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Helen

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  • Date Widowed
    17th April 2012
  • Cause of death
    Crappy Cancer


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  1. It has been a long time since I posted here.This forum though was a lifeline to me through some very difficult years and I met some amazing people. I turn 50 tomorrow, 31 years to the day since I got together with my wonderful husband and 7 since he died. My hope is that in posting here it encourages someone. From now on I will wish I was 50 again. Graham didn’t have the privilege of making this decade, I still miss him every day and very much. I know now though, that I am a better version of me, more capable, healthier, fitter, stronger in every way. This has been the toughest of decades, but I have survived and at times thrived. New words by which I can be described this decade include; widow, head teacher, triathlete, yogi, mountaineer, vegan, mother in law, grandmother-to-be, islander, debt free, campervan lover. Almost none of these were anticipated. Last year I moved to the very tiny island of Muck (named as muc-mhara is Gaelic for whale). An island one mile long by two miles wide with only 30 adults and no shop off the west coast of Scotland. Possibly one of the most beautiful places in the world. My very own widow island retreat. I can feel hope seeping again into my bones through my wellington boots as I stand in the sea on this beach (in the picture). It’s a slow healing process each time I see a golden eagle, the sky full of stars or the aurora. I listen to the waves, the birds and my breathing. I swim here and canoe and heal. My wounds are still there but invisible to most. Trials have built character, character has taken me to new places and these have slowly built hope. I will not stay here forever, another year or two. I kept my home in Edinburgh too so I can visit my 5 children and I plan to return there. Ten more working, saving years and then camper van travelling around this most beautiful of counties and abroad, I am strong enough to do this now. Now at 50 I am beginning to feel comfortable being single and the Isle of Muck has helped. The dating has not gone well so far and some downtime was called for. It would be lovely to be married again at 60, but it will also be lovely to be well and single. I can honestly say I am happy again and I didn't ever think I truly would be. This is not the life I chose, this was not part of my roadmap, but it is life and a good one. I wonder this evening, which new words will describe this decade to come? Many years ago I started the Three Good Things thread so these are mine today: 1.Still in my 40's for 6 or so hours. 2. In Edinburgh today so have seen some of my children. 3. I am alive and living. Much love to you all, Helen
  2. Helen

    Moving at last

    It has taken me 4 years and at last I am leaving our family home and moving on. There were 7 of us at home and soon it will just be me. Currently I live in a large family house outside Edinburgh and next weekend move to a flat (apartment), right in the middle of the city. The process has been painful. Everything we do so often feels like cutting a cord to the past, but this feels like pulling up the anchor and leaving port. There have been so many decisions to make about stupid things like wedding gifts, plants and sex toys but many are made now and the packing has begun. My kids did a wonderful thing and have had a painting done of this home to put up in the new one, uncharacteristically thoughtful. If anyone is ever visiting the city I have a spare room. I know you all get how hard this has been.
  3. Helen

    Dating Etiquette

    You are all wonderful and I appreciate you greatly. Guy#1 got dumped pretty fast, he was all kinds of shades of something. Guy #2 is going very well just now, despite the early crossing lines by text, he has proved to be a gentleman, wonderful company and I really like him. We have had about 10 dates so far. I am back now at the 'When does your date become your boyfriend?' question which has perplexed my previously, but trying very hard to just enjoy the moments. Hope everyone else is having their needs met and their string is long.
  4. Helen

    HONY

    For those of you who don't follow Humans of New York, why the crap not? But in case you didn't see this I am posting here, it is wonderful:
  5. Helen

    Dating Etiquette

    Rob, so lovely to hear your input on this, as always really helpful. I think maybe your '2 or 3 dates then if you feel no sparks move on' could work for me. I will probably end it with guy#1 tomorrow. It is very clear that everyone is different and it has been really helpful reading your responses, I have managed to gauge that it is not unreasonable of me to expect a guy to be a gentleman while texting as much as when we meet. While I have the confidence to set some boundaries I just wanted to check these were not massively out of step with whatever counts as 'normal expectations'. Thanks again lovely people =)
  6. Helen

    Dating Etiquette

    Thanks everyone for the replies, some are really helpful. I certainly don't feel desperate and am having some fun, but things are not working out as I planned. For info, I also slept with my husband of 23 years on our first date and still respected him in the morning. Currently I am dating two guys. Guy #1 is the right age, loads in common, good company, but his over enthusiasm in the bedroom feels a little overwhelming, also there is really no spark. He bought us ballet tickets for Friday and I think maybe that will be the last date if nothing ignites. He is planning holidays for us in October which is also way too early. Quite a few red flags I know, but he got the tickets now. Guy #2 is a complete surprise, he is 10 years older and I didn't think I would be attracted to him, but he is even better company, a perfect gentleman and the sparks were flying when we did kiss. His texts are crossing lines though too in contrast to how he is when we meet. It was these two though that have left me wondering what is and is not normal. Sometimes I wonder if people watch too much porn and the kind of first time sex you had when I was a teenager is not how it is now. I also struggle for will power, always have, and need more.
  7. Helen

