When my husband and I were driving, we got into a habit that at junctions, whichever of us was in the passenger seat would check to see whether the road on their side was clear. After a while, the driver didn’t even need to ask, and ‘Clear this way’ was heard quite a lot in our car (this may not be what you’re meant to do according to the rules so don’t take it as a driving recommendation…)
After Peter died, one of the things I found the most difficult was not having someone on tap to talk things through with, bounce ideas off, vent to when things had gone wrong. I’ve always been independent (Peter once described me as ‘independent to the point of bloody-mindedness’ when I insisted on negotiating a slightly tricky coastal walk without the helping hand he’d offered), but it seems I’d got used to having someone who I could rely on to tell me when the road was clear in life, as well as when I was driving.
Oddly, it wasn’t so bad in the first 12-18 months, when my brain wasn’t really functioning at all and I relied mostly on prayer and gut instinct. But when I started thinking properly again, I really missed having that support.
Of course, I had friends and family, but I felt (and still feel to some extent) that it needed to be something fairly major for me to ask them – and ringing someone up or arranging to meet isn’t the same as having someone who’s just there.
There are, of course, dangers in relying on someone else to tell you when the road’s clear, and that too applies to life as well as driving.
I’ve got better at trusting my own judgement and instincts, but I still have times when I think how nice it would be to have someone there I could rely on to always have my back, who I could bounce things off, however petty and ridiculous.
Over lockdown, some of us who live alone came to feel this much more – things got quite lonely, even with bubbles, and that feeling hasn’t gone away for everyone.
I’d be interested to know how you feel about this – if you live alone, are you quite happy to trust your own judgement, do you rely on divine guidance, or do you have people you can call on at any time for any problem?
And of course, if you think coaching might help you with this, do contact me, and we can arrange to have a conversation.
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