Summer is quite officially here.

As we all know, summer is my least favorite season, and in fact it is one of my least favorite things in general. Instead of mowing my lawn last week when I had time, I waited until Friday; unfortunately for my lawn, it rained Friday afternoon. So no lawn-mowing that day, or the rest of the weekend for that matter. Sure I could have done it at SOME point over the weekend. But……meh. My neighbor’s yard is about as bad as mine, so I’m not too worried about it yet. (If he mows today though, it’ll make my grass look about 200% higher, though.)

But really who cares about how frequently (or not) I mow the lawn?

I had a productive weekend despite my ambivalence toward lawn care. On Friday, instead of taking care of the lawn, I cleaned and re-arranged the furniture in the library. This was BY FAR the best thing I did all weekend. Joel’s stuff had been scattered all over the floor until Friday, and because clutter like that make me feel bad I was just keeping the door closed. But that made me feel bad too because I love that room!! So, since I haven’t heard from Joel in, oh, like, a while, I decided to put all his stuff into the closet and make the room usable again! OH it looks so much better. I should have taken a picture or two. Oh well.

So having that room clean motivated me to clean the rest of the house (sans garage). Did general cleaning stuff on Saturday some (while also hanging out with a friend that afternoon, then seeing Elvis Costello at the Ryman that evening), but the thing that really makes the house look clean is that I mopped the floors yesterday. This may not seem like a big deal to people who mop their floors regularly (as I believe one is supposed to do). The linoleum in my kitchen is the most stupid color ever (white) and at some point I just gave up trying to keep it white. I could not believe how filthy my mop water was yesterday after mopping it, though; nor could I believe how white the linoleum was.

Anyway! After cleaning up a couple of friends came over to hang out. Which was nice.

I’m on the up-swing socially, which just means that I’m feeling less introverted than I was a few weeks ago. I guess this makes me feel better about myself. Though other things do that too — like cleaning my house and getting exercise. (Which hasn’t been happening as often as it was before the weather got all blastedly hot.)

Here are a couple of pictures to make this entry more interesting. I find that visuals help, even though these aren’t really related to anything I’ve blabbed about yet.

1) Ryan came over with the kids last week (?) and this is a picture of Jared blowing (?) a bubble. Pretty awesomely huge bubbles.

2) Went to Brewhouse with Philip last week and took a picture of my cheese fries. Oh SO much cheesy carby goodness.

3) Did I mention that I’m in Amanda’s wedding next month? So all the bridesmaids (minus Amanda’s little sister) went out last Wednesday and this is three of the five of us. Had a great time even though I ended up leaving shortly after taking this picture. Highlight of the evening: having our tab comped at Cabana’s by Amanda’s boss, and using that as an excuse to buy this fucking awesome copper mug (embossed with “Tito’s Vodka” or something like) which is not pictured.

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recovery

Here’s something that’s been on my mind lately.

After Sarah was born, I experienced tons and tons of different emotions. One of them was a feeling of meaninglessness; I attributed this to the fact that while I was pregnant, I was fulfilling my biological imperative by creating a new person – which is definitely a very gratifying thing to do. Makes you feel like your life is ABOUT something, and like you’re doing something worthwhile. So after she was born and I didn’t have her anymore, I had to re-learn how to give my life meaning without a child in it. It was a little difficult – 9 months is kind of a while.

I’m feeling something similar to this now. It’s been over 9 months (oh geez, the 10 month mark is this Saturday) and I’m starting to feel a loss of urgency when it comes to piecing my life back together. What I mean is that I’m more stable now and not having to dedicate as much energy to just dealing with the fact that Matt’s still gone and will always be gone. I feel like this has been THE GOAL of my life for the last 9 months, and now that I’m able to see how much progress I’ve made, I just feel like I should have a different goal for my life.

It’s depressing to know that I am consciously moving on from Matt, but I remind myself that none of this was my decision in the first place, and that I’m just making do with what I was given. Second to last thing that Matt told me was that none of this was about me, and I also try to remember that. He wanted me to have a better life than he thought he could give me, which really upset me while he was alive – but what’s the use getting upset over it now?

Another depressing part is that I still instinctively want to talk to Matt about all of this, and get his input to see what he thinks I should do. (oh well)

Friday the 13th

Arbitrary (though accurate) subject as do not care one bit whether it’s Friday the 13th or 12th or 14th.

