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Not your usual sort of JB thread....

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Not your usual sort of JB thread....

Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:23
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kent UK
Age: 66
Posts: 779
Not your usual sort of JB thread....

It's been a while since I posted down this end of the list. So long, in fact, some regulars hear may not even know me. Something's really getting to me and I can't think of another place to write about it. So here goes.........

Only a very few years ago, my house was a noisy house. We looked after my mother-in-law, who was a bundle of feisty, prickly energy in a tiny, frail body. My two kids were gregarious, loud mid-late teenagers, who doubled as stand-up comics. My wife, though disabled, had her Mum's instant-reaction take on life, and could laugh, scream, cry and thump her good fist with all the command of a sulky child, .......or a sulky adult. We had a Jack Russell, a lurcher and a greyhound, and it was never clear who was the pack leader. Especially to them.

This noisy, happy mayhem had always been thus, and, it seemed, always would be.

Child 1 went to uni in 2005. Jo, my mum-in-law, died in 2006. Child 2 went to uni in 2007. We lost the two big dogs within two weeks, in 2008. (I put up a thread about that here, and got many kind replies.) Then, in December 2010, my wife died, bravely fighting a long and progressively debulitating illness. The Jack Russell died, snappy, growling and pinching snacks til the end, last April.

And now it's so quiet. The house, big, of necessity, echoes to me alone. I've changed a lot of things in it, but it's full of memories. I was looking for something today and stumbled across stuff which took me straight back to what I increasingly call The Old Life. It's started getting too much to take so here I am, on JB. Couldn't think of anywhere else to go. I'm seeing a Cruse counsellor, and it's very good, but she's trained in grief............and it's sometimes good to write it down and let people read it for themselves, I think.

My kids are great and see me a lot, but they have their own lives. I have a very busy teaching practice, and I have another Jack. But there are many, long in-between hours when there's nothing to do but think, or gaze at the stupid TV.
kevmusic is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:33
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lemonia. Best Greek in the world
Posts: 1,649
Keep writing it down. We'll read it. Eventually, we'll decide that you are strong enough to take stick.
Meanwhile, keep writing it down. On here, or maybe just on your pc somewhere.
Ancient Observer is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:36
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Newcastle/UK
Posts: 1,473
I'm not the ideal person for this as I have always loved living by myself,not withstanding a hound of course,I even resent visitors if they stay for more than a hour,however I know enough to know a hole in one's life is not a good thing and should be filled,may sound a tad twee but a new hobby/interest or passtime should not be frowned upon be it taking up water colouring/joinery of buying yourself a Harley Davison.
Whatever road you take good luck to you Mr Kev,you deserve some.
tony draper is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:46
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 81
When things are quiet I start making things .
HuntandFish is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:52
  #5 (permalink)  
Resident insomniac
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: N54 58 34 W02 01 21
Age: 75
Posts: 1,859
If you have the space, why not consider offering some room to someone to share it with you?

There are many schemes, including one where you provide emergency accommodation to temporarily homeless youngsters (who, typically, have been thrown out, often through no fault of their own, such as a new partner for their mother) or even B&B for travellers (by which I mean tourists rather than the type who offer to tarmac your driveway).

If you like the idea you might consider something more permanent such as term-time students from a nearby academic college?

There's also the possibility that some major employer would need somewhere for their workers to stay.

If you don't want human company, there's the possibility that an animal rescue centre want foster homes for some of their inmates when they become overcrowded. Maybe you could start by volunteering to 'walk' their dogs?

Or, of course, you could give a 'permanent' home to several rescue dogs . . .
G-CPTN is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:59
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: South of Old Warden
Age: 83
Posts: 1,379
Reading this post brought me up rather sharply to the fact that, although my children have long gone, I still have most of my family and friends around me but should not take it for granted!

TD makes a good point. Taking up another interest, of some sort, can be a lifesaver. Don't know if you like singing Kev but singing with a chorus is wonderfully therapeutic. We have several widowers in my Chorus and it has helped them through some tough and lonely times
goudie is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 16:00
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 92
actually there's some backpackers' community (haven't googled, should be findable), these are really nice people mostly. Seen some. Extra interesting, too. Contact by e-mail and stay at places.
probes is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 16:01
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 142
Please keep posting; I suspect there are many people on this board who will be dealing with similar circumstances themselves.

My mother is dealing with the loss of my father just over a year ago and describes exactly the feelings you have mentioned. She is in her mid-70s and they had been married for 54 years. She finds filling her time on her own very hard, even though she tries bravely.

I'm sorry you lost your wife at such a relatively young age. You're obviously very down at the moment (understandably); maybe as time moves on, you'll be able to identify ways that appeal to you of filling your time enjoyably; I'm sure there are potential friends out there who would treasure your company and enrich your life - I know finding them is easier said than done, but that shouldn't stop you trying.
Octopussy2 is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 16:58
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Madrid FIR
Posts: 291
To amplify what G-CPTN said, my eldest daughter and her husband regularly host foreign students in UK to study English. They have had some great times, especially discovering how different and interesting are the lives, attitudes and aspirations of youngsters from different cultures. It's a fun and fulfilling way to help guide and educate young people, but very rewarding and illuminating.
radarman is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 17:00
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bristol
Posts: 184
Originally Posted by kevmusic View Post
I was looking for something today and stumbled across stuff which took me straight back to what I increasingly call The Old Life.

But there are many, long in-between hours when there's nothing to do but think, or gaze at the stupid TV.
It does sound like an unfortunate set of circumstances have left you where you are today, however I think you have to look on it as an opportunity rather than a curse.

I can't believe for a minute that you've achieved all you want to in this life, so perhaps it's time to work out what you want to do and get on with it. Whether it's learning to cook, completing a triathlon or whatever it's going to give you a goal and an avenue to meet like minded people.
WillDAQ is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 17:47
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kelowna Wine Country
Posts: 430
Our last, of six, left for Uni this year and I can see it coming for either Mrs VJ or myself. We have always been very self contained and unsocial, happy to be together (I didn't work or worked from home almost all my life,)

Mrs VJ has been going to the Gymn and volunteering for school lunches and that is slowly building a social circle, however I'd like us to be more pro-active, maybe start some sort of new business. To that end I have been working out what it should be like.

Low overhead (ie. Work from home.)
Small investment
Requires social involvement (ie. Not 'filling envelopes.) Community based rather than internet based.
Work times preferably flexible (ie, by negotiation or 'job by job')
Sensible skill set. ie. Not "Space engineer" Skills at easily acquired level.

I appreciate the OP is already involved in his teaching practice so this idea is not, perhaps, for him, however I throw it out there. Maybe for him:

Write a book that requires research that needs contact with other people.

Start a project that absolutely has to be finished by a deadline, (eg. for me, build a porch, has to be finished before the snow! It's the only way I get up before ten am.)

Become a governor (trustee) at local schools. (I am and it serves my social purpose considerably.)

Many years ago my mother was 'idle' though she was well enough off not to have to work. She told me she'd like to work "Maybe two or three days a week." I suggested that something more absorbing and demanding was preferable. She did the former, it didn't last and the situation contributed hugely to her decline. It seems not to affect me so much, maybe because I have been "idle" or "retired" for so much of my life and we just enjoy being together but I am worried for the future.
ChrisVJ is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 17:49
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Alderney
Age: 58
Posts: 80
What a very brave and honest post. It must be incredibly hard and I'm sorry for your loss it must be very difficult to come to terms with. As others have said now would be a good time to try and do those things you have put off, not only will it occupy your waking hours but if chosen carefully could well open avenues to new friendships and experiences. Keep posting and although I'm very new here I sense a great feeling of kinship and there are some great hearted and generous people residing within these threads.
beaufort1 is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 18:12
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Permanent Newbie
Posts: 50

Keep you ass on here posting like the rest of us who use it as an outlet or inlet into others.

Disagree, fight, get angry and enjoy Slasher's love of Peewee Herman's Bird is the word dance.

Couple of months ago I was at Mass and something so simple that the priest said has stuck with me....

"Many people are buried at 80 who died at 40"

A congregation puzzled at that until he said

"Life is yours to learn, enjoy and live rather than turning yourself off at 40 and waiting until they bury you at 80"
racedo is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 18:17
  #14 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 12,698
As an aviation person, have you ever considered volunteering to help out at your local Air Training Corps Squadron? They are all often short of adult helpers who can regularly commit to a couple of evenings a week. You might also get to visit some interesting aviation related places, too.

Good luck!
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 19:08
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 1,878
Opposite end of Shy Torque's idea if the young uns don't appeal: How about volunteering to be a community driver for the OAPs at the local Age Concern place. You will be doing a huge service for them (they just want a chat), and I bet it will make you feel good too.


PS Reply in person to everyone who has replied to your post. Busy boy! Take care.
charliegolf is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 19:26
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: at the edge of nowhere, dogleg England
Age: 37
Posts: 229
Go to the Hamsterwheel threads and take up residence. They'll keep you occupied.

In all seriousness, I presume you teach music? if so, any band that you can join? If not, go start one Maybe between tony and you, you can be the Prooner Crooners.... sorry

Thanks for posting anyway, and I think I shall call my dad and mum tomorrow and speak to them. It's only been a week since I did but can't do it too often.
BombayDuck is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 19:31
  #17 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 12,698
Opposite end of Shy Torque's idea if the young uns don't appeal: How about volunteering to be a community driver for the OAPs at the local Age Concern place. You will be doing a huge service for them (they just want a chat), and I bet it will make you feel good too.

What time do they normally pick you up, CG?
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 19:36
  #18 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kent UK
Age: 66
Posts: 779
Thanks everyone for your great, supportive replies. It's quite heart-warming to get not just fellow-feeling but also constructive suggestions.

My teaching takes me up to 8 o' clock at night, every week night, so it knocks some ideas into touch, but by no means all. I do love choral singing and that sounds a great idea, particularly as it will bring me in touch with some like-minded souls. Also the ATC involvment appeals (I used to be a 'C' Cat C.I. on gliders) though again, the late week nights could make that tricky.

I have some great friends, with whom I share holidays or whom I visit but they all live a long way away. Like you, ChrisVJ, we were always very self-contained. Now, I've got my Triumph Spitfire, which I'll be driving/working on from the spring and I've got my Luscombe share. I've got some great things going on and a zinging little teaching business. It's the bloody quiet house! Like right now, just as I'm typing this. I've finished teaching now. I'll put some jazz on the stereo and do dinner, then I'll have a couple of beers while ironing some shirts and watching 'Wheeler Dealers'. It sounds great to some, and I suppose it is, but I'm not here by choice: I'd much rather have the noisy, rude chaos that I'd got used to for the last twenty five years.
kevmusic is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 19:37
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 895
Become an adult student, regular or OU, of something that appeals to you?
vulcanised is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2012, 19:57
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wayne Manor
Posts: 1,516

I seriously cannot correlate your experience in your 'new life' however, i upped and left to work overseas for near enough ten years to a country where i knew no-one, yes the work kept me busy but at downtimes you can find yourself kicking your heels and contemplating your 'old life'.

but then again it has made me the opinionated, hard to get along with, narcissistic, sanctimonious pr1ck that PPRuNe readers will know and love.

PPRuNe is for all of us an outlet, one way or another. i've met some people from this site that i greatly appreciate, and some that perhaps i have no intention of meeting.

No matter what time of the day or even what day, you'll always find a point of argument here, you are with friends, who no matter how they may disagree with you will always be open fo a discussion.

easy steps buddy; you've been through the emotional mill recently, no one can tell you what is right or wrong for you, but there will always be an ear and and argument here and new friends to meet.

stuckgear is offline  

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