Monday, August 24, 2009

Time On My Hands

I'm doing OK, but the dogs seem depressed.

Sally left this afternoon for a week of meetings in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco, for those not of the Washington persuasion). She will get to have dinner with Megan tonight, and will be kept busy by the meeting schedule. I, on the other hand, am faced with a week of time on my hands.

It has never seemed strange to me that many widowed men also die within a year of their spouse's death. I don't do all that well alone. Part of that is explained by my Myers-Briggs Personality Type: I draw energy from contact with others, and from the opportunity to formulate my thoughts by putting them into words.

Another part of my malaise is explained less by personality type than personality disorder. I find considerable comfort in a degree of personal routine. I rather like getting up at the same time each day, fixing coffee and oatmeal, and reading the paper after getting Sally off to work. It generally isn't long after she leaves that I begin framing my day's activity based on what I'll do before she gets home. I have tried to do the same thing when she's out of town, but can't seem to make the translation.

Along the way I have found a couple practices that help me fill the time and keep me from lapsing into total lethargy. One is making lists (the "C" expression of my OCPD tendencies). I like to make lists of things I intend to do, but also lists of things I have accomplished. I find the latter especially helpful in reassuring myself that I haven't totally wasted my time.

Another helpful practice I've discovered is blogging, which though a poor substitute for a good conversation with Sally, still allows me to formulate my thoughts by getting them into words.

My blog has suffered in past weeks from our focus on the kitchen (more about that later). So too my biking, which had attained compulsion status before I became a home remodeler. I intend to post several times over the next few days, and to get a ride in. This seems like a list in the making.

I feel better already.

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