I woke up this morning oh so comfortably; I went to bed on time last night and got plenty of sleep, and got up one snooze before I normally do. (Is a “snooze” an amount of time? In this case, it’s 9 minutes.) I was dreaming about Matt when I woke up, but it was a really odd dream. For some reason, we were hanging out with our friend Dawn; Matt had gone to put on warmer clothes or something, and when he got back I got on top of him and held his face in my hands and asked him why he left me. All I remember is Dawn saying that she would have let him instead of trying to keep him alive and miserable here, and then I think I got up and punched her in the face. (Dawn, I doubt you’re reading this, but if you are rest assured that I don’t really want to punch you in the face at all.)

It was a better dream than the ones I usually have about Matt, because I knew while I was dreaming that he was dead.

The drive to work this morning was gorgeous – beautiful weather, lovely temperature, and it’s starting to feel like fall. I wonder if every good thing (like fall) will be bittersweet for the rest of my life, because I will always regret that Matt isn’t here to share it with me. That’s how it is now.

Guys, I’m not whole. I’m telling this to myself though, because it’s easy to get distracted and have a few good weeks and then remember that I’m still broken. Someone shared a quote with me (they weren’t sure who said it) – “Face what I feel now, and what I felt before but didn’t have the resources to feel.” Progress. I’m making it. Slowly.

I AM making progress. I got a new phone recently and had to figure out how to save all my voicemail from my old phone – including several from Matt which I hadn’t listened to in a long time but never want to delete. I didn’t listen to all of them when I was transferring them to the computer, but I did hear several. Of course, I can still hear Matt’s voice in my head if I try – which I don’t, because it always makes me cry. So I was pleased that I was able to deal with hearing the voice messages again. Of course they made me cry, but I did it anyway.

There’s so much of Matt all over my house. I went into the library to play my guitar a little yesterday but didn’t even pick it up because I was too distracted/overwhelmed by Matt. I lost so, so much when he died. I didn’t lose my future, but I lost the only future that I wanted – one with him.

But then I was listening to NPR this morning and they were interviewing some Syrian refugees, and the refugees were talking about how they can’t go home – they have no home left because their villages have been bombed. And that made me remember that I am SO privileged. I’ve lost my husband and my most preferred future, but I still have my house, my cats, my job, my family, my friends. I don’t want to downplay my loss(es), but honestly, just remembering that these Syrian refugees are PEOPLE just like I and everyone I know are, living with the same desires that we are, I feel so thankful for what I do have.

Anyway. Enough blogging.

28

Have the weeks slowed down? Seems like 28 weeks isn’t a long enough period of time.

I’m still feeling like a little fish navagating a huge ocean, but I guess that’s kind of what’s going on so I shouldn’t feel bad about feeling this way. Makes it hard to be productive sometimes though. On Tuesday I started mowing the lawn and was going to TRY to get both front and back done, but wasn’t making myself any guarantees because I wasn’t feeling great (mostly just low-energy). Then Ryan showed up and decided to mow the whole front yard, so I went inside and washed the dishes. Clean kitchen AND short grass. It was good. Kitchen is still mostly clean….

Otherwise I haven’t been super productive. Lucille decided to spray all over my bed (because she’s a Seaward…or a c word…or whatever) so I had to wash that stuff, but that was out of necessity and I don’t really count it as productivity.

So I saw a Facebook post last night that I commented on. It was a whim and I wasn’t expecting any responses at all. I didn’t get too many, but I was kinda touched. Someone even said, “Thanks for these words, they gave me the force to keep up for today.” I’m not 100% sure what that means, but then my boss brought me this little quote from her Yogi tea bags that says “We are here to love each other, serve each other, and uplift each other.” (OK, addition of Oxford comma was mine.) Just another reminder that my life is one out of so very many, and we all have our own problems and concerns, and if I can help even a handful of people then I’ve done better than I could have.

Yep, aspiring to do better than nothing. 🙂 It’s the right direction for sure.

I really wish Matt was here so I could tell him all about what I’m learning from all this.

twenty seven weeks

Sorry I haven’t been blogging much lately. Everything’s been fine – I’ve just been really social over the last week and haven’t had that much time or inclination to blog. I find that I enjoy being around friends more than I remember enjoying in the past, but I am still going to need probably the whole weekend to recuperate.

I’ve been super lazy this week. 🙂 Other than spending time with friends, I haven’t done much of anything. Haven’t washed the dishes in at least a week, and even though I’m still working on the disposables that Bill and Helen’s church gave me when Matt died, the dishes are building up. I might work on those this evening. I need to get rid of the flowers wilting in the living room too – they add a certain element of decay to the room….

