I spent the first half of 2018 worrying a lot. About small, practical things but also about the big questions of life. I was going to turn 40 in the summer and that bothered me more than I liked to admit. Was this the life I wanted to live? Was I really happy? What would the future look like?
Then suddenly my wife died. Already when she was in hospital and death was just one of many possible outcomes, it became clear to me that this was the life I was meant to have lead. This realisation helped me a lot during the next few days and then in the period after her death. I have not lost that feeling for a single moment since.
But I had been a bit naive in thinking that all those worries from before the summer had disappeared.
I am 40 now. On my own. Childless. Feeling rather ungrounded in life. Having come to realise I needed my wife more for my mental sanity than I ever liked to admit.
When I am feeling well, I am incredibly ambitious about my future. Not just about the many practical and meaningful things I want to do, but also about the kind of person I want to become. I have said I wanted to live a life that would make my wife proud, and nothing would make her more proud than me becoming a much better version of myself.
But ambitious though I may be, I am also lazy. I want to be a better person more than I want to become one. I also don’t really know how to go about becoming a better person and so I often find myself pretending to be further along the path than I really am.
I am a lucky person though and I know can find the help I need. While doing that, I find it helpful to regularly write on this blog, if only to hold myself publicly accountable and to avoid falling into the “I am fine” trap. Like mental health on the blockchain.
My ambitiousness clashing with my laziness is often interpreted as me being too harsh on myself. Trust me, I am not. If anything, I could do with being stricter with myself and with expecting more. No, losing a partner hasn’t always been easy, but I have caught myself a few times now using it as an excuse (to myself, mostly) for mistakes I simply shouldn’t have made.
I appreciate feedback on the things I write. It means a whole lot to me when people say what I write helps them in various ways. But just like there has never been a reason to feel sorry for me this past year, there won’t be a reason to tell me to be easier on myself. But by all means, if you feel like doing so, do cheer me on.