    Dating Etiquette

    Not been on for a while, this has been a tough few months. I am now dating again though and sometimes feel so much out of the loop that I am like a goldfish in a shark pool. What is and is not acceptable on first dates when you are in your 40s? First sexual encounters, should I expect slow comfortable, straightforward sex, or are men trying to impress by serving up a banquet? How long do you wait if he is a nice guy but there does not seem to be a spark? Do all men expect suggestive texts before even meeting? What are the normals here from your experiences? I know these are a little like 'how long is a piece of string?' questions but maybe some of you can help. Thanks in advance from a little swimming Scottish goldfish!
  8. Helen

    Three good things

    Life continues to be tough so I am going to really try and focus on the positives. 1. Last night I headed out with friends for a wonderful vegan dinner. Great company, lovely food. 2. I have been really struggling with church so this morning another friend picked me up, drove me there and sat with me, then left early too. 3. Yoga class this evening was wonderfully tough. I am managing to maintain my exercising every day in January challenge.
  9. Helen

    Three good things

    Better day today. 1. BodyPump to start the day off. 2. Headed into Edinburgh, went to see how the new flat was coming along, did a little shopping with child #3. She has a 70% discount in a really nice shop as she works there and the clothes are too expensive for students to buy full price. She got me 3 new tops. 3. Had a wonderful vegan afternoon tea at a fantastic cafe.
  10. Helen

    Three good things

    Enjoy the break Trying. I am sinking some, it is so tough to keep on trying so hard to keep going and my goodness how hard I have tried for so long. I hope that eventually the effort will pay off. 1. Gym and swim today, worked hard which always helps a little. 2. A guy came to sign off some building completion certificates, paperwork that Graham had not completed in 2005 and 2007 when we had two extensions to the house. The guy was lovely and signed them both off, I just need an electrician now to check that's all fine. 3. Went to see 'The Danish Girl' this evening, going to the cinema was good, the film just left me sadder.
  11. Helen

    Three good things

    1. It was very cold and crisp here today, gorgeous skies as it started to get light/dark on the way to and from work. 2. My boss is letting me skip some training tomorrow so a freeish day. 3. This whole week I was not teaching so had time to do admin, catch up on meeting staff, consultation time and got loads done.
  12. Helen

    Three good things

    Tuesday: 1. Body Pump #97 - a tough one. 2. Got lots of work done, unfortunately that meant I didn't get to bed until after midnight. 3. Got to sleep immediately, my bed is wonderful. Wednesday 1. I got a Fitbit from the kids for Christmas and really love it. It tells me that on a normalish day at work I climb at least 50 flights of stairs. 2. Got through to someone about some Building Warrants and they offered to come visit on Friday, this is a huge help. 3. My cleaner came today and did the oven. She is so much appreciated.
  13. Helen

    Three good things

    Sunday: 1. Met a friend in the morning for a chat. I have been real struggling with church so this was a welcome break. 2. Met other friends for lunch, mushroom and chestnut soup with sage bread, it was delicious. 3. Excellent yoga class then a swim and sauna. Monday: 1. It was not snowing as I waited at the station at 7am and I found my gloves. 2. Got lots done at work today (and this evening after work). My workload currently is huge and I am having to fight hard to restrict my working to under 60 hours a week (it has been much higher). 3. Yoga this evening (well I have not done this yet, but it is now 10pm here and I set myself the goal of exercise every day this month so heading off now) ... I have however walked 10k steps and climbed 35 floors despite sitting at my desk most of the day.
  14. Helen

    Three good things

    1. BodyPump this morning, though I was still sore from yesterday's workout so it was tough. 2. Prepared some training I have to deliver at work this afternoon, think it's going to be fine. I can do grown up sometimes, 3. One of my friend's sister was murdered last night, a knife attack, awful stuff. I am grateful all my family are safe and well this evening, although that feels a little selfish it is about the only positive third thing I can add.
  15. Helen

    Three good things

    1. Started the day getting waxed and stuff. You never know. 2. TRX Force session (resistance training) then a swim and sauna. Always a good thing. 3. I was going to go an see some live music this evening with a friend but there was too much snow so I came home again and made curry for myself, it was pretty good.

Personal Information

  • Date Widowed
    17th April 2012
  • Cause of death
    Crappy Cancer


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