Four Women

I noticed four women on the cruise we took last month. They were laughing and cutting up and seemed to be having the time of their lives.  They were pleasantly plumb, middle aged or older and hung out in the smoking area of the upper deck.  Two of them were smokers but the other two didn’t seem to have any problem with it. They all sat together and did a lot of laughing.  It was obvious that they were great friends and had been friends for a very long time.  They had that kind of companionship you see with sisters or best friends.

David is so outgoing.  After just a couple of days at sea, folks were waving to him and calling him over. It seemed like half the passengers already knew him and he was never alone. He sat down with “the four women” frequently and they welcomed him like an old friend.

It rained all day in Jamaica.  As we were leaving port that evening, the women came over and sat with us. Ordered drinks and started talking about what a great time they’d had in Jamaica even though they’d gotten drenched in the downpour.  They said they’d been disappointed that one of their excursions had been cancelled due to weather.  I asked them which one and they told me the zip line.  I was really surprised.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because I’m afraid of heights and zip lining always seems like something for the young and brave.

They went on to say that they hoped all their excursions for the Cayman Islands would go off as planned. They were signed up for para sailing and kayaking.  It changed my entire perspective of them.  I became very focused on them for the rest of the cruise.  They were fun loving, energetic and seemed to be having a blast.

I envy them.  I kept wishing I had a group of women that I could share experiences with.  Actually, I do have a group of friends and we get together for dinner once a month or so but seeing these women made me realize that it’s possible to really live again.  To do exciting adventurous things even though Donnie is no longer with me. To be honest, Donnie was kind of a stick-in-the-mud guy. He didn’t like physical exertion and would much rather have friends over to grill hamburgers and drink beer than get on a zip line or go kayaking.

I told David how much I envied those women and he said, “Tell them that, ask them for phone numbers and maybe you can hook up with them sometime.”  I didn’t.  I didn’t feel like it was practical to try to insert myself into their jolly little group and I have no idea where they were from.  I told him it wasn’t so much about those four women as it was about what they represented.

A lot of my grief and depression has to do with not only the loss of my husband, but the loss of our plans. We were going to travel in the RV, go down to Florida to escape the cold, go back to Hawaii.  There were so many things we still wanted to do.  Now I feel so alone.  It’s not any fun to do things by myself and everyone else is working or married or tied down with obligations.  I wish I had a group of friends to share my life with and do things with. Even going to dinner with someone would be nice.

My sister, Donna, retired years ago and she always wanted me to do things with her.  I told her I would when I retired and had some time but, by the time that happened, Donna had taken on four foster kids and she’s tied down more than ever. It’s a major effort for her to just come to Louisville and that’s just a 45 minute trip. And Donna, much as I love her, is not going to get on a zip line or go kayaking.

I keep thinking about those women. My friends are great but we don’t have the kind of joyous sense of adventure and acceptance that I’m looking for. I wish we did. I’m the only smoker in the group and the others are very anti-smoking.  Pam, one of the women in our group, is very controlling and likes to dictate what we do and she can be trying and overbearing. I went on a trip with her once and had to constantly bite my tongue because she wants to call all the shots. The rest of us put up with it because we just want to enjoy each others company and it’s easier just to go along with Pam than to create animosity and friction. Still, I can’t imagine taking a group trip.  Elsie and Jana and I would be fine but I can’t take Pam in large doses.

Enough about women and friends.  Just a topic that’s been on my mind. On to other things.

I went to bed earlier last night.  I’ve been thinking about how I wreck any attempt at dieting by sitting there watching TV all evening and eating so I’ve decided I need to just go to bed earlier. Cut out some of that useless time that just drags on and on each night.  I went to bed at midnight and didn’t fall asleep until after 1:30 but it’s a start.  At least I wasn’t sitting up eating candy and Cheetos.

I woke at 8:30 this morning so I’ve got an earlier start.  That’s something.

I was thinking about boot camp.  That’s what I used to call an intense diet and exercise routine.  Wondering what the results would be if I just hit it hard and heavy for a month.  Weigh myself going in and then don’t step on the scales again for a month. I don’t think I can plan on more than a month because I’m scheduled for a series of labs and tests tomorrow and will most likely be having a hysterectomy fairly soon. Still, what would I feel like after working hard at it for a month. Would I be less depressed?  Would I be less lethargic? Would it get me on track?  Something to think about.

One of the songs I’ve been listening to lately is called Just Give Me a Reason.  The lyrics keep going round and round in my head but I changed them just a little bit:

Just give me a reason
Just a little bit’s enough
Just to show that I’m not broken but bent
And I can learn to live again.

11:30 – I keep thinking about those women and those lyrics.  I’m going to reach out to a very dear old friend that I’ve lost touch with and see if we can get together for lunch one day soon.  I miss her.

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