Are you frozen in fear or perhaps just not sure what to do next so you do nothing? Do you feel that you need to do something to take your life to a better place? What are you willing to do for yourself?
Over these last two years since Jack died I’ve been on auto pilot. One foot in front of the other doing what I’ve needed to do. I’ve been making a living, providing for myself and up until January I was my mother’s advocate. Then she died too. At 61 I became an orphan in addition to already being a widow. It’s been a really difficult last few years.
Now I’m out of responsibilities except to myself and my pets. I have nothing that is any more a priority in my life than anything else. I’m untethered. In my heart and mind I’d rather have my husband and mom here so I could take care of them than to have this freedom. But it is what it is. I just have to decide what I do now with my life.
Jack always encouraged me to have a hobby or pursue something that made me happy. I preferred to focus my energies on doing things that made him happy. That made me happy. His death took with it my purpose and my happiness… as I believed it to be.
It’s said that when you set aside what you think life should be you discover it to be even more than you could imagine it to be. I guess that’s what I need to do… to accept that I’m not growing old with Jack. We’re not going to be sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch holding hands like my grandparents did. We’re not going to retire and travel for his photography. It’s not easy to set aside these dreams. But if I focus on all I’ve lost then I’m stuck in my grief and I don’t want to be. I have to be open to finding happiness differently. I may not know what that looks like and this whole process may be uncomfortable (an understatement) but it all comes back to how I started this article. What am I willing to do to take my life to a better state?
I’m pretty much an homebody and I can spend every moment alone in my home and be OK with that. Sometimes its a much needed break but most of the time it’s because Jack & I use to do almost everything together and the thought of going to the grocery store, taking a walk or driving to the beach makes me feel the loss of him even more. And again I’m stuck in my grief.
Something changed this past week. I woke up Monday morning with a strong sense that I needed to take a big step and I needed to take the step alone. Friends of mine are world travelers and had told me about Overseas Adventure Travels, a travel company they’ve used where many people travel alone. I’d looked through their website before and that morning I saw a trip to Ireland that spoke to me. I changed my vacation days and booked that trip all within an hour of reading about it on the website. For someone who has never traveled for vacation, let alone thought of traveling solo, this is a big, bold, step for me.
What I’ve found since booking the trip is that I’m excited for me. That hasn’t happened in years. As I started to share my plans my closest friends were both happily surprised and excited for me too. Still other friends have reached out to share their suggestions on places to go and things to see because they’ve been there. Some have offered to connect me with friends and family who live where I’m going so I don’t feel so alone. With taking this one step for myself the Universe seems to be conspiring to support me on this new journey. The excitement is growing exponentially. And I actually feel happiness again.
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing this journey because if this grieving homebody can take a step towards a happier life perhaps you’ll be inspired to take one for you too.