When I became a widow, I started to live by myself for the first time in my life. It was not a joyful time like moving out of Mom and Dad’s house. Instead of feeling like I had reached a milestone in life, I felt more like I was being punished. Suddenly I was overwhelmed by all the decisions I had to make. Life was now a horrific challenge. I was lonely. It really did suck.
Gradually I figured it out. I said to myself, “Ellie, you need to WOMAN UP.” I developed a routine and living alone stopped feeling like a punishment. I began to grow into my new role and realized that life does not have to suck. Here are my tips for women living alone.
I joined a few things.
I made a few new friends.
I slowly learned how to take care of my house.
I started a few projects.
And here is the best thing. Really the only good thing. I bought whatever I wanted. No more asking, no more negotiating, if I needed something and could afford it, it became mine. I took advantage of this newfound freedom to buy things to make my life easier.
Things I bought to make my life easier
This is my second installment of tips and products for people who live alone. See Widow Hacks, Lessons From Widowhood to read the first article. When you live alone, please do yourself a favor and make life as simple as you can.
If you own a house, you need this. My husband actually bought me this generator before he died and it’s the best thing he ever did for me. The model I have is the Generac 0063470, 50 AMP which we purchased at Lowes. It is powered by natural gas which comes right to the house so it is completely self-sufficient. It has never let me down.
As mine is an older model, I can no longer find a listing for that exact model but this one looks similar:
- It gets very high ratings (4.6 out of 5 stars)
- It starts automatically within seconds of sensing a power outage and continues to run until power is restored
- It comes with a free mobile link that allows you to monitor the status of your generator on your phone from anywhere in the world.
- It requires a cement pad to sit on and a professional installation
- It is a big investment
Despite the negatives I have noted, I highly recommend this generator. It is well worth the price for peace of mind, especially if you live alone.
Of course, I can vacuum with a regular vacuum. I have a nice one (or 2 or 3). But now that I’m doing the work of 2 people, my vacuuming and house cleaning, in general, is falling behind. With my new cool robot, I just push a button and run it every couple of days. My floors are always clean. It’s fantastic. So easy and it does a great job.
There are models that are more expensive, but I am happy with this Eufy. It does a very good job. I recommend it.
Battery-Powered Garden Tools
There was no way that I could handle my husband’s gas-powered garden tools. Too heavy and awkward and I could never seem to pull that cord correctly to get them started. So when I got my first battery-powered garden tool I was in love right away.
This is why I like them
- They are nice and light
- Very quiet, very little noise pollution
- No electrical cords to trip over or cut through
- No limits to how far I can go in the yard as I am not restricted by a cord
- No or very little maintenance
- Less expensive than gas-powered tools
- No fumes!
The Battery-powered Garden Tools That I Use And Love
RYOBI ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Electric Cordless String Trimmer and Edger
The first time I was merrily trimming the edges in my front yard a neighbor actually stopped his car to ask me what tool I was using so that he could buy one for his wife. What a guy! Always thinking.
I really love it, though, and it is simple to use.
RYOBI 22 in. 18-Volt Cordless Hedge Trimmer
Another awesome Ryobi product, easy to use, and safe, as there is no cord to cut through.
RYOBI Leaf Blower – 20V Leaf Blower Cordless with Battery & Charger
Things to Note
- All of these Ryobi tools use the same battery, which is nice because you can choose to buy the “tool only” option and let them share a battery.
- I noticed that Amazon has coupon deals running on some of these tools. Make sure you click on the coupon to get the best price.
WOEX WG545.4 20V Power Share AIR 4.0Ah Cordless Leaf Blower & Sweeper
This is my newest and favorite tool to date. I know I already had a leaf blower, but this one is smaller and easier to use in tighter spaces. I use it to sweep my deck and front stoop, blow out the garage and the inside of my car. It’s light enough to lift over my head and get icky stuff like spider webs.
The only con is that it is not a Ryobi tool so I now have an additional battery.
Thistle Bird Feeder Finch Socks
These are little things, but I have been obsessed with them lately. It’s been impossible for me to get outside and fill the feeders while I’ve been laid up after surgery in my boot and walker. I was feeling terrible about the birds. Clearly, they were starving. These feeder socks have solved my problem.
I can fill them inside and then take them outside and hang them up without using a ladder. I use my grabber to put them up on the hook. They come in a 4 pack, so I fill 2 at a time and then alternate them when they are empty.
My Life Now, Moving On
I have settled into a very comfortable routine. Sometimes I am a bit lonely but I know that this is normal. I am enjoying my new groups and new projects. I feel like I am growing in my new life. After taking the time to find ways to simplify my life, I am taking time to find ways to relax. Do this, it is important!
I continue to look for and share ways to make my life (and yours) a bit easier.
As always, take care. You can do it!
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