The technical skills I have involuntarily exercised and acquired over financial year 14/15 have been vast and have proven that I am adept at picking things up incredibly quickly, working independently, and occasionally engaging resources from others when they bother to show up or offer help. Some basic skills which I did not possess before my widowhood have come on leaps and bounds, such as cooking and waking up without being brought a cup of tea. I now understand the difference between tomato pesto, tomato paste and tomato puree, know which aisles to locate them in, and have successfully tackled the supermarket on several occasions without getting trolley rage at hijab wearing women with no peripheral vision. Other examples of new independent working skills include changing a king size duvet, negotiating with home service providers in a cost and time efficient manner, managing my own social calendar and polishing off a bottle of wine without any assistance. I have built up a good tolerance of alcohol for my size and have exposed myself to a variety of New World Chenin and Sauvignons Blancs. I firmly believe this improvement in my repertoire will do me in good stead for the years of challenges ahead and I plan on progressing onto the red grape variety too.
Last financial year, I set myself the major objective of travelling solo and I’m pleased to report progress. I already have a successful track record of adventuring on fabulous holidays in expensive luxury resorts accompanied by my wife, but as she left the team by dying over a year ago and took half the budget, I have a new responsibility (it’s not a promotion) for logistical tasks and entertaining myself. I travelled alone three times, each time building on the last trip’s success. The first trip was an all inclusive package deal to a health resort in the Caribbean but a place where I challenged myself to try out new sports (actually, simply try out sport) and mix with people from a different demographic to me. I have mastered putting suntan lotion on my own back, learned (through trial and error) how to get in a hammock, and that pole dancing isn’t as easy as it looks. I found my voice again and sang to a bar full of strangers every night, multitasking by standing on a baby grand piano and holding a pina colada at the same time as belting like Idina. I exhibited excellent presentation skills at all times in my bikini, thanks to the discipline of widowrexia. The audience provided excellent feedback.
The second trip, I booked my own accommodation and hotels utilising strong IT and research skills so as to travel Toronto to meet with a convention full of widows. I employed my already strong networking background and attended personal development workshops which have increased my resilience, encouraged me to write as a therapeutic means of working through my grief, and taught me that schadenfreude isn’t always a bad thing if it keeps you going. Clearly, I have put these lessons into practice because I am still alive and kicking and capable of writing in sentences, even when under the influence of wine.
The third trip, I took a measured risk, putting myself out of my comfort zone in a non-English speaking environment and went travelling around Thailand with a backpack. It turns out that the rumours are true – it is possible to travel light and live off 4 pairs of knickers. The return on investment from Thailand was excellent – I had a tan, new energy, confidence and lots of photos to make others jealous, or rather, ‘inspire’ them. I organised flights, ferries, accommodation, managed my fear of dying on a Malaysia Airways or Air Asia flight despite being in the area right at the time of the crash, learned to snorkel and initiate conversations with strangers, built up my tolerance of beer and was able to adapt to last minute changes, such as missing my transfer to Phi Phi Island because of a drunken New Year’s party on Patong beach. I also looked at some potential other careers. I tried sex with a Swedish man but despite my surprising flexibility and natural seduction skills, I have decided this is not a path I wish to pursue actively (or maybe I do with Boy Widower?). Similarly, I was able to make an educated decision against becoming a Thai sex worker, having heard about how they propel ping pong balls out of their vajayjays.
All in all, I am very impressed at my acquisition of new skills and for navigating my way safely back to a bed each night of my travels. I would like a significant pay rise and promotion please. My technical skill focused objectives for next financial year will be to travel on a budget and remain not pregnant.
*this post is part of a spoof series inspired by my self appraisal process at work. Read Part One