Clearing the Cobwebs of My Mind – 3 Years in the Making

I will be doing spring cleaning this year, not only my house and yard, but my head as well. I have a lot of cobwebs and debris up there. It has been 3 years since my husband died. I think this past year has been the hardest of all for me.  That first year when the grief was new, I could put it at bay by keeping busy.  The second year, it really set in that he was gone especially around the holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. I was still keeping busy, but my focus was finding myself. This past year, I think I found myself, but the new challenge is what do I do with the rest of my life. The support system I thought I had with Howard, is completely gone and I really feel that now. Making it on my own has been tough with some wonderful days sprinkled in here and there. 


Cobwebs - Supplied by

So now another spring is around the corner and I need to clear the cobwebs from my mind. The cobwebs that keep me bound to the shadows that once were Howard. I am still holding on to his tools, supplies and other stuff he collected. I have realized that I can’t seem to let them go. My mind senses the silliness of all this clutter, my heart knows what I am clinging to. 

 I am clinging to a belief that I am still responsible for taking care of the family. I was the bread winner for most of our married life. I was expected to not only bring home the money, but take care of everyone as well. I have always been this way. I seem to have been born responsible and it just grew as I did. Shaking this belief, removing the sticky cobwebs, clearing the debris this has left behind is the one of the most difficult things I know I must do in order to move forward. The other is showing up completely.  

I have hidden myself among the cobwebs and clutter.  I have done an excellent job of it these past 50 years or so. I didn’t want people to know that I was flawed, vulnerable or afraid. If you didn’t know the real me, than you couldn’t judge me. But I learned that hiding, being in another’s shadow, fading into the background is not living. It is existing. Letting others take the stage while I worked behind the scenes was easy to do. After while, I no longer existed. When I tried to speak up for myself or wanted to share my thoughts and feelings, I felt ignored and not heard. I never felt good enough or deserving of a better life.  And that has been my story, up until now. 

I knew from a very young age, I am responsible for my own actions, my own life. Not showing up fully, has been a choice I made over and over again. It was easier to hide. 

 I cried a lot. Not only for the loss I felt, but for the fear of showing up. I have been afraid to be the powerful person I know I am. I have been afraid that what I have to offer, no one really wants or cares. I have been attaching all these fears to the cobwebs of my mind and they just stuck there. Here it comes again, Spring. A time of renewal, rebirth, shedding the old and celebrating the new. This is my year. I have decided. To clear the mind of fears and cobwebs and let the sun shine from my heart. To be responsible for me. To show up fully and completely. I have said this before, now it is time for action. I am only 58 and I know I will be living well past 100.

As my father once told me when I turned 40 and was freaking out, because I felt I hadn’t accomplished anything in my life up to that point. He said, “It’s not what you didn’t do the last 40 years, it’s, What are you going to do in the next 40 years?”

I can’t do squat, if I don’t walk through my fears and put myself out there. 

I found what was holding me back. What is holding you back from being the wonderful person you really are?

Live, Love, Laugh!


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15 Responses to Clearing the Cobwebs of My Mind – 3 Years in the Making

  1. Ekram Atif says:

    Thanks Gretchen for such a lovely and inspiring real story.
    Your story once again strengthen my belief of living the life to its best. The belief that not everything is lost when it seems to be lost. The belief that after every winter, springs do come with all its beauty, newness, energy and vitality.
    May you keep inspiring all the people like us with Hope, with the assurance that we can overcome our pain if we put a little thought to our self, to love ourself.

  2. Nicole Stone says:

    Great post Gretchen! Very inspirational – I look forward to more!

  3. Denny says:

    Very powerful Gretchen. With your monthly blog writing you have plenty of material for print publication: Titled: “Notes to Live By: My Three Year Journey” to help others. Well done.

  4. Steve Howard says:

    This is a beautiful article and I am very proud of you! Keep up the great work and the self-discovery. It is very inspirational.

  5. Gretchen, this is a beautiful story filled with love, authenticity, and amazing strength. Thank you for sharing and offering hope to others. You have a such a gift to share and I’m encouraged and thrilled you took the first step to making that happen. I love getting to know you and appreciate the openness and realness you bring to your blog. God bless you my friend as you take this journey. Trust your journey and enjoy your journey.

  6. Kathie Thaw says:

    What a wonderful article Gretchen! Loved it.

  7. This is a beautiful piece of writing Gretchen. I celebrate with you that you have spoken with true authenticity and I know how difficult it must have been for you to post this blog. Well done 🙂

  8. Welcome gretchen, to the rest of your life, one step at a time, with thoughts of how great each next step will be! Turn that fear into excitement, you will soar. I’m happy to say that there is nothing holding me back. I’m enjoying my journey and eager for what will unfold, totally trusting the guidance of this magnificent Universe. I look forward to the next posts along your journey!

    • Gretchen says:

      Thank you, Linda! I like the idea of turning fear into excitement. It does make it a more enjoyable journey. You are a true inspiration to us all.

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