We Begin Again:  #ROW80 /#12WeekYear  Midweek 3

It’s been five days since my husband died. 

The kids and I are emerging from the limbo-of-sorts that Jim’s illness imposed upon our lives for the last two months, and especially for the last 3 weeks of his life. I’m taking stock, figuring out what needs to be done first – administratively and practically, but also emotionally and mentally.

I’m cleaning and repurposing. I need to make what was our bedroom my bedroom – it’s impossible to move forward if I keep things as they were, and Jim left a considerable amount of clutter and chaos behind that I’m gradually excavating. I’m making things a bit more female-oriented, considerably bluer, and a lot cleaner. It’s not even close to “finished,” whatever that means, but it is coming along.

I’m also decluttering the common rooms of our home. As I progress, I’m also thinking of how they could be improved. Some changes Jim and I discussed, but others are new, and that feels…strange. Like I should ask his permission, or at least his blessing, just like I would have if he was alive. Not considering his preferences is one in a long string of adjustments I’m going to need to make in the future.

It’s been five days…and I’m adjusting.

Blue with Overstrike: Goal Completed.

Green:  In Progress.

Black: Still Waiting.

Black with Overstrike: 86ed.

Relationships, Family, and Home:


Complete lists of homeschool activities/ update attendance for November. Due Week 2.

  • Progress: 0%.

Facilitate Miah’s driving practice; four times weekly. Due Weeks 3-12.

  • 3/4 times – both routine and unfamiliar routes; good weather and snow.
  • Progress: 75%.

Move bedroom furniture to better accommodate nurse visits; deep clean as I go; ask for help from kids as needed.  Week 1.

Use one-on-one time to touch base with all family members. Weeks 3-12.

  • Checked in with both kids; meeting needs for connection; shopped together.
  • Progress: 100%

Set aside a few minutes five days weekly to arrange facilitation of needs. Weeks 3-12.

  • Spent time helping all, informally. 2/5.
  • Progress: 30%.


Focus on at least ten minutes with some combination of family members in common spaces daily. Weeks 3-12.

  • This is becoming natural for all of us.
  • Progress: 100%.

Gather and consider ideas on how to make our home a sweeter place. Weeks 3-12.

  • This is an ongoing process.
  • Progress: 100%



Inventory sauces; get count on what/how many labels needed: Due Week 3.

  • Still considering ways of moving sauces wholesale.
  • Progress: 50%

Go through checking account and insurance policy info; make list of monthly/quarterly bills and due dates: Due Week 4.

  • Spoke to credit union regarding various matters. Triage ongoing.
  • Progress: 45%

Pay Jim’s back sales taxes; find out how to dissolve business at the appropriate time: Due Week 6.

  • Looked into closing Jim’s business accounts.
  • Progress: 20%.

Do (or delegate) our taxes: Due Week 10.

  • Progress: 10%.

Create a base family budget for the kids and I: Due Week 12.

  • Experimented with “winging” the grocery shopping. The attempt failed; we decided we need a list.
  • Progress: 25%

Focus on learning via the courses I already have in progress: Weeks 3-12.

  • Progress: 10%.

Work on beta projects I’ve agreed to as opportunity arises. Weeks 1-12.

  • Progress: 0%.

Keep in touch with other writers –  reading blogs; commenting; participating in sprints and blog hops as I am able: Weeks 3-12.

  • Not the most connected beginning to the week; I felt the need to focus on other, more immediate, matters.
  • Progress: 40%.


Make lists of things we could use help with, as we think of them. Weeks 3-12.

  • No official lists yet, but ideas are growing and taking shape.
  • Progress: 20%

Ask both kids for ideas at least weekly. Weeks 3-12.

  • Happening organically as we adapt.
  • Progress: 45%

Pair lists with those willing to help at least weekly. Weeks 3-12.

  • Again, it’s an organic process.
  • Progress: 35%

Seek out someone(s) with good organizational skills who can coordinate as/when needed. Weeks 3-12.

  • My NNWM ML had a great idea on using Wunderlist to help me stay better organized.
  • Progress: 45%

When someone offers general assistance, be ready with ideas. Weeks 3-12.

