“I am not sure what I shall do, nothing here has worked out quite as I expected”
“Most things don’t. But sometimes, what happens instead is the good stuff”
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
For over three years I have been in this place of limbo between my past and future, trudging through the mud of the marital property settlement, waiting for it to be over so that I may begin my new life. Recently I wrote that the settlement agreement had been finally signed. What I did not reveal in that post, is that about the same time, the business had been sold. This sale had meant much administrative burden for me over the previous six to twelve months, and the business itself had consumed my life for decades. I have thus in the past month had this marvellous quadruple lifting of time-related stress. I will shortly be free of the marital settlement, business-sale negotiations, legal work-up on both those counts, and the running of the business itself. Even though there is still some final processes to complete, those changes will happen. Those stresses will be gone.
I must admit that after a day of luxuriating euphoria on signing the agreement, I then went through a few days turmoil. That was the exact opposite of how I thought I would feel. For two days I did not sleep. It was not exactly panic but my head was in a spin with thoughts whirring around as to what my next step would now be. It was almost as if for three years I had been trying desperately to get through this door that had been stuck. Then when I FINALLY walked through it, there I was confronted again with not one but several more doors. And I was at a loss as to which one I should attempt to open first.
Should I prepare my home for selling?
Should I move closer to my mother?
Should I move closer to the children?
Should I stay where I am?
Should I spend more time with my children?
Should I visit my siblings and friends?
Should I join a community group?
Should I begin a course?
Should I get back to my previous career?
Should I go back to university?
Should I start another business?
Should I retire?
Should I become frugal so my money stretches further?
Should I get financial advice?
Should I volunteer for a local charity?
Should I volunteer overseas?
Should I travel simply for the thrill of it?
Should I take up a new sport?
Should I take up a new hobby?
Should I embark on a new project?
Should I get myself fit and active and healthier?
Should I write a book?
Will I be able to continue to live my life alone with grace and dignity?
After a few fitful nights, I woke one morning with my next project ahead as clear as anything. My project – for the next year at least – would be to focus on me.
The truth is, I need to decide on all those things in the list above.
The truth is, some of them will be both difficult and challenging.
The truth is, I will be in conflict within myself as to how best prioritize my time.
That is life.
However, I can also spend some time on me, I can take some time for me.
The key realization that I have come to is that I am in another transition.
I have been through one transition over the past three years and am finally closing the door on that transition period – the ending of ‘we’.
I am now beginning another transition – finding the true ‘me’.
I have concluded that, whilst it is still a transition, that it is an OK place to be.
It is OK to not definitely know the path ahead.
It is OK, even exciting, to try new things and maybe make mistakes along the way.
It is OK, to be me, alone.
And, whereas my transition away from ‘we’ was marked by frustration and me feeling trapped; as I enter this new transition towards ‘me’, I am tasting the delicate flavour of freedom.