Life has been busy. And mostly good. I signed up for an online newsletter this morning and it asked if I had a blog ... which reminded me that I haven't written anything in here in quite awhile. I decided to take today off work to get some things done around the house. And yet here I sit at my laptop - a habit I have not been very successful in breaking. But since it's an unusually rainy day in Vegas I have an excuse for not doing any of the much-needed yard cleanup work (I'll come up with another excuse for delaying the also much-needed inside the house cleanup for awhile). Guess this is a good time to write an update. Ah, where to begin?
Well ... the absolutely most important change in my life has been finding Brave Girls Club. I do believe it was a 'God-moment' when I just happened to see the BGC badge on another widow's blog.The site spoke to me immediately. I signed up for their Daily Truths and then noticed they have a Camp. Since Camp Widow has been a wonderful part of my life for the past year-and-a-half I had to click on that link ... and I physically felt the pull that this was something I was supposed to do. But it was very much out of my comfort zone: 4 days in Idaho with complete strangers; a roommate; life lessons; creating art; a significant amount of money. So I closed the page. But I just could not get it out of my mind. I went back in to see when the Camps were held and saw they had 2 openings for their August 21-24 Camp. Another God-moment. The 22nd has been a rather tough day for me as that is the day of the month Vern died ... and August 23 would have been our 43rd wedding anniversary. I have spent those important days alone during these past 2 years. Perhaps I needed to be with others ... in Idaho. So I asked my boss if I could have the time off work and when he said yes I signed up before I could change my mind. This was July 5, so I didn't have a lot of time to second-guess my decision ... but second-guess I sure did. I was nervous, wondering if I'd be way older than everyone there, concerned I wouldn't fit in, worried I had no ability to create art, scared to confront the life lessons I knew I had been ignoring. But I did it ... and it was amazing and wonderful and life-changing. And I now have a group of women who are my sisters, who love me, who think I am wonderful and beautiful and creative ... and enough. What an incredible blessing.
I also attended Camp Widow in San Diego in early August and it was wonderful. I drove Vern's Mustang there for the first time alone and made a stop at our special Crystal Pier - and I was honored during Camp to be one of the recipients of the Soaring Spirits Service Award for my volunteer work in Widowed Village. I'm headed to Big Bear in early November for a weekend widow's retreat that my Widowed Village friend Lisa has developed, and I have another trip planned for later this year that I am very excited about. I'm also taking a couple of Brave Girl online courses - and
one of my Camp-mates actually lives in Vegas and we get together on
Fridays to create art and talk.
While there are times I think about retiring, my job helps me to be able to afford to do the things that are helping me find my way ... forcing myself to step outside the box, to try things I never would have in the past, to stop waiting for others to fill the void, to get comfortable doing things by myself. People have come into and out of my life this year. Change isn't easy - and it's hard to be "just" Dianne, but I'm getting there. I miss Vern every day, but I am making the choice to honor his memory by being all I can be with the time I have left.