When my husband first died I remember wanting to have some kind of plan to follow in those early weeks and months to guide me through the transition. Life pretty much overtook me and I ended up muddling and stumbling through that period without any specific direction. Now that I have survived that loss as well as a divorce and am facing the loss of our home, I want to take action and have a plan in place to adhere to over the summer. So in looking through my library of grief books for some guidance, came across a chapter from "The First 30 Days - Your Guide to Any Change and Loving Life More" by Ariane de Bonvoisin. In the chapter "Get Unstuck" she outlines a series of steps that make sense to me to follow as a guide over the summer as I focus on the house.
1. Take Care of Yourself!
How many times do we hear this?. Plant the foundation of change with "SEED" - Sleep, Eat, Exercise, Drink (water). Balanced, healthy living made a priority.
2. Turn to the Familiar.
We need the comfort of familiar people, places and things when we are going through change. Makes sense. So we should seek these out. Like the Teddy Bears or Blankets we had as kids to help soothe us.
3. Take Care of the Little Things.
Handling the bills, laundry, daily tasks make us feel more confident to deal with the bigger ones. It also gives us some control over our lives. So we need to keep up with the little tasks.
4. Make a Decision.
It is better to make decisions (follow your intuition) than sit on problems and let them fester. Sometimes it is the making of the decision that proves to be the hardest part. Once the decision is made everything else falls into place.
5. Read and Write.
Both offer new insights and persepectives. For me, blogging has taken the place of journaling.
6. Do Something for Someone Else.
Ariane says, "To move through change, it's essential to bust through the illusion that you are the only one experiencing pain or suffering. It is the gift of perspective. Be bigger than just your change. Someone else needs you."
7. Get Quiet.
Sometimes we just need to do nothing to gain clarification. We can meditate or for me knit as ways to become quiet to the outside world.
8. Bring Joy Back!
Despite all the change going on outside, we are still the same inside, and we need to acknowledge that by doing the things we love or trying new activities to rejuvinate us.
So that is the plan of action I hope to follow over the summer with intention and resolve. No more handfuls of M&Ms; more exercise; more laughter; more keeping up with the daily tasks as I focus on clearing out and downsizing our possessions; more focusing on others; moe time for knitting; more vitamins; more decision making instead of going over all the options again and again.
Today I am grateful:
1. That I am trying to face the loss of the house with strength.
2. That I made increasing my compassion and forgiveness a priority during the divorce.
3. That it has been cool the past week and we have not been overpowered yet by the heat of summer.
4. That having reduced work hours right now gives me a chance to work on the house - once the house is taken care of I can renew the job search.
5. That I have created a plan that fits me and the way I think/live to give me a little guidance over the next three months.