The Re-Invent Club
Some of you know, but for those of you who have just discovered me, the quick version of my story is that I am a widow. There are just some words in our language that evoke entire chapters of meaning, and “widow” is one of them.
In my case, I am a fairly young, baby boomer widow, whose husband passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in his 50’s. In other words, there was little planning or preparation for the future aloneness of either one of us. Given my health problems,it was almost assumed I would be the one to go first.
It has now been 2-1/2 years, and my son and I have relocated back to Texas. I admit I have been “working” on working for the last couple of years. But between a couple of back surgeries and just plain ‘ole grieving, I can’t say that there has been tremendous forward movement.
I have spent an inordinate amount of money and time investigating many of the new internet technologies, social media, and texting. Funny to say I was the last one in my family to add the texting ability to my cell phone. My mother used it before me, and boy did I get ragged from one of my cousins about that! I actually had it blocked so people couldn’t text me until, oh, about 6 months after Patrick was gone.
Anyway, this move to San Antonio has been a tremendous blessing from God. I already had some friends here, a church from our denomination with good people, and a “city” large enough for opportunity, small enough that getting around and being a part of the community are totally doable.
One of my friends introduced me to Firecat Studio and their First Friday Co-Working event. I have only been to 2 events since I have moved here. But then they have only had 2 events since I moved here, .
Anyway, I was talking with my neighbor at the table, and the idea of the Re-Invent Club came into being. Her story, maybe more common than my story these days, is a husband who has left the family. But the fallout is very similar.
Besides all the gushy stuff of grieving etc. there comes that day when we have to move on, and we all begin to create our own Re-Invent Club. Although we decided that a pinky swear hand signal was probably not necessary at our age, it was a smiley moment when we both realized the other person was re-inventing also. There can be joy in recognizing a fellow traveler.
Some days re-inventing is so totally energizing and exciting. Other days it is depressing and terrifying. Some days I get a blog post written and uploaded and others, it takes all I have just to get the dishes in the dishwasher after making pancakes (ultimate comfort food around here) for dinner.
Some days I go out and interview someone about something exciting like “fairy gardens” (see upcoming post with tons of pictures). Some days I learn 1, 2, 3, new things about myself. Some days I spend crying for missing my husband so much.
And then one day comes the AH HA moment.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Yes, I finally know.
Through all this stuff I have been learning and through all my various life experiences it is so funny I am going to end up right back where I started. I finally realized I still want to write.
I graduated many, many moons ago with a degree in Journalism from the University of Houston. I sold advertising and wrote the copy for my customers. I wrote employee newsletters, online help documents, tech manuals, and training materials.
But I have also grown microgreens and produce for the farmer’s market, homeschooled my son, and thousands of other things after I got married and stopped writing. There was no ulterior design for me to stop writing, but “Our Life” as the De Mesa family was so busy and fulfilling that I had no desire to do anything else.
Life took me down many paths and across many states (below the Mason Dixon line thankfully), but today the Re-Invent Club is in session.
I still have trouble saying, “I am a writer” instead of “I am trying to…” But, I will get there. That is all part of the process of Re-Inventing. And, along the way, I will continue to drink my tea, explore the world of great food, local wine, delicious cheeses, and craft beers. I hope to continue Aging Gracefully Southern Style with a big dash of Texas spice to keep things exciting.
And if you haven’t tried Bill Miller’s Sweet Ice Tea, run don’t walk to the nearest outpost and grab you some. It’s the only tea that gives McDonald’s Sweet Tea a worthy opponent.
As Always I wish each of you,
Lady Sweet Tea
Aging Gracefully Southern Style