The Art of Routine

The art of living alone as a retired widow takes discipline, time, and trusting in God. I’ve always been an introvert. It’s not always a good thing. I’m sure I’ve missed out on some good times because of this. I’m not a party gal. I enjoy being around others I know well…around friends where I feel safe and loved.

I slipped into retirement without realizing it because I’d just lost my mother, who had been living with us, and because my husband became seriously ill at the time of her passing. I didn’t have time to feel as if something was missing from my life…both my mother and my job.

After my husband passed, I wasn’t sure how I would go on. I had never spent much time living alone. Eight years later, and four years into new living space has taught me many things about myself. I now can rely on my being an introvert to turn to new hobbies. I have time to spend with God and with deepening my relationship and trust in Him.

Routine is a normal part of my transition. Don’t we all at different stages of life have our routines? Creating one for this winter season of my life came easily. I’m able to use my creativity in various ways through hobbies. Instead of building spreadsheets and databases, I build colors upon pages to bring life to pictures. I place pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together and place “diamonds” on canvas to create pictures. Enjoyment comes from cutting pieces of patterned paper to create a card for a friend. All of this comes after a morning routine of cleaning, cooking, caring for my cat, showering and dressing for the day.

This routine now feels normal and comfortable. Perhaps that is why I enjoy rainy days and winter days. The times when I perfect my art of living alone as a retired widow. Lifting my cup of tea on this cloudy morning, where all is still in my window view, and wishing you a joyful day whatever your routine.

Coloring for Therapy

My youngest daughter bought me a coloring book by Johanna Basford along with a box of colored pencils for Christmas a year or two after my husband was called home to live in Heaven. I found this was such a great form of therapy for me. Living alone in a big old house wasn’t easy. I missed my husband so much. Our three cats were a comfort and, yes, someone to take care of. I had been my husband’s caregiver for three years and needed to feel needed.

I found coloring was a great therapy. I could sit for hours and color and not dwell on thoughts of being alone. The house was too quiet and when I lost myself in creativity, the solitude wasn’t painful. Since then, I have continued to color. I have over 50 coloring books and five sets of colored pencils. I’ve expanded into creating with markers as well. It’s a wonderful hobby and a wonderful therapy.

Some people journal. I do keep a journal, but only write in it occasionally. I used to write novels and that was a form of therapy, more an escape from the busy corporate life I once led. After retirement, though I thought writing would become my new career, the passion I felt for creating stories vanished. My blog has become my writing platform. I don’t have to make up stories. I just write from the heart about my life, my thoughts, and the blessings of being a child of God.

If you are dealing with stress, grief, pain and don’t have a hobby to help, I’d like to suggest you try coloring if you are creative. You don’t have to follow any rules. You don’t have to worry about anyone else liking what you are doing. You just have to have fun. I like to listen to audio books while I color, or listen to music. Sometimes I watch a movie on my computer while I color. Sometimes I just color in silence.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you all a day of joy.