  • We’ve got a list of standard suggestions, and a few more specific ones. We’ve been offering them when asked.
  • Progress: 100%

Body, Mind, and Soul:


Watch Star Trek: Enterprise whenever possible; join in Twitter live chat at #AllStarTrek. Due weeks 3-12.

  • Yes, every night so far this week. It’s become my unofficial “escape” from the realities of transitioning.
  • Progress: 100%

Resume taking pictures, beautifying our home, drawing, coloring, singing, and other activities that I enjoy, as opportunities arises. Weeks 312.

  • Some of all marked.
  • Progress: 80%

Experiment with Instant Pot weekly. Weeks 3-12.

  • Nothing this week.
  • Progress: 0%.

Keep eyes open for likely recipes. Weeks 3-12.

  • Saved one or two from my Facebook groups.
  • Progress: 100%

Use Ninja for food prep once weekly. Weeks 3-12.

  • Nothing this week.
  • Progress: 0%

Alternate days of restful focus with more active days. Weeks 3-12.

  • Regaining the essence of this – more like a day of focus on my personal space; then one on family things. It’s a beginning.
  • Progress: 60%.

Listen to my body, mind, and soul, and follow their leads to adjust accordingly.  Weeks 3-12.

  • Yes – getting more in touch with myself and my needs.
  • Progress: 100%


Follow a morning routine when possible. Weeks 3-12.

  • Still not really happening.
  • Progress: 40%.

Use quiet moments as they present themselves. Weeks 3-12.

  • Doing better here as I find my footing in this new post-marriage reality.
  • Progress: 100%.

Make a practice of being present- right here, right now. Weeks 3-12.

  • I continue to focus on this – I don’t seem to have the energy not to.
  • Progress: 100%.

Prioritize time and connection with my beloveds over busy-ness. Weeks 3-12.

  • I’m enjoying time with both kids. Want more connection with Jim’s sisters.
  • Progress: 75%

ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!
ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!


  1. Re the grocery shopping: I now make a list by department (dairy,meat, produce, etc). It helps me not miss anything we really need, and those need-to-buy-every-time items are visible. But, truly, Shan, you are focusing on what is most important — family, loving memories, and creating that space that will allow you all to move forward with grace and courage.

    • We use Wunderlist – each of us has the app on at least one device, and everyone can add their desired items. It’s online and interactive, so everyone can see when something has been purchased.

      Jeremiah is very efficient by nature, and he’s worked out a system to quickly go through only the needed aisles, scanning the list as he goes.

      Still, I’m going to love the luxury of having the ingredients we need sent to us, at least for a few weeks, till we’ve got a better sense of what our lives are going to be like.

      Thank you for your suggestion – if Wunderlist would allow us to set things up that way, we surely would!

    • Thank ou, Kassandra. I can’t say I’m doing great in every moment, but our basic motto through our marriage has been, “What is, is.” Being resistant to the reality won’t bring Jim back, and would make an already difficult situation even more so.

      Fortunately, the kids and I all share this basic view. We’re trying to find the humor wherever we can, see the opportunities that have opened up, and remember Jim with love. So far, so good…

  2. I know the colors here don’t actually reflect the realities of your life so much, but when I look at the greens and blues, I get this sense of a lake, with gentle lapping waves near the grassy shore, the so very blue sky at the horizon… movement, things happening and stirring, building beneath the surface… It looks restful, but really, it’s very full and energized and chaotic. So much is going on, and yet… it is deceptively calm. Waiting…

    • I love that analogy – you know I’ve always tended to be a beneath the surface type.

      Honestly, I was rather pleasantly surprised by what I accomplished – I’ve been working thus far without a plan from the time Jim became bedbound and not truly aware. I’ve just been going on what seems to fit the moment and my/our needs.

      Thank you for the lovely imagery – and for being you! ❤

  3. It looks like you’re focusing on the things you need to right now.
    I can never walk into the grocery store without a list. If I do, we end up with a cartful of things I never knew we needed and almost nothing we actually do need. 😉

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