I almost feel that as I become more and more distanced from Matt as a living person, it’s harder to deal with. What I mean is that I’m actually starting to get used to my new life as a single 29-year-old, and it makes me sad but glad at the same time. I was driving home last night blaring U2 over the car speakers, and was struck with the realization that I can do whatever I want to do – no one has any say in what I do (unless I let them). When I’m struck with these moments of clarity (or whatever), my brain immediately goes to Matt and how much I miss him. Yes, being single has its merits. But I would not have traded Matt for anything.

So……I continue to trudge along a lot of the time – though I definitely have good days and fun times too. 🙂 Getting used to change in life (especially unwelcome change) has always been hard but man. This is hard. Someone told me the other day that there’s strong, and then there’s Erin Reeve strong. I was a little flattered…even though I get so tired of being strong….

22

I’m not sure how I feel about saying it, but this week has been pretty normal.

What that means is that I’ve felt happy to have people in my life who love me, and other days I’ve felt despondent because I have no one with whom to share my life anymore. I’ve spent evenings with friends. I’ve spent evenings alone. I’ve picked up my guitar this week and been surprised and how much I don’t really suck. I’ve crocheted a scarf for a friend (Matt’s best friend – besides me of course – and I’m doing it 1) for Matt, but 2) because anyone who he loved, I love. There aren’t many things that I can DO, but I feel like this is one thing that I CAN do. Even if she doesn’t like it (I’m pretty sure she will), I’m still doing it for Matt so I’m not worried.) I’ve read a lot. I’m never late for work.

I haven’t had any brilliant insights this week. I suspect that my brain is getting used to everything enough that I’m not constantly thinking about it, but also twenty-two weeks of pain, anguish, longing, loneliness, despair, anger, and all those emotions that come when your husband kills himself are not easy to bear and my brain might also be trying to let up some. I’m not sure. I’m just remembering that every step is a victory and that I’m going to keep going.

One thing I’m excited about – that expensive purse is finally delivering today (supposedly anyway)! I can’t wait to get off work today! Although I have a party tonight that I’m supposed to go to…which I don’t want to go to. The only reason that I might is because my friend Philip has really turned out to be a good friend to have over the last few months, and I want him to know that I appreciate it. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can go and not stay very long. If it was just going to be him and maybe one or two of his friends, that would be one thing. But also I’m like 5 years older than everyone else who is going to be there, and I know Philip is pretty mature but I don’t know about everyone else.

Oh, my social woes!!

Anyway. At least I have a friend who wants me to come to a party he’s having. 🙂 That’s a good thing.

Crossword puzzles and Cade’s Cove

It’s Monday morning. I’m back at work and figured I’d tell you guys about my weekend. It was a pretty good one, actually. I got up on Saturday morning and drove through Knoxville to Townsend and made my way to Cade’s Cove. I’d never been to the mountains by myself, and it was great. It rained the whole drive from Nashville to Knoxville, but stopped around Watt Road and stayed dry until I was driving through Townsend to get back to Knoxville.

The drive through the mountains was soothing somehow. It didn’t magically make me feel fine or not sad or anything, but it was so nice to be in the mountains surrounded by trees and moss and rhododendron and water and rocks.

blog - cades cove

(I took the picture below just because I thought it was funny that so many people had pulled over to pet the horses. Like they’ve never seen horses before or something. ??)
blog - horses at cades cove

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After I got back into Knoxville I decided to stop by the UT trial gardens. It WAS raining at this point, and I got pretty wet even though I was wearing a raincoat. But it was just gorgeous and I’m really glad I stopped.

blog - trial gardens

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Sunday I went to church with Mom and Dad, and I’m glad I did that too. It’s funny – I forget how much Grace feels like home. It makes sense that it does – I spent more time there than I did anywhere except our house when I lived in Knoxville.

Grandma’s birthday party was a good time too. 🙂 All the siblings were there (Dad’s I mean) including Aunt Luci who I probably hadn’t seen in 10 years or so. I felt comfortable and like I belonged, and it was really nice.

So now I’m back in Nashville, getting on with the day-to-day again. I wish Matt was here. I wished he was with me all weekend long – and I’m not even going to try to explain what an enormous understatement that is. But it is what it is, and time is a healing power, and I’m going to be patient even though I feel like I’m treading water a lot of the time. I know I’ll be OK. But how I wish that I didn’t have anything to recover from….

addendum

I finally sat down and deleted Matt’s income out of my budget (and also deleted the scooter payments and Vandy payments, which was nice). Much to my surprise, I find that I am perfectly capable of living within my means – I just can’t go around re-decorating my house all the time, and I should stop buying completely unnecessary stuff.

Along those lines, I found out today that a company-wide 2% raise goes into effect today.

So many good things mixed in with the bad, and I’m glad I can appreciate both sides of the coin.