Friday, August 3, 2012

Allow Me to Introduce WTZ - Widow Time Zone

I'm writing this late at night on purpose.  Or maybe I'm not.  I don't know.  Right now I'm in Widow Time Zone (WTZ).

WTZ comes as a surprise to us all.  I know this because I'll be sitting at my computer just typing away when an email will come in at 1:00 in the morning and I'll respond to it.

Hey, Widow Chick!  Just wanted to see if you could help me with ____ or if you could read the following ____ or if you could just let me know if I'm crazy.

As soon as my email pings, I'm responding.

Of course!  Here's what I can do and let me know if I can do anything else!

There is usually a 10 minute pause and then I receive a message.

You're still up?

Well, of course I am.  Because the laws of time no longer apply to me.  I'm mentally asleep when I shouldn't be and completely wide awake when everyone else is asleep.  I zone out at the normal person's prime time of the day and could solve the energy crises at 2 AM.  This is how a widow in the United States can successfully communicate with a widow in Australia.  I would say that this would be the perfect time to have a newborn, but I'm guessing that those widows with newborns would say that they're actually sleeping when they should be awake and awake when they should be sleeping.

Welcome to the Widow Time Zone.

When I meet new widows, the first thing I hand them is my email address.  Because I know how it works.  You're exhausted all day and then - ping! - 3 AM hits and you're brimming with inexhaustible energy and you need to talk to someone.  And after 5 years of widowhood, I may be up.  But if you've  hit me when I'm actually able to sleep, I'd rather you not call me.

Just email me and I'll respond at 3 AM the next night.

WTZ is one of the main reasons why I created  Because all of the normal people in my life were sleeping when I wanted to communicate and I had a feeling that all of the other people who were in my sinking boat wanted to talk as well. This middle-of-the-night loneliness is what led to many late night chats on dating websites where I had no actual interest in dating...I was just desperate to talk to someone else who was awake.

I wouldn't recommend that.  To this day, I still wonder if there is some guy out there waiting for me in Cabo because it sounded like a good idea during a solitary January blizzard.

This has, without a doubt, completely changed how I operate.  I've always been a night person, but not an "all night person."  I need at least 8 hours of sleep or you don't even want to know me tomorrow.  (Actually, there are a few people who are probably reading this thinking, "Even if you had 10, I'm still cutting you loose.")

I have no point to this piece other than to say what I hope you always understand:  You're not alone.  Right now there are millions of widows awake, lonely, and wanting to talk, change the world, or just do a successful load of laundry.

Whatever gets us through the night. Or day.

What time is it anyway?

Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014).  She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.


  1. thanks for your blog - comforting words - most of the time. Bottom line for me is despite today's (and last nights) loneliness I gotta keep on moving. I wish I could get over the need for company only because I won't have to deal with these occasional bout of sorrow - I think - wrong -right? I was lonely sometimes in my marriage so I know better but a girl can hope... wish me luck in finding a new companion. I really like my own company but I'm a sharing kinda girl and I so miss my buddy.

  2. I'm so glad I read this post. Something does snap on in my head 'round midnight then I'm awake until 2 am. My husband died seven weeks ago and that first month was just spent wide awake staring at the ceiling. Then I read your book and just recently have had this urge to redecorate the bedroom. A few days later there was a regular procession of deliveries of curtains, sheets, comforters and duvet covers. On-line shopping at midnight is so seductive. But now I want to paint the furniture too - I who barely know one end of a paint roller from the other. But the next day I feel sort of hungover and too tired to start. By the way my computer keeps warning me that has malware - is there a problem there?