There are times in our lives where we finally wake up and recognise that things have changed, and life just isn’t working for us….well not as well as it could!.
These are often times following major life changes – new jobs, retirement, change in family, empty nest, divorce etc.
Each of these events means that some part of our life no longer exists or did not previously exist. Yet many of use do not change the rest of our lives to accomodate that change and wonder why the feeling of happiness has turned to a feeling of helplessness or hopelessness.
For instance, adding a new role in your life means that room needs to be made for that role, and others pertaining to that role – this may be a new relationship or a new job or new family addition. If we don’t adjust the time and focus spent on the other roles in our lives we end up with conflict, overwork and stress.
On the other side, if when children grow up and leave home, and particularly if you were a stay at home mum, your life roles change significantly. The role of a mother is all encompassing. It doesn’t stop when your children leave home, but the daily input certainly changes. Not replacing this commitment can lead to feelings of worthlessness and despondency. You not only lost the child, you lost the role. And this loss needs to be grieved in the same way as any other loss.
So what to do – Reinvent Yourself.
Each role in your life relates to a pseudo activity. By defining your participation in terms of activities for each role, you can more clearly determine your time constraints, and overlaps. You can also evaluate how balanced your time and focus is between each activity group.
This is a time to be selfish – that’s not a bad thing. Look at what each role and activity means to you, and establish what you are willing to contribute to that role and what you are not. Write these down. Now allocate the hours of the weeks, and organise your schedule accordingly. Share your time commitments with those relevant to the rule and state your boundaries of commitment. This is where being selfish is a GOOD thing, not the big black hairy monster many make it out to be.
When we over commit ourselves, we simply cannot achieve our goals. We let ourselves down and we let others down. So set your expectations clearly – then do everything you can to live up to them. Remember – your job does NOT come first all the time, your wife/husband/partner does NOT come first all the time, your children do NOT come first all the time, and YOU do NOT come first all the time.
Congratulations – you have just reinvented yourself….and all it took was a little time invested.