Whether you are starting over because your marriage ended, or because you are a widow or an empty nester, it is a time to refocus your life. And with that new focus come new possibilities.
Attitude is everything. You will never find happiness if you don’t look at the future with excitement – the enthusiasm that comes with a new adventure.
Remember when your children were younger and your day revolved around a school schedule? Whether working in the home or outside the home, there was an imaginary “changing of the guard” in the afternoon. As the children grew and became busier after school, that school day lengthened.
Dinner time became the magnet around which the family revolved. Then the children flew the nest, and dinner was still a pivot point for the day. Now, there are no children coming home and as you start over, you may find that those hours between day and evening feel a little empty.
When I became an empty nester, I realized that the pattern of my day had changed. It was as if I had been given a couple of free hours. I enjoyed the extra time. But, when I moved out of my family home into an apartment by myself, it was unsettling. No one was ever waiting for me to come home. And no one was coming in the door unless I walked out and came back in!
It became a time of day that I dreaded. No one would miss me if I didn’t come home. And, no one was coming home but me. What had been a time of day to which I looked forward, was now a painful reminder of my “table for one” lifestyle. My day is different now.
I had to shake up my daily patterns. I have more time during the day than I used to have and I need to use that time as a gift. What in the past was throw-away time – that late afternoon time used for clean-up for the day – can now be used more fully.
I schedule workouts or more office time. I can really pack it in, and I love how productive I can be late in the day.
Remember when weekends meant kids sports back to back? I couldn’t wait for that to end and now I wish I had it to do over again! Of course. When you live alone, Friday evening can be one of the most daunting times of the week if you don’t make any plans.
Planning is the key. Give yourself some goals so you feel good about what you accomplished come Monday morning. Here is how it looks for me: I plan two workouts, one each day. I plan one household project. Changing out the closet from spring to summer will be my next open day. I book one day of social time with friends who don’t mind me hanging around with them. Also, I decide on one “hobby” project. I am a knitter.
By Sunday night I am proud of myself for getting those items completed, but believe me, if I have something to do that keeps me from those tasks, I am thrilled.
Do you live alone? What advice would you give to the women in our community who may find themselves living alone for the first time? What do you do to bring a new way of life into focus? How do you spend your days if you live by yourself? Please join the conversation.