Where Is the Comfort?

We are beginning to experience the change of seasons. We had a few lovely days last week, cool, low humidity, and the temperature has been definitely lower than summer, mostly low 80’s these days, or even cooler. But it could still get hot again. Summer was so hot I couldn’t even wear capris!

            I have not switched out my summer clothes for winter yet, but will soon. I hesitate because I have so many more warm weather clothes than winter clothes. I love the onset of fall, when I can put away my shorts and wear long sleeves or sweaters. I love to think about turning on the fireplace and wrapping myself up in a soft blanket. I bought a pair of casual shoes that I can wear all winter around the house. It is all about comfort.

            But to me, comfort is more than keeping warm as the season changes. It is about living a life that is predictable, knowing what’s important to me, and having the freedom to follow that path. It’s about getting out in the crowds and enjoying the festivals and events of fall. It’s about singing in the choir and preparing for December’s traditional Messiah performance.

             To my regret, life these days is nothing like that, because of the coronavirus. As I write, it is mid-October, and no one knows what will be happening tomorrow. Everything in our lives is up in the air, and there is no comfort. Halloween will be different, and some people are skipping it. Nothing is normal now, but I am tired of the phrase “new normal.”

             I find myself thinking about the comfort foods of my childhood and yearn to be free enough to mingle with friends I have not seen, except on Zoom, for months. I want my life back! I have hunkered down long enough, I believe, so I really do need to go out and do all the things I  used to. I am weary of “virtual meetings.” I want to hug people.

            Normally, I like to hibernate in winter, gorge myself on college basketball, not caring if I see anybody. I think this winter will be different because of my pervasive loneliness. I never realized how much I needed people until these last eight months of living alone. Everyone has experienced challenges dealing with COVID-19, but I feel my loneliness deep inside, in my bones. I will get used to being alone, and even enjoy it, I suspect, but that time has not come yet.

            The best way to describe how I feel about my current life is “discomfort.” I could throw in “anxiety,” “nervousness,” or “on edge.” I just don’t feel like myself. But that’s the problem: I am indeed no longer that person, the old identity that was married to Jerry. My life is new now, and I am in the process of grieving the old life and figuring out who I am by myself. I am becoming.

            Time is my friend, I know, but right now comfort is like a distant dream I yearn for, languishing in my mind, unattainable.

4 thoughts on “Where Is the Comfort?

  1. Oh, Polly… this is all so hard! We all miss hugging our friends but you have a double-portion of loneliness as you face this new season for the first time without Jerry. Several of my friends here are widows, too, and it’s the loss of a soul mate — one who knows your heart better than any other human — that makes living alone so difficult. I wish I could give you hug now.

  2. Love these lines: “My life is new now, and I am in the process of grieving the old life and figuring out who I am by myself. I am becoming.”

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