What Are You Willing To Do For Yourself?

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.

With love,
Cheryl

 

4 thoughts on “What Are You Willing To Do For Yourself?

  1. I’m proud of you! Your trip sounds wonderful and just what you need. Since my husband died a bit over 2 years ago, I’ve had times when I’ve been fine and times, like now, when I just feel adrift. I’ve been retired for several years and lack structure in my life which would force me to keep moving. Being a hermit at heart, Steve was my line to social structure. I know eventually I’ll get off the couch and find a place in the world. In the meantime, I know that I’m ok. I’ve done some big things, like selling our house that I really couldn’t afford to keep long term and finding a much less expensive, much smaller, cozy home that is just the right size for my little dog and me. And small things like decorating my home a bit all by myself. So I can take care of myself, fortunately. Like fine wine, I don’t travel well. But I love to hear of the adventures of others, so I hope you have many wonderful ones that you wish to share.
    Your insights have been helpful, gentle and kind.
    Have a happy, healing vacation!

    1. Oh Molly, We are in the same place! I did the same thing, found a new home that is right for me and decorating it the way it would work for me. If I didn’t work in a regular job I’m be on the couch too. Having structure in my life saves me especially on those days when I want to hide under the covers. Travel is brand new to me and we’ll see if I travel well. Thank you for your support and encouragement! I am here for you too!!! Much love, Cheryl

  2. I follow you on FB but I know it’s a thrill to get a comment on the blog so here it is. I applaud your willingness to explore and heal. Life has invited you to taste the new and you have said yes. That’s a beautiful thing that never ceases to amaze me. How fragile and resilient we are. Anti-fragile, as per author Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Have a blessed time!

    1. Thank you so much Wifsie 🙂 I remind myself every day there is a reason I’m still here and Jack has moved on… Jack showed me what courage and grace was in his dying. That inspires me in my life. Much love to you, Cheryl

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