Being Clever

When I first started participating in the online world twelve years ago, I was unimpressed by the trivia of it all — the posts about what someone had for lunch, what their dogs or cats did, all the day-to-day things that make up the social aspect of networking.

Since I was trying to establish myself as an author, I tried to take a more grande-dame-ish approach. I wanted to be respected, to be seen a someone with dignity and grace, someone who had something to say and had the power to say it.

To that end, I tried to keep my clever, craft-oriented side to myself.

The whole great lady idea went out the window after Jeff died. It’s hard to try to maintain the appearance of being a grande dame when one is screaming their pain into the blogosphere. Still, I did try to maintain a bit of dignity and grace through it all. Now that my grief has been subsumed into my new life as homeowner and no longer brings me close to the great mysteries of life, what I’m left with is . . . whatever is the opposite of grande dame. Unsophisticated, maybe. Inelegant, perhaps. No high-blown thoughts, for sure.

There’s certainly no reason to keep my cleverness under wraps, especially since it’s about all I’m left with to blog about.

The truth is, I’ve always enjoyed being clever when it comes to small things. I’d prefer, of course, to be brilliant, but cleverness will do. It’s also nice to have a reason to be clever. Considering all the activities I am involved with, such as supplying treats for programs or creating something interesting for potlucks, I have ample opportunities to be clever. Like this little giveaway I thought of:

A Christmas Eve teabag on one side, a Christmas morning teabag on the other.

See? Clever.

But not at all grande dame-ish.

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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.

Social Calendar

It seems odd to have a social calendar. For many years, the only social activities I participated in were my dance classes, and from week to week, those classes were generally at the same time and on the same days. If I went to lunch with anyone, it was usually after class. Any other activity was easy to remember because it was such a rarity.

But now? After only seven months, I’m so entrenched in the community that without my calendar, I’d be lost. There’s always something coming up, such as a movie (Downton Abbey) and lunch with friends this Saturday, a meeting at the museum tomorrow to set out clues for the Murder at the Museum Night that will take place next week, porcelain painting classes, and a special note to remind me about Blogging for Peace next month.

It bewilders me, all of this. But then, much of my life bewilders me.

Was I really that woman? That woman who watched a man slowly die, who wanted the suffering to end, yet whose love was so ineffectual she couldn’t make him well or take away a single moment of his pain? That woman so connected to another human being she felt broken — and lost — years after his death? That woman who screamed the pain of her loss to the winds?

And am I really this woman? A homeowner? A part of a community? A person with a social calendar?

Apparently so, because there I was and now here I am.

It’s possible life will always bewilder me. I might never know the truth of any of it — life, death, purpose . . . me.

But that’s the beauty of a having social calendar. At least on those particular days, there are no questions or bewilderment. I know what I am supposed to do, where I am supposed to be. I even know who I am supposed to be — a pleasant companion, a kind friend, a generous volunteer.

The rest of the time? Well, if it’s not on the calendar, perhaps it’s not important.

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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.