September 26, 2021
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Prioritize You

March 18th, 2013 by judytalks

The dinner hour and evening seem to be the most difficult times of the day for people who live alone. Your errands have been run, the work day is done, and its getting dark outside. Eating alone seems depressing and deciding what to do afterwards becomes a chore, or aggravation.

How to ease that transition time from late afternoon to dinner takes some planning. People who have (almost) mastered this start with a list on Sunday evening that takes them through the week. Connecting with people doesn’t all have to be done during the day or the weekend. If you’re working, consider having a few business meetings around dinnertime or shortly after. Others may appreciate the opportunity to also make that transition. Classes, groups, and activites are often scheduled in the evening. Sign up for a couple, even if it’s not your favorite thing. Libraries, community centers, and small colleges offer a wide range of interesting events you might enjoy. Take a class, learn a skill, or join a bookclub.

For those evenings you will be alone, make something special for yourself. Try new recipes, invent one, or dig out a family recipe and have a go at it. Make a dessert. Mealtime should be a relaxing and pleasurable time of the day. When that twinge of loneliness sets in, call someone, post a blog, or write in your journal.

Prioritizing yourself seems to be a lost art, especially when you are sad and missing someone. We’re usually good friends to everyone else, so be a good friend to yourself. Paying attention to emotional needs is part of the healing process. Learning to like living alone is a good prerequisite to living with someone else. It means you value good company.

The person you lost had you on the top of their priority list. You still deserve to be there.

Take care,

Learning to Like Your Own Company

February 26th, 2013 by judytalks

Learning to like living alone usually involves learning to like your own company. It’s funny how we think of ourselves as independent, yet prioritize being with groups and having relationships.

Certainly we need both. But being completely comfortable with just yourself seems hard to manage. The tendency is to feel that something is missing. However, being alone and being lonely aren’t the same thing.

Take a minute to ponder about the things you really like to do just by yourself. A quiet environment, no interruptions, and the opportunity to focus on some self-indulgence. Whether it be pampering yourself, working at a creative craft, or just reading a good book, you have no one to answer to, no one to cater to, just simple time alone.

How we regard the presence of others in our lives impacts even decisions we make. Often, a final choice rests on how it will affect others. This is certainly important, but how the choice will affect you should be paramount.

Critical events cast us into the role of “aloneness”, usually with little preparation for the feeling of loss, let alone managing liking our own company. However, the survivors I’ve known have done marvelously well with time alone, strengthened by regularly scheduled meetings with those groups and individuals who share interests and affection for one another.

Ask yourself what others like about you. Make a short list of things you never get to, because they require blocks of time and concentration. Then start to like your own company.

Let me know how it goes,


Living Alone and Liking It

February 18th, 2013 by judytalks

Learning to live without an irreplaceable person is a battle with yourself. The impossible has happened and whether you actually live alone or not, you are struggling to exist without your loved one.

In the early years following the death of my husband, three of our four children still lived at home. I was mourning the loss of the one person I depended on for my life’s breath, not because I was incapable of caring for our family, but because together we had learned to function as one whole being. By the time I was completely alone, I could more than survive; I began to thrive.

Grief and loss don’t end with bereavement. Moving forward is a decision, one that includes memories of that person still present in your life. But you begin to create a life for yourself that is to your liking, one that affirms your ability to be as comfortable and efficient alone as you were as part of a team.

Over the years, I have listened to many people describe the painful jouney of their own loss, and how they re-designed their lives. These stories are a testimony, not only to strength and courage, but to the resilience and innovation of self-worth. I’ll relate some of these life journeys over the next few weeks, no names, but fleshed out characters and personalities that have weathered the storms of life. If you have a story you’d like to share, please email me.

I wish you well,

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