I did it! I raised two kids who are now quite successful across the board.
For years, I heard my friends crowing about how much they were loving their new-found freedom.
So why, when it was my turn, was I wallowing in a miserable limbo unable to move on and enjoy the fruits of my labor?
For over a year, I couldn’t figure it out, and my marriage was teetering on the brink.
I wrote this to tell everyone like me how I finally broke out of my fugue and discovered a level of happiness I thought was gone for good.
Wrinkles. Forgetfulness. I felt like I was 70, not 55. My kids were worried that I wasn’t having fun now that they were out of the house, and my husband, he was wondering what happened to the fun-loving girl he married.
I was in the twilight of my teaching career at the point where I was practically on autopilot every day; I wasn’t the charismatic, engaging, nurturing woman that my fellow teachers and staff had come to know.
The worst part? I couldn’t figure out why. There were no major health problems besides those niggling things that start creeping up on you once you pass 50 or so, but they already had me stressing. After all, if it was this bad now, what would happen in another 10 years? 20?
We all know it: The older you get, the more important it is that you exercise.
You can’t eat like you did when you were 25 and expect not to pack on the pounds if you’re not at least making some effort to exercise. But of course, making a plan and then sticking to it are two entirely different things. Yet, getting to the gym on the way home was turning into this monumental task that I always seemed to find an excuse not to get around to that day.
Similarly, you’ve got to keep your brain in the game with things like sudoku and crosswords if you want to keep it sharp, yet I was falling short at that task as well.
Correcting papers is mind-numbing work, so when I was done, the last thing I wanted to do was do some more paperwork. This despite the fact that correcting grammar uses a different part of your brain than playing with numbers or figuring out clues.
So, that wasn’t helping, but it wasn’t the worst. When you’re free from the responsibilities that come with kids, that’s your chance to get back out there and engage in those fun social events that you never had time for when you were concerned with getting the kids up and out of the house every day.
So, you’d think that I would be eager to get back to that stuff now that I could. But actually getting up and getting out there was proving more difficult than I imagined.
Worse, my husband is a social butterfly, and he was way past ready for me to join him. The fact that I was never up for it was beginning to take a serious toll on our marriage.
He would do his thing; I would stay home; and we never had anything to talk about when we were together. Instead of rediscovering each other in middle age, we were drifting apart, and even I knew it was my fault.
One good thing about being together for so long is that you don’t feel the need to beat around the bush. After trying to nudge me into getting my act together, my husband laid it all out for me. He told me he couldn’t imagine spending the next 20+ years with someone who was such a curmudgeon.
Well, that finally gave me a jolt. After sticking by me for so long, I couldn’t believe he could even contemplate leaving. But after the anger passed, I realized he was right.
I needed to find a way to snap out of my funk, stop procrastinating on my exercises, and re-engage as a wife and a woman.
One day as I was still struggling with how to snap out of this mindset, I ran into a colleague who I had socialized with quite often in the past.
I was telling her that I was still having a hard time getting out there, and she mentioned that she went through the same doldrums for a while but had finally found a way to break free.
She gave me the URL of a website that she claimed had made all the difference. This lady was into all kinds of strange stuff online, so I wasn’t holding out much hope. But one night after I finished a book, I found myself browsing around and decided to see what it was all about.
It started off by narrowing down my gender and age, then it posed a bunch of seemingly random questions about how I approached life. After just a few minutes, it presented me with a personalized plan designed to help me overcome my procrastination. I could tell from what it had already gleaned about me that it actually had me pegged pretty well.
So, with nothing to lose, and with the three-month plan costing about what I pay for a month of phone service, I decided to give it a whirl.
That began a journey of self-discovery that took me completely by surprise at 55. I learned things about myself that I had never really taken the time to notice, (though when I told my husband, he kind of rolled his eyes and said he knew it all along but also knew if he told me himself that I’d be stubborn about it.)
After a few weeks of learning more about why I was the way I was, the plan set about helping me change my thought process so that things like eating right and going to the gym when I had the time became second nature. Suddenly, moping around the way I had been just seemed like a huge waste of time. I found myself eager to try new things; eager to play those word games; eager to get out there and break new ground physically, mentally and socially.
I hate to use the cliché, but I felt like a new woman!
Of course, my husband was the first to notice as this was going on and urged me to stick it out until the end. With his help, I completed my three-month Virtue Map Anti-Procrastination Plan, and I haven’t looked back!
The best part? I’m rediscovering my husband all over again, and we’re regaining that closeness that got us through those grueling years with the kids – except now, our lives are our own!
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