Do you ever say to yourself, if only?

While you are waiting for that perfect moment, person or condition , the life you want to live is passing you by.

Once upon a time I lived the “if only”, wanting my partner or friends to join me in the adventures I felt were awaiting. What did I miss out on? So much.

Regret is pointless, rather like worry. It changes nothing and keeps us in the past. Better to start fresh, embrace the moment.

So here I am, single, and now if I am not living those adventures, embracing life and all it has to offer I can’t blame it on anyone else. Besides, blame is also a pointless and boring story.

Recently I had to get myself out of the “if onlies” and accept the opