Have you been feeling you need to “shelter in place”? It’s a term that means to seek safety in the building you occupy. When I was Left at 50, I did a few years of sheltering in place.
The shock, grief, fear, and uncertainty led me to only really feel safe in my own home. There wasn’t a lot of going out into the world to “see what the night brings.” That was too scary of a prospect.
It was not the best way to live, that’s for sure. But when that gigantic shoe dropped, and I had no significant other, my world seemed off-kilter.
I had trouble keeping my balance on a day-to-day basis. Everything felt like a major adjustment. Paying bills, changing light bulbs, dealing with the car mechanic. During my marriage, I handled all of those things! What was so different now?
The illusion. The illusion that if something did go wrong, I could call him. Flat tire on the highway? He’d come get me. How many earthquakes did we ride out together? I’d recall the old days where when the turkey needed basting, there he was, baster in hand. But you know what? That was a long time ago. That emotional balance of celebrating something with your significant other. That’s all gone now. And as you know, I’m doing quite alright on a daily basis.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Right after I was left, it was a very dreaded day for me. But my life has changed and so have I. I had to. I needed to. And then, surprisingly, I wanted to. Now I make sure I have someone to have dinner with well in advance. Because the danger is in not doing anything. In convincing myself it’s just “easier to stay at home.”
“Are you already, somewhere inside of you, planning to not do anything this holiday season? Well, stop that.”
Do you do that? Talk yourself out of things that could be fun? Are you already, somewhere inside of you, planning to not do anything this holiday season? Well, stop that. Just stop it. You have a right to enjoy your life. And you will never convince me that staying home alone all the time is the funnest thing ever. That microwaving leftovers and curling up is the only way to go.
That is a version of sheltering in place. And the reason that feels comfortable, especially at first, is because we are overcoming our own life-disaster. And we keep thinking the other shoe will drop if we step out into that big, bad world. If awful things can happen in our own homes, like the demise of our relationships, then how scary is the outside world, really?
I know none of this is easy. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of evenings I spent alone with a book in my bed. Hundreds. Don’t be me. Go and do and laugh and eat and stay out too late and sleep half the day away, because you are having too much fun to come home.
The unexpected can be more fun than you ever imagined. So, put on your best shoes and step out there these next few months. Swing the door to your “great, wide open,” let the wind blow through, and see what happens. If you don’t like it, you can always shelter in place!
We all go through major life transitions when relationships end… Through this website, I will share my thoughts as I walk the path of “New-Self” discovery. It doesn’t matter which side of 50 you are on. The real question is, Are you ready to live life? To forge a Path of Your Own Making (For a change!)? Then stop dwelling over the What-Might-Have-Beens and join me. Share your thoughts here, comment on mine, and let’s do this together!