I recently attended a two week book study at Christ Church Cathedral. It took place on consecutive Wednesday nights and covered Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. The first Wednesday of the study, I opted to attend the dinner beforehand. I knew no one in the crowd, but decided I could handle it, and proceeded to eat soup and salad with strangers, then sat for an hour study of Brene’s book. Honestly, I enjoyed both Wednesdays and didn’t see going it alone as a huge accomplishment.
Sure, those of us in a marital separation are forced to go it alone to certain events or simply not go. I chose to go alone.
Today however, afforded a difficulty. It’s March Madness. I live in Lexington, Kentucky. In case you didn’t know, this is basketball country. I wouldn’t be a good citizen if I didn’t watch this afternoon’s game pairing the University of Kentucky Wildcats against Wichita State. The issue? My daughter, not a huge sports fan unless she has a personal investment [such as actually knowing a player] or it being British soccer, doesn’t generally sit and watch sporting events on television. Son Jamie, himself being an avid sports fan, is alas, away at college. So, I watched alone.
It was a close game. A great game. A game in which I wasn’t certain our hometown UK Wildcats would win. In fact, I messaged my son half way through and said I didn’t think we’d pull it off. I was happily wrong. But it was a game I watched alone. No person to clap with, yell with or scream at Coach Cal with.
And that’s a hard adjustment for me. I grew with a dad who loves sports. I lived 23+ years with a husband who loved sports. My son, currently 19 years old, loves sports. I consider myself a sports fan. I’m not obsessed. If I miss a game here and there I’m alright. But darnit, when Kentucky plays to get into the Sweet 16, and if they make it they’ll play Louisville, where my son is a student…..well, that was a ridiculously long beginning to a sentence. But, my point is, I want to watch it. And today I had to watch it alone.
While I didn’t cry, it was not so pleasant. It was lonely. Maybe the loneliest I’ve felt since the separation started. I can handle a book study alone. I can attend church by myself. I can sit in a coffee shop on a Saturday night and not get super down. But the things I’ve done for years with those I’ve grown comfortable with…..that’s the kicker.
My daughter and I have started a tradition. Since the two of us are currently the sole human occupants of our home, we’ve christened Sunday night as pizza night. Every Sunday we make homemade pizza. It varies from week to week. Tonight’s was an herb crust from Trader Joe’s topped with cherry tomatoes, red onion, a homemade sauce, and get this….asparagus. Allie suggested, when she saw the fresh asparagus at Trader Joe’s yesterday, that we utilize it as a topping. What a wonderful idea! It was delicious. So, life’s not all bad or difficult.
But it is definitely different.
Kentucky will play the University of Louisville on Friday. Hopefully Allie will indulge me and watch the game. If not, I just might have to Skype my son. I don’t think I can handle it alone. Maybe people weren’t made to watch basketball alone. I’m not sure. I know I have pizza night to look forward to. Topping suggestions, anyone?