You awaken the first day after: 

  • the first or last kid leaves the house
  • retirement
  • job loss
  • separation or divorce
  • a scary diagnosis
  • a death

You may feel awe and wonder, incredibly light after so much heaviness. Or the heaviness may still be with you.

There are so many things to do. And maybe you can hardly move out of your bed. Even making coffee seems like an insurmountable chore. But your brain is in the bottom of that coffee cup, so you have to make it and drink it down! Get up. Get UP! GET UP!

You ask yourself:

And Now What?

Crickets.

You aren’t sure what comes next.

Life is about to change. You know that. You can feel it in your bones. You can flow with it, or struggle against it.

Here is my fail-safe plan to avoid overthinking the season change you are surviving:

  1. Create a gratitude list on the notes app of your phone or in a journal. Write down at least one thing you are grateful for today. Research shows that focusing on our gratitude prevents us from thinking negative thoughts–which will eventually consume us. I have a gratitude jar. I try to remember to write one thing on a paper to pop in every day.
  2. Create a bucket list while you have your first cup of coffee. What are three things you need to do before you kick the “inevitable bucket?”  No one knows how much time they have left. But you do know you aren’t promised one more day. No one can afford to get sidelined or stalled. If you start a list of things you want to do, it shifts your focus from your worries to what might come next.
  3. Start a pastime, or hobby. It might sound counter-intuitive to start something new now, but a pastime helps you ‘pass time – happily.’ The key is to find something that makes you happy! Play solitaire on your phone, learn to knit or crochet a scarf. Bake cupcakes. Plant a garden. Learn the periodic table. Play games with friends. Just find whatever makes you happy!

Your pastime is one of the 5 Ps for navigating season change.

It is not a waste of time. It is not ‘one more thing’ you add to your full plate. It is your sanity saver! If your pastime brings you even a modicum of joy, it is an investment in yourself, your future and the future of your relationships with your loved ones. All the 5 Ps work together to help you:

    • Create your own lifestyle of purpose which relieves the grief and sadness
    • Choose projects, pastimes, and physical activities that bring you joy
    • Give your loved ones the space they need to flourish on their own
    • Become the “cool lady” everyone wants to hang out with? even your own kids!
    • Grow older gracefully with purpose and panache

Share in the comments section any or all of the following that you are focusing on today:

  • What are you grateful for?
  • What’s on your bucket list?
  • And what pastime or hobby intrigues you?

Your ideas might help another reader navigating a really rough season change. YOU know how that feels.Lend her your help and wisdom.

Or pop over to the And Now What? Community to share your ideas!

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