Finding My Pace:  #ROW80 /#12WeekYear  EOW 5

Hi there, ROWers and friends! 

January is over, which means I’ve entered my first full month of being a widow – a word I’m still having some trouble attaching to myself or my situation, no matter how accurate it is.

Some things are easier now. I’ve made headway on the administrative tasks, for instance, and gained confidence along the way. The kids and I are settling into a new rhythm, learning as we go, and doing our best to be patient with one another.

Other things, though, stymie me. The odd moments when I’m compelled to run something by Jim the way I used to. The quiet spaces that his sense of humor and his laughter would fill so well. The place in our bed that doesn’t hold his warm solid presence anymore.

It was predawn when I wrote this, and the wind was blowing hard against the house. It’s a time I would have snuggled against Jim, and felt safer. Now, several hours later, I’m sipping coffee and settling into the rhythm of a new day. I’m watching Property Brothers to add voices – Jim and I used to have coffee and conversation together.

I’m finding my pace, but I still miss the man who walked beside me for over 20 years.

Know what I mean?

But now, on to the update…

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. Weeks 5-12.

  • 3/4 –local driving.
  • 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 5-12.

  • Connection with both kids; contacted one of Jim’s sisters.
  • Progress: 100%

Set aside a few minutes five days weekly to arrange facilitation of needs. Weeks 5-12.

  • Planned 3 weeks of Plated orders; picked up reclining loveseat for kids’ game room; plans for updated personal/common spaces/wardrobes: groceries and kindling-wood.
  • 7/7 for this session.
  • Progress: 100%.


Focus on at least ten minutes with some combination of family members in common spaces daily. Weeks 5-12.

  • While hometending; making food; moving furniture; and just chatting.
  • 7/7 for this session.
  • Progress: 100%.

Gather and consider how to make our home a sweeter place. Weeks 5-12.

  • Lots more discussion/brainstorming, and planning.
  • Progress: 100 %



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

  • Actual progress! Went through 26 cases; sorted by flavor and whether labeled.
  • Progress: 75%

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

  • Progress: 80%

Pay Jim’s back sales taxes; find out how to dissolve business. Due Week 6.

  • Progress: 30%.

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

  • Progress: 20%.

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

  • Progress: 50%

Focus on learning via the courses I already have in progress: Weeks 5-12.

  • Completed final revision for Story Start 5/11; draft and revision 1 for Story Start 6/11.
  • Progress: 30%.

Work on beta projects I’ve agreed to as opportunity arises. Weeks 512.

  • Stained Blood Chapter 6/24. Commented and returned to author.
  • Progress: 100%.

Keep in touch with other writers –  reading blogs; commenting; participating in sprints and blog hops as I am able: Weeks 512.

  • Sprinted Wednesday; skipped Thursday and Friday; 3/5. Read a couple of blogs and commented.
  • Progress: 40%.


Make lists of things we could use help with, as we think of them. Weeks 512.

  • Progress: 25%

Ask both kids for ideas at least weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • Happening organically.
  • Progress: 100%

Pair lists with those willing to help at least weekly. Weeks 512.

  • This is tapering off some, as we find or footing and others focus on their own lives.
  • Progress: 45%

Seek out someone(s) with good organizational skills who can coordinate as/when needed. Weeks 5-12.

  • I think I am going to become that person myself, with prompting and help from others who enjoy helping.
  • Progress: 50%

When someone offers general assistance, be ready with ideas. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 100%

Body, Mind, and Soul:


Watch Star Trek: Enterprise whenever possible; join in Twitter live chat at #AllStarTrek. Weeks 5-12.

  • Every night this session.
  • Progress: 100%

Resume taking pictures, beautifying our home, drawing, coloring, singing, and other activities that I enjoy, as opportunities arise. Weeks 5-12.

  • More Home and Garden TV; decluttering/organizing/hometending/for challenge and otherwise; singing; and reading.
  • Progress: 100%

Experiment with Instant Pot weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 0%.

Keep eyes open for likely recipes. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 100%

Use Ninja for food prep once weekly. Weeks 5-12.

  • Progress: 0%

Alternate days of restful focus with more active days. Weeks 5-12.

  • My body and mind seem determined to be sure I meet this goal consistently.
  • Progress: 100%.

Listen to my body, mind, and soul, and follow their leads to adjust accordingly.  Weeks 512.

  • Progress: 100%


Follow a morning routine when possible. Weeks 512.

  • My morning routine has shifted to focus on connecting with Lise, then seemingly away from that.
  • Progress: 75%.

Use quiet moments as they present themselves. Weeks 5-12.

  • I use these as my renewal/planning time.
  • Progress: 100%.

Make a practice of being present- right here, right now. Weeks 5-12.

  • I continue to focus on this.
  • Progress: 100%.

Prioritize time and connection with my beloveds over busy-ness. Weeks 512.

  • Spent time with both kids, just being, as well as tending to their needs.
  • Progress: 100%


The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!

We’re On Facebook, Too!

I know this isn’t exactly on topic for this post, but it’s light and fun, and you can walk to it!


  1. You know what I mean?

    I don’t… not yet. I want to say “not ever”, but I know I really don’t have any control of that… so I guess that I do know after all, but it doesn’t fell right to say so, because as much as I do, I don’t. But I love you, and I am so happy to see you are able to keep on and find some comfort in new skills and old memories…. the last thing one needs when the world has turned topsy turvy is to feel even more unsettled because things can’t be done or dealt with.


  2. I appreciate the progress you are making in this new landscape. Whatever time we have with our beloveds is something to cherish, and you show that through every day’s commitment to your writing, your family, and to Jim. May your memories of what you’ve shared continue to comfort you and give you strength each day. Thank you for being such a strong presence here, in ROW80. May your week ahead be a good one, colorful and renewing.

  3. Once again, I’m blown away by your eloquent authenticity in describing the most difficult time I can imagine going through, and your strength in finding your way in this new normal. In the midst of this, your accomplishments are nothing short of impressive. Keep on keeping on… I’m sending good thoughts for you and your family.

  4. I can’t imagine the void Jim’s passing must have left. Ryan and I have been together for 18 years, married for eight, living together for 15, and we’ve found this level of joyful comfort. Know that many of our hearts are sending you healing energy as you make this transition.

    Regarding budgeting, I use the Every Dollar app for our monthly budgets, and I really like it. You can track expenses/income as the month progresses, and adjust things as necessary. So, if you have a bill for say, $25, you can add $25 to that item and subtract it from somewhere else. I highly recommend it.

    Wonderful progress last week, Shan. 🙂

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