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Visualizing and Patience: A Divorced Girl's Guide to Living Alone...Kind Of

Posted Mar 02 2011 5:09pm
Like you haven’t noticed, I’ve avoided writing for weeks. It’s not that I don’t love my blog or love talking with all of you about weight and food and all that good stuff. It’s just that I feel like I have nothing to write about, when the truth is I have a LOT to write about. I’m just afraid to put it out there. I’m afraid if I start writing, I won’t stop.

The minute I open Microsoft Word, I find a distraction, something to keep me from the keyboard. Facebook, a computer game, making a complicated recipe, texting, something…anything…to avoid writing.

Why? Well, part of it is that whole Minnesota Norwegian Lutheran anal retentiveness. Growing up, I heard, “That’s not something we talk about,” a LOT. So why write about the stuff no one wants to talk about? Oh, but wait. People DO want to talk about it. They ARE talking about it. They’re not afraid to put it out there – their pain, their heartaches, their joy. Shelley’s blogging through her mother’s surgery . Ellen’s blogging about her post-weight-loss body and acceptance and all that huge emotional stuff.  Lyn’s blogging through sickness Samuel’s blogging though his grief.
Bloggers do this all the time. They put themselves out there. Maybe not all of it, but at least the stuff they think most people can take, the stuff we have in common. I used to do that, too. All the time. You guys know that. But then I got quiet.

It’s not like I didn’t have things to write about. I mean, I made a killer hummus the other day. I lost a pound that took me three weeks to lose. I went on an awesome hike in the 50-degree muck. But it was the background noise that kept me from writing. Those paper-thin moments when things seemed so clear, and then disolved like a communion wafer on the tongue.

Then I read this: “If you don’t visualize what you want out of life, then you are at risk of other people and external circumstances influencing your life because you are not influencing it yourself.” That’s from the book “7 Habits of Highly Frugal People.” A friend sent me this link the other day.

Except for a project in a class in high school (“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”), I’ve never visualized my life. I mean, really sat back and imagined the big picture. I’ve lived most of my life by the seat of my pants, often letting other people tell me what’s right for me, what’s wrong with me, and what I “should” do. A victim mentality, perhaps (ouch). But I really never had much of a backbone (ouch x2).

I lost weight this last time, and am keeping it off, by sheer determination. It’s probably the first thing I’ve ever done just for me. But living alone for the first time in 30 years? It’s harder than weight loss ever was.

This whole “visualizing” my life…well…that’s been the interesting part the last few months. I needed a compass and so I went to what I knew. And what I know is that, like losing weight, living alone is a lifestyle change. And when you want to incorporate change in your life, it has to become part of your life. It has to move within the fabric, the ups and downs, the scheduled and the unexpected.

I love this quote from a WW success story I read recently: “Patience is key. It took me a really long time to lose the weight. I think I became successful when I accepted that some weeks I would gain and that was OK. I didn’t let weight gain give me an excuse to throw in the towel. When I realized I didn’t have to be perfect, I was able to commit.”

Finances, weight loss, getting used to living alone…it all takes a certain degree of commitment, acceptance, and forgiveness. There is a learning curve, and with that learning curve there must be patience.

Just as I learned how to lose weight and I continue to learn how to maintain, I will learn to live alone. I will try to not let the people I don’t invite into my life to influence my thoughts or decisions.

What I visualize, at least right now, is a life not spent alone, but spent in the company of people I love and who intrigue me. I don’t mind cooking for one, it’s challenging. I like setting my own schedule. I can sit in the pain and the tears without running away…most of the time (HUGE step for me…FYI). I will read/listen to the criticism that is bound to come (that happens online…), but I will still blog about it. I’m doing my best to not be afraid.

Thanks for sticking with me. I really do love writing this blog and communicating with all of you.
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