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Caution: Divorced Woman with a Bucket List

Caution: Divorced Woman with a Bucket List

I visited a tattoo salon the other day. It was filled with college kids, men with tattooed “sleeves”, young women with nose rings; oh, and a few middle-aged moms.

It’s Time

The thing is, it makes sense now. All of those women doing crazy things when they hit a certain age. Especially, the divorced ones. It used to seem there was something wrong with them. They were unstable.

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Perhaps they are a bit unstable. Aren’t we all? And, maybe, that’s what this is all about. Who knows? But, what is certain is that at some point it just seems the right thing to do. It’s time to do all of those things you always wanted to, but never thought you actually would. All of the things husbands, parents, kids, or whomever may have talked you out of.

There is something incredibly freeing about doing something that you know others might not support. It’s a bit like a teenager who finally turns 18 and believes he or she all of the independence in the world. They ‘experiment’ with things you always hoped they wouldn’t, but knew they eventually would. They get their nose pierced, drink liquors, or get a tattoo.

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That is what it feels like to be a middle-aged, divorced woman. A bit anyway. Like being a kid whose parents aren’t watching so closely anymore. Of course, there is always someone watching―kids, a boss, friends―but there’s definitely a lot more freedom and independence. It’s not always a comfortable feeling, but it can be thrilling. Take advantage of it. It’s time to start dreaming again.

Live Life

You might get a tattoo. You might swim with sharks or jump out of an airplane. Or, you might decide to move to a beach somewhere. Whatever it is, it’s about more than just being in a ‘phase’ or having a midlife crisis. It’s about living life to the fullest. Trying things just so you know what they are like. It’s a way of being able to say, “Oh yeah, I get it. I’ve done that.”

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It’s a way of relating to other people.

It’s time to look back on your life and realize all that you have already done. Trips you took as a kid to the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. Visits to museums and Halls of Fame. Lessons on the piano, snow skiing or to learn how to bake. You’ve done things. Most likely, lots of things. But, what’s left? What more do you want to do?

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Life is about experiences. It’s easy to sit back as a middle-aged, divorcee and feel “oh, woe is me”. It’s a lot more exciting to start taking advantage of all life has to offer at a time when there’s little holding you back.

Make the List and Get Going

So, start making the list and, more importantly, start checking off the items on it. There really is no limit to what you might choose to do. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. African Safari
  2. Mission or Disaster Relief Trip
  3. Play Paintball
  4. Write a Book
  5. Swim with Sharks
  6. Be an Extra in a Movie or TV Show
  7. Fall in Love Again
  8. Go Skydiving
  9. Get a Tattoo
  10. Climb a Mountain
  11. Visit Europe
  12. Learn to Play Guitar
  13. Drive Across Country
  14. Go Scuba Diving
  15. Sail the Caribbean
  16. Walk Along the Great Wall of China
  17. Fly to Paris for the Weekend
  18. Spend a Weekend in Las Vegas
  19. Spend a Day in Bed
  20. Get a Puppy

There’s really no end to the possibilities. It’s all a matter of deciding what you want to do. Cross an item off, and add another. Edit the list as you go. If you’re lucky, you might even find someone to share in the adventures with you.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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