Friday, January 11, 2013

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

I have always felt a kinship with Charlie Brown.  He's a sensitive soul and often misunderstood.  Recently, though, I'm afraid I've been acting a little more like Lucy... grumpy and short tempered.

I don't handle change well.  Since my husband was laid off from his job, our lives have suddenly changed. Retirement.  Social Security.  Medicare.  So many things to figure out.  I feel as if one life has ended and another is being thrust upon us.  I'm not prepared for it.  There are so many things I don't understand.  At the same time I've been helping my mom with a lot of things she doesn't understand.  Her husband died in October and she is facing changes too.  Legal matters. Financial matters.

I have always felt more or less in control of my life.  Suddenly there are so many things I don't understand.  I find myself with my head in my hands, just blanking out, not knowing what to do or how to do it.  I need to find my fight, my motivation to take on the world and tackle it.

My husband used to travel for work.  When he wasn't traveling, he was in his home office working or on the phone.  His company took away his computer and his phone.  He's in a new place too, without a clear plan for each day.  We are struggling together to make sense of this new life without work.  We are on a decluttering and organizing effort in the house, and sometimes our priorities clash.  What should we do with this?  Will we ever need that?

I've been angry a lot, too.  For one thing, I watch too much news.  I like to know what's going on, but sometimes I think I would be better off not knowing.  I see our government talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare, just when we are approaching a time when we might need it.  I think: "isn't there anything else they could cut?"  I see Senators and Congress people who have guaranteed health care and pensions.  How can they understand the rest of us?  Shouldn't they receive the same benefits they legislate for us?

Most upsetting of all, I see the arguments about gun control.  I don't see anything wrong with sensible rules and regulations when it comes to owning and using guns, but I read internet comments of those who have VERY strong feelings about this, who are afraid someone is coming to take their guns away, and who sound like they are arming themselves for a civil war.  It frightens me.  They are actually making threats to go out and create mayhem.  What are we coming to?

As you can tell, I really need to lighten up.  I should see life as an adventure and count my blessings.  I need to stop watching the news, go outside for a walk, and commune with the trees.  Good grief!


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

It is brutal out there, and you do have a lot on your plate.
I like the very advise you have already suggested. Stay informed, but don't soak up every last op-ed. Ask for help, and both of you... maybe should agree to carve out a block of time to do nothing but enjoy something beautiful, even daydreaming.

Bearette said...

I don't blame you, there is definitely a lot of disturbing stuff in the news, and it is hard to know how take it. As you said, it doesn't hurt to take a step back from the news sometimes, and maybe the TV in general.

Pam said...

Hang in there Judy - it is exactly the same here, apart from the gun control - our government had a national compulsary buy-back scheme after the Port Arthur massacre.
How you are feeling is absolutely understandable all things considered. Politicians look after themselves a little too well - it is the politicians and judges in Australia who give themselves hefty pay rises at the same time as they make cuts everywhere else. At this moment one of our highest paid Federal politicians for Family and Community services has publicly stated that she would have no trouble on living on the welfare benefit of $35 a day. The backlash to her insensitivity is overwhelming.
My daughter is dealing with government bureaucratic paperwork at the moment - she too has her head in her hands.
Big hug. (Lucy is one of my favourite characters).

judy in ky said...

Dear Friends, I love your comments. Thank you for being there.

Natalie, I do intend to carve out some time to enjoy something; you are a good example for doing that.

Bearette, I think I will stop watching so much news (and TV in general) and replace it with listening to music.

Pam, thank you for reminding me that I am not going through this alone and that others are experiencing similar feelings.

rachel said...

Your last sentence says it all, Judy. Do it right now!! It's Nature, not (the always negative) news, that feeds the soul.

And hold onto the thought that everything passes; your lives will change, but who knows what riches they have in store? I was very much helped, when I was still very poorly and terribly worried by becoming retired on medical grounds, to hear a friend say that she was 'penny poor but time rich'. What opportunities that opened up!

Meantime, while the adjustments are being made, remember to be kind to yourselves; rest, eat well, walk every day, and look out for the many lovely little things that lie everywhere around you. Cats included, of course!

judy in ky said...

Rachel, Thanks for the encouragement. You set a good example on your blog of getting out and enjoying nature. I am going to do the same! You're right, we need to learn to enjoy our free time.