Saturday, March 11, 2023

On Figuring it Out


Tohono Chul Gift Shop (OLLI Field Trip…gardens and lunch)

I have never ever really been alone…not alone in a house with myself and the knowledge that this life is what I have. As you can imagine, there is a certain amount of self  examination that has to be done. Being alive is simply not enough.

My mind is so excited to learn more, create more, be more. But emotionally I have had to recover my self confidence. Simply figuring out who I am has turned out to be a real awakening.

Up until now I was always in tune with what my husband was interested in and those he chose to surround himself with. Don’t misunderstand…I did love my life with him. It was a good thing.

But now, I am not the same person. I realize so much about myself that is good and so much that has not been. While the past does not exist, it still is the benchmark that we all measure our future against. As humans we cannot continue to make the same mistakes over and over and expect a different outcome.

When I returned to Arizona in January and I found myself alone in a large house with a small dog to talk to, I knew that if I were to remain sane, I would need to look outside the front door and down the road for things to excite and interest me. Because I didn’t really have any idea how to do that, I was a little afraid. In fact I was a lot afraid. Like so many things in this life, there was not a guide book.

I slept like a baby. Not because I was sure of anything but sleep was the perfect escape. 

This is where it becomes interesting. Simply because I was bored I decided to download Turbo Tax and do my own taxes. Now please know that I did not know what I was doing but it seemed to me that learning to do that was what I needed. It was the ultimate puzzle and I loved  it. 

It amazed me when the life I had before with friends (couples) did not include me. So I also began looking for a place where people gathered. I signed up for a chair yoga class at a recreation center here in Tucson and I went to the University of Arizona to see what they had to offer in the way of adult learning organizations. I quite by accident stumbled on an organization called Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

It has been a miracle for me. I have discovered what I like and what I don’t. There is a difference you know.

I am a kind of Pollyanna and I hate to admit that I don’t like things or even don’t feel well. So admitting that I don’t enjoy a particular activity is hard for me. It is like quitting and I have never done that with something I have committed myself to.

Since joining this group of like minded people, I am feeling more confident. I drive across Tucson to take classes at the OLLI /ASU center and have joined a Walk and Talk group. I have gone to the DeGrazia Art Museum and the Toronto Chulla botanical gardens with different member groups.  I am going to a meet and greet occasion for new member of OLLI that I think with be fun. I am taking a class called Our Brain and one that features famous crooners for the 40’s, 50’s ,60’s etc.

Life it seems does go on…at least for me. For as long as it lasts I am having fun. The anxiety of being out in public is still there…do I talk too much? If I start a conversation am I seen as pushy? And so it goes. I am hoping that I am normal in those feelings but I try not to care. I am doing the best I can with what I know.

Do you have any thoughts? AND if anyone is interested, I think you should write a guide book for being alone  Any takers?



  1. I love this, Barbara. Just walking out that door... Just starting your blog again... Just going after Lifelong Learning with your whole heart... I love all of this! Love you! Norah

    1. Thank you Norah. As you know I find joy even in a storm!

  2. I am so stinkin’ proud of you. Seriously! Your mind, your heart, your quest for the new, your appreciation for it all… we love you lots! ~Amanda

    1. Much love coming your way. :)

  3. Good for you! Glad you reminded me about OLLI. My mom did things with them. I'm going to check it out now that I'm retired. Keep writing ✍️.

  4. Mom, I am so proud of you. You always appear so confident I never knew you had apprehensions. I love this blog, keep writing and growing. You are such a role model for me.

    1. So Larry, I think this is you. I am all bluff! :)


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