So, your 3-year anniversary is looming on the 5th September. If anyone had told me the morning you died that I would still be standing three years later, I would have screamed it would not be possible. I would have questioned how I could even make it to the next day let alone 3 years. But here we are. It’s been a very difficult road but hopefully things are changing.
I’ve made some decisions. Don’t laugh, the art of making decisions for me passed away with you. Me, who has coped with so many traumas already in my life and come out the other side. Me, who made you wait while I extracted myself from my first marriage, and me, who instigated our relocation from London to the country to change our lives once before.
I wonder sometimes if you would recognise me now. Like a flower in bud I have been forced by nature into life again. I have fallen to such lows. Sometimes it was hard to admit to myself just how low. Being in control is what holds me together and I was not in control of anything it seemed. Events forced me to wake up and take action, but I feel I’m coming out the other side and am at last getting excited for life again.
A few things have contributed to this. One is, I’ve decided to move. A big decision which forces lots of little ones. I need a new life. A new area to explore. New people to meet. A new start. So the house is on the market. We did it together before. This time I must forge my own way forward, but I can do it. Thinking about where to go and how I want to live has been interesting. Thank goodness for google earth and the internet making different areas easy to research. I’ve narrowed it down to the things I do want.
I want to be able to get to London and back by train in a day. Probably not high on everyone’s list but I like to have a fix of the fumes every now and again along with the galleries, exhibitions and a fine lunch somewhere. So that gives me a large circle around the capital and a good place to start. I also want to continue with tennis and cycling. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. Lockdown was good for that at least and of course, there’s always the dogs to be walked. So the countryside along with pubs for those cosy lunches would be good. But I also need a little hustle and bustle around me so I feel connected with the world and not too isolated.
My latest adventure is surfing, so getting to Cornwall more easily would be ideal. I recently took a week’s course to learn and I laughed such a lot at my attempts to succeed, I immediately knew it was something I must continue. I need fun in my life. I’m determined to perfect my style. At the moment it is more gung-ho and cling on than spring up and glide, but who knows, I may take up sailing next?
Being thrust into retirement is difficult. Having a structure to my day is important but I’m getting used to allowing myself to take time out and sit and read during the day. And of course, there’s my novel to continue with.
A new home would need a few alterations to put my stamp on it so that could be another project. And that’s before I find something I can volunteer for. So, you see, at long last life is opening up and becoming exciting. There is lots going on. I am a restless soul. I like coming and going. If I can’t go out and about, I feel trapped.
So, this year I’ll be surfing on the 5th, Nick. The salty sea will mix with my tears as I think of you, but I know I will laugh as I plonk my body on that surfboard and paddle like mad to catch a wave.
I’m doing my best to find a new life without you. I have a way to go but as I recently discovered ‘nothing is too scary, the scary thing is doing nothing.’ There’s lots more adventures to be had and I’m going to grab every opportunity that comes my way. I know you would be right behind me, urging me on.