Frankly Francine and me (Decidedly Debra – her daughter) are currently enjoying a discussion. The topic – you ask? Reinvention. At any age, any place, any relationship status, working or retired. Reinventing oneself is an excellent way to invigorate and refresh. Shedding new light on an old (or dull) life can be very exciting. Who couldn’t use a bit of pep in their step? It could be just the shot in the arm needed. It’s also very contagious.
Perhaps you find yourself cooking as though you were still feeding a family of four even though your kids have long been out of the house. Now it’s just you and the hubby. The leftovers are frustratingly met with something akin to “Meatloaf? Again???” Don’t throw the pan. Instead realize that there are options. More than ever there are meal options for one or two. And remember, while your Mister is wondering what’s for dinner – offer him a glass of (fill in the blank) and ask him to turn off the television to help with the salad.
The point is, you don’t need to fret. Try injecting a new idea or a new routine (without making it a routine rut) to help you in the process. Trader Joe’s is an excellent way to pick up smaller prepared items that are delicious, reasonably priced, more healthy than not and quick to go from refrigerator to table. Now all you need is to add the salad (they also come ready to go in a bag) or the veggie. If you have someone to help with the dishes you will be ready to grab the dog and take that walk around the block in nothing flat. Everybody (including the pooch) wins! And you will still be home in time to watch your favorite program but feel much better about it in the long run. Will your new experimental meals always be worth repeating? Possibly not. But there is nothing wrong with the discussion that might follow about likes and dislikes and what to do differently. It could prove very enlightening.
Daring to try something new is easier than you might think. We all find ourselves comfortably stuck in our way of doing things. If that is working for you then congratulations. If it isn’t, ask yourself what’s missing. Better yet, ask your partner what is missing. Pose the question to your friends. Communicating your need is hard. But it’s harder to look into the eyes of a person you really care about and not see the spark you once new. That goes for yourself too. Look in the mirror! Are you seeing what you want to see looking back at you? It might be an overworked and underpaid version, but is it the best version you can muster? Would you want to come home to you? If not, why not? Is there nothing in this world that would be worth a bit more effort to include and possibly make all the difference? Is it really so hard to tell someone you love and admire that the things that “did it” for you in the past are no longer floating your boat? That could be hurtful unless you are ready to offer “how about we try this or that for a change”? No one likes a problem without a solution.
I think everyone at one time or another has heard a bit of unpleasant news and wished they had been given the opportunity to do something about it before it was too late. It’s much easier and perhaps less hurtful in the long run if we seek out solutions before it festers into the unforgivable and all is lost. As phases of our lives change, and as such so do our needs, then it only makes sense so then should our actions.
Perhaps as we get older it become more important to eliminate unwanted clutter or to learn how to live on less money. Maybe traveling to visit family is more important or perhaps less possible. Being realistic about changing needs is fair. To do otherwise is unfair to yourself and those we love. But it isn’t always obvious, so dare to explore the possibilities.
Show and tell. We loved it as kids in school. Remember? We started out inquisitive and ready to discover all that we could. Then we think we know it all and seem to spend our time putting all we’ve learned into good use. There is a time, later on, when we naturally fatigue and desire simply to relax and enjoy all that we’ve worked so hard for. That doesn’t have to mean not caring and turning into grumps that believe life has nothing left to offer. Do you not have anything left to offer?
Offer yourself a bit of exercise. Keep yourself mobile. Keep your mind sharp by exercising it. Be the best you. Lead by example. If you need to take a nap then do. But don’t just sit back day in and day out and watch the world pass you by as others around you wish for the you they knew you were and can still be.
I once asked a partner to join me in a serious conversation about our needs. I was told there was nothing to talk about. Indeed there was not. It was hard to hear but easy to know better.
Dare to reinvent yourself. Let us know how that goes. Consider this an invigorating challenge and let us know how it goes. If we can help define that in some way for you – we’re here to help. Remember; be daring and willing and realistic.
My Best, Decidedly Debra