Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I'd Like a Freakin' Break ....

                                         picture from here

... from life.
From life as I know it.
From life as I've known it for the past 3+ years.

I am overwhelmed.
In the past month I have replaced 2 air conditioning units, fixed one septic system, been told that tomorrow I will have a hole knocked into my bedroom wall so that a plumbing leak can be addressed.
And then had another AC unit break down today.

Add that to the broken sprinkler system, a "new" boat that, after using it only 15 hours, now has its engine light on, which .... when I looked into the the owner's manual, showed that a boat should not be  used when its engine light is on.
W. T. H??

Add that to college tuitions.
To children who are going back to school for Master's degrees.
To children who are living their lives "differently" than was planned.
Than what was hoped for.
For children who are still at home and not always as respectful and loving as they should be.
As they would be if their father were here.

I am past overwhelmed.
I am pissed.
I am angry.
I am at a state where tears come easily.

This is NOT what I signed up for.
This is NOT the way my life was supposed to go.
This is NOT what I dreamed of when I thought of our future.

This should not, can not really ..... be my life.
I should not be, as my friend so succinctly put it, "always putting out fires".
I should not be chewing the hell out of the inside of my cheek because of how stressed I am.
My blood pressure should NOT be going off of the charts .... especially when I've always had low blood pressure .... very low blood pressure.

I should be enjoying this time in my/our life.
I should be planning what we would be doing, where we would be traveling, once the kids were all on their own.
This was supposed to be the time in our lives when things would be easier.
When we'd have more free time to be together.
When we'd enjoy the time and ability to travel and just "be" with each other.

When I pledged "better or for worse", I was too young to even know what "worse" meant.
When I pledged "till death do us part", I never, ever thought that death would part us before the age of 90.
Stupid me.

I want to raise the white flag.
I want to say, "I give up."
I want to say, "I quit."
I want to say, "Just please give me a freakin' break.  One month.  One month is all I ask.  One month where nothing goes wrong, where nothing needs to be fixed, where I don't feel the pain, loss and depression that can fill my heart so quickly .... at the missing of him. One month when there are no health problems, no car accidents, no home repairs, no insolent teenagers, nothing.
Just a month of .... nothing."

I am not supposed to be doing this alone.
I am not supposed to be a widow.
I am not supposed to feel so very lonely.
I am NOT supposed to be looking on line for a possible date.
I am NOT supposed to be dealing with serious health issues on my own, with absolutely no support or no one to hold me when I'm uncertain about my future.

But .... this is life.
Life is short.
Life is not always "as it should be".
Life is not always fair.
Life is not always predictable.

Life is ..... what life is.
And sometimes, to be perfectly honest .... sometimes that just sucks.
But .... it is what it is.

Yes .... it is what it is.

But I'd still like a freakin' break.


  1. Hugging you and wishing I could come take the teens camping for a week out of your hair.

  2. Are you living my life? Others do not get our life..but you do! Thanks for sharing.It helps to to know we are not alone!

  3. I hear you. I don't know why life can't stop for just 1 month and LET US REST!

  4. I am a 40-something wife with a husband battling cancer, a type that is rarely curable.
    We have a 13 year old. I feel like you do also.
    I was just ranting these same phrases to myself the other day. This sad, pain-filled, stressed to the breaking point existance is SO now what I expected and I feel like my whole life comes down to one little cliche: life is what happens while you were making other plans.My whole life took a huge left turn with my own health years ago and just when I got back on my feet, cancer came and parked itself in our lives. It stinks(cleaning that up a bit) but you're right, it is what it is and we all want to quit this "job" somedays.

  5. Janine, I loved your post. I have been feeling exactly the same way for the last couple of weeks. It's only been 17 months and even my closest friends don't want to listen to my venting. I try each and every day to pretend everything is fine, but sometimes life really does suck. So, thank you very much for validating my feelings and saying everything I feel!

    Hugs to you!

  6. Janine, I am so glad that you shared your pain with us. I am so sorry for all the pain that you are feeling right now, but sharing your deepest feelings is so healing, and better days are ahead for you. Blessings.

  7. Thank you Janine for writing how I feel every day. I hate this life of widow before 50 it really sucks. But Hey I can get a pool looking super good and fix a mean leaking garden house. grrrrrrrr....

  8. Oh, Janine - you describe exactly what I have been asking for...a friggin' break! I wish you more than a month of time away from problems. The teenagers, the clenching of the jaw and the chewing of the inside of the cheek, all due to STRESS - a break from all of it. I look forward to meeting you in person at Camp Widow. Jill

  9. Sorry to hear you are in a low place. Having things go wrong with the house are enough to throw you over the edge and make the "house" of cards come tumbling down. Sometimes one little extra thing is enough to make you crash. The only thing that has ever truly worked for me is to literally take 24 hours at a time and deal with whatever happens in that time frame. I don't let myself project into the future, because I know my brain cannot handle it, nor can my heart. In the months following my husbands' passing, I had a few things go wrong in the house but I was too numb to care. When I came out of it, I made a few calls to repairmen and had them fixed. It taught me that the world didn't end and in the scheme of things, it was not a big deal. I get it about the A/C and the plumbing, has to be dealt with, and another stress to add on. Try to hang on and think about the time ahead when it will be over and done with and you can rest. I know how hard it is, but "this too shall pass."

  10. Wow, I opened the blog and saw this post - I couldn't have said it better. I so understand, I am so exhausted - for many reasons, I won't go into now but I so feel I'm at the breaking point. I was recently told "we all have problems outside the office" - try adding becoming a widow at 51 and hanging by a thread to go on and trying to keep it all together for so many reasons, let me know when your in my shoes how your coping? They don't get how difficult this is and that things going wrong now are magnified cause we're dealing with them alone and we're still dealing with grief that is unbelievable !

  11. To last Anon:
    RIGHT ON!! I too am exhausted and that comment from a co-worker would probably have put me over the edge!! Yes, we all have problems outside the office - and we don't mean to dismiss anyone's problems, but those DGI's have NO IDEA how hard loosing your spouse truly is (and thank goodness they don't - we wouldn't wish it on anyone)!!! Take care and get some rest.

  12. When Dave was alive, I began to notice that things would break the moment he left for any extended period of time.
    I remember one time kissing him goodbye at the door as he hopped onto the airport shuttle bus. I walked into the bathroom, turned on the faucet and the hot water tap came off in my hand.
    Another time he & our son left for a weekend basketball tournament. As I got ready for bed, I thought I heard water running. I went downstairs only to find that the rec-room floor was a pool of slushy wet carpeting. A burst pipe had been flooding my basement for hours.

    Well, since Dave died last summer, this phenomenon has only gotten worse.
    - I have spent a fortune (life insurance $) on house repairs over the last year and there are still more required if I decide to sell in the next few years.
    - And at this moment the riding mower is sitting in the back of the yard with a flat tire and a dead battery, and no way to get power back there or move it up to the garage.
    Last night I tried to put up a simple hook in a closet only to strip the heads on all the screws before they were tightened down. I broke down and cried. Dave was a carpentry teacher. He made everything look simple but for the love of pete it shouldn't be this hard to put a few screws in a wall!
    - Our twenty something year old son has become an emotional time bomb and his decision making is getting worse and worse. He's in a downward spiral but refuses to get help. (I've made arrangements and he won't go.)
    - The dog has decided to start counter surfing this year.
    - Our insurance agent recently called me to say he hadn't been through our house in a decade and needed to come by and then review our policy. Of course my house insurance immediately went up.
    - Realized the AC unit wasn't working when I tried to use it during a record-breaking hot-spell we just had.
    - Every time I turn around there is a dead mouse, vole, baby rabbit, or toad in the pool skimmer. (Ewww...)
    - There are now mice in my garage. I started setting traps this summer only to realize that I'd have to dispose of them. (Ewwww... After removing a few dead mice I decided it was easier to just leave them be.)
    - For the first time in the 16 years we've lived here, I'm now seeing ground hogs in our back yard. (Why won't THOSE fall in the pool and drown?!)

    I'm laughing now because after a while, what else can you do? (And there's a very fine line between laughing and crying.) It seems like every week, I'm shouting, "Are you kidding me?!!"

    The house is a source of stress, but I'm not ready to move yet. It's also a source of comfort as this is where Dave is. Most of the memories are here. Hard to let go of that, but a few more years of this and I'll likely be ready to pack it in.

  13. I totally relate to this post. I had to laugh when I got to the sentence, "I should not be chewing the hell out of the inside of my cheek because of how stressed I am." That is exactly what I was doing as I read. Takes multi-tasking to a whole new level.

  14. oh Janine, I get this. I keep saying out loud (at home) - "I just want to lie down with you. Just for a few hours. Just lay down. And sleep properly. Safely. For a few hours."

    Yes, a break.

    But wait, we ARE going to have one all together in a few days ... cannot wait/ Love you Boo xxx

  15. It will be three years next week for me. I have gone back to the archives for your writings because you don't write anymore and I just wanted to see how you got where your are. I have three kids. My husband was killed when I was just about to turn 45. Today I have a toilet in my living room because I needed to gut a bathroom due to how much was broken. I picked up my car today and told my son that today, we have two fully working cars and neither need anything which seems to never happen. I have a leak and broken faucet that are next. It is always something. It sucks. I keep feeling this is not the way it was supposed to be. This is not what I signed up for. I guess I should be grateful that for now I can fix the bathroom. But I don't feel grateful, I feel mad and sad. I feel like nobody gets this. Certainly nobody I know does. I am supposed to be moved on and over it. I am so fully not over it. Reading this today makes me realize if I ran into you at the grocery store, you would get this, and that makes me feel better for some reason. Though I wish you didn't get this, I wish nobody did.

  16. Dear JSP,
    Yes, I get this. And my heart breaks for you. I wish that none of us "got this". I don't write here anymore, but I still get it. In some ways, life has gotten easier since I wrote this post. In other ways, it's still the same.
    It still sucks that I'm doing this alone, and it still sucks that this is my life, but it's not all bad. I've learned how to fix things ...... things I never would've dreamed I'd have to fix. And I've learned how to move forward. I still bite the inside of my cheek when stressed, and I still deal with more crap than I want, but my life isn't all bad. In fact, it's better than it as when I wrote this post. Some things change. Some things never will.
    But you are not alone. Thank you for commenting. I understand. We understand. And we're in this together.