adolescence, conflict in stories, divorce season, divorced women, empowering women, feeling worthwhile, GateWay of Hope, holidays, hope, importance of self-care, RJ Thesman, seasons of life, Starbucks, starting over single, Thanksgiving
The “S” words that continue our alphabet series fit in nicely with this time of the year – November and the approaching holidays.
We often think of seasons as the natural movement from winter to spring to summer to fall. Most of us have a favorite season because of the temperature and/or the colors and textures in nature.
But some of the most important seasons of life are the ones we go through as a result of circumstances and the aging process.
We live through the season of adolescence which is awkward and uncomfortable although sometimes a bit interesting.
The season of education when we finish high school and maybe pursue a higher level of learning. Usually during college or soon after, many of us will enter the season of marriage which often includes the seasons of having babies, buying a home, advancing in our careers, et cetera.
Now we have entered and are working through the season of divorce. Sometimes it feels as if this season will continue forever, but it is still only a season.
Seasons have a beginning and also an ending. Someday we will reach the end of this journey when we will know we are healed. We will move into the next season of joy, empowerment and personal significance.
Our next season will be richer because we have learned more about ourselves and we are able to help other women who are at the beginning of the divorce season.
A good story has a beginning, a middle and an ending with several plot lines involving conflict and resolution.
We have begun this story of Starting Over Single with plenty of conflicts and we have learned how to resolve many of them.
Some of us are still slugging through the middle of the mess and it feels as if we are bogged down in all the details. But in a good story, the characters never stay in the middle.
They move toward the ending where it’s either a happily-ever-after, some type of learning experience or a resolution of the mystery.
But whatever is happening, the story is best told when the main character has some type of growth or healing experience.
For each of us, the details of the divorce story are different. But we, as the main characters, are learning more about ourselves and how to deal with future conflicts.
We know how we want our next story to read and what types of characters we will allow into the pages of our lives.
We cannot change the fact that divorce has entered our lives – that piece of the story is now part of our history.
But we can move forward to make the end of the story one of beauty, personal growth and a contentment with life.
Here’s an exercise for you that will illustrate the importance of self-care:
- On a 3 x 5 card, list all the people you have taken care of within the last 5 years. Include children, husband, friends, even online friends.
- Then list all the people you estimate you will take care of within the next 10 years. Include any possibility of children marrying and having grandkids, aging parents, siblings with needs and again – even online friends.
- Count up all those people. You may have hundreds of people on your list, and this may be the reason why you feel tired all the time. It takes an amazing amount of energy to care for others.
Now look at your card. Did you include yourself on either list?
If not, then you’ve forgotten an important person. We cannot truly care for others if we do not care for ourselves.
Self-care is vitally important during and after the Starting Over Single journey and it will look different for every woman.
Maybe your self-care includes:
- Taking time to read a book
- Recovery time at the beach or the mountains
- A good hair cut with a facial at a day spa
- Scheduling your physical exam
- A monthly massage and/or manicures and pedicures
- Your favorite beverage at Starbucks
- Stretching yoga exercises
The point is … make sure you are adding self-care to your weekly schedule. In fact, you may have to write it in the calendar to remind yourself that YOU are worthwhile and self-care is vital.
To be truly healthy – body, mind and spirit – we need to make sure self-care is a major part of our Starting over Single recovery.
It is NOT selfish. It IS vital so that you can move forward in life and have the energy to care for all those other people on your list.
©2016 Starting Over Single