By Lisa Manterfield
I love the New Year. I love making plans, taking a little time to do some walking and dreaming, creating a picture of what I want my life to look like the following year. I always set some pretty lofty goals and sometimes I even reach them! But the thrill for me is not in checking accomplishments off my list (although I enjoy that, too) but in taking a deep breath and realigning my life to how I’d like it to be.
Among the cards I received over the holidays were a several (I was surprised how many) photo cards from friends who are also childfree. I really enjoyed seeing their adventures and travels, and although I’ll admit to a touch of envy, I was also glad to see photographic evidence that these women had worked their way through their loss and grief and were living life to the fullest again. Their photos also prompted me to move some of my old passions (travel and hiking, for example) higher up my list next year.
If you’re in the thick of grief, looking ahead to a rosy future can feel impossible, and even when the healing begins, you can sometimes find that you’ve lost touch with who you really are and who you’d like to be again.
One of the most encouraging weeks during one of last year’s support calls was after we’d discussed the topic of finding yourself again. So many participants said they’d pushed aside old passions during the baby quest, and it was so fun to see all the amazing things people had once loved to do that were about to be dusted off again. Some people loved singing, reading, writing, traveling, even trampolining. Their ideas made me think about bringing some of my own former hobbies back into my life again. I’d like to encourage you to do the same.
If you’re thinking there’s no way you’re getting on a pair of rollerskates again, I suggest thinking about how your old favorite hobby made you feel; what was it about rollerskating (for example) that you loved so much. Is there a way to recreate those old feelings in a new hobby? If your rollerskates gave you freedom and if you loved the feel of the wind in your hair, can you get that by riding a bike or taking a long drive with the windows open?
As we step into this brand new year, I encourage you to think about the “you” that got lost and to look for ways to find her again.