I went to see the movie “Eat Pray Love” last night. I read the book a few years ago, and really enjoyed it, so I figured I might as well see the movie. I really like Julia Roberts, and the movie was good, but not as good as the book. For those of you not familiar with the story, it is the memoir of Liz Gilbert, who after a string of unsatisfying and bad relationships, decides to go on a journey around the world to learn to live with just herself, without a man. (She does find love in the end, even though she is not looking for it. Luckily for her, it is the healthy love that everybody really wants, not a dependent dysfunctional love. But that is not my point.)
I think Liz’s idea could really work for widows, too. Of course, I can’t imagine a jaunt around the world with my two boys in tow. I’m sure they would be all for the eating part in Italy, but ripping them away from their friends and activities for praying at an ashram in India and meditating with an old guy that looks like Yoda in Bali would not be their first choice of fun things to do. I’m sure it is not even in their top hundred. Given the choice, I’m sure they’d rather watch paint dry on a wall.
In the story, Liz loses her ability to savor life. Her line, “I used to have this appetite for food, for my life. And it’s just gone. I wanna go someplace where I can marvel at something” really resonates with me. But just like she lost her appetite from being in bad relationships, I’ve lost my appetite because I’ve lost my great relationship. My life is very empty; except for the shuffling around that I do to get my kids to and from activities and friends’ houses in order to keep their lives normal. My appetite for MY life is gone. There is really nothing that I WANT to do with it anymore.
My husband and I had plans. We were going to travel. We were going to live on a houseboat. We were going to get a dog. Hell, we were even going to watch all the reruns of The Sopranos together, since we hadn’t seen every episode. And now my appetite for doing these things is gone.
Like Liz, I want to marvel at something, like I used to. No, I never got to marvel at the Taj Mahal or the
So what can I do about it? Taking a trip around the world to find myself like Liz did is out of the question, given my job and my kids. So where is a widow to go to marvel at something again?