might have gone — after all, I did go searching (in vain) for tarantulas. But maybe not. My days of simply hopping into my car and taking off seem to be diminishing — not just because of no motivation, but because the thought of pulling the cover off my vintage Beetle and folding it up seems too much of a big deal. Also, because I’m not driving all the time, I tend to worry.

Luckily, I can walk most places around here and save driving for the days when the ritual of uncovering and recovering my car doesn’t seem so daunting or if I simply want to drive, worry or no. It might be easier to go somewhere on a whim when (if?) my garage is done, but I doubt it. I won’t have to uncover the car (though a neighbor car guy recommends still covering it), but I will have to unlock and open the garage door and gates, then get out of the car and close them once I’m on the street. Just the thought makes me weary! It’s not an immediate problem, though, since my contractor has disappeared on me again.

Now that it’s getting dark so early, my activities are a bit curtailed — I’m not used to walking in the dark around here, and to be honest, I’m not sure it’s all that safe of a place to be on foot at night — so I don’t attend evening events by myself.

Although all this makes it seem as if I don’t do much anymore, that’s not true. There are many scheduled events I attend during the day, such as the art guild meetings. The meetings are on my calendar, so there’s no need to overcome inertia — I just go. Other times, I hitch a ride with a friend. For example, there was a community dinner last night, and a friend invited me to go with her. It was a wonderful meal, a full turkey dinner, though it amused me — there I was in a Baptist church, eating dinner with my friend and the Presbyterian minister. Only in a small town . . .)

And that won’t be my only Thanksgiving dinner. The senior center will be hosting a potluck dinner for all of us strays. They will provide the turkey; we will provide everything else. (My contribution will be my own creation — a cranberry/apple compote.) Although Thanksgiving as a holiday doesn’t hold the emotional hazards for me that it does for many who have lost their mates, it’s nice knowing I’ll won’t be missing out on anything (except maybe the contention that sometimes come with family get-togethers).

The dinner is already scheduled and circled on my calendar. I’m committed to bringing the compote, It’s during the day. And I can walk. So there won’t be any inertia to overcome.

But it’s not exactly spontaneous, either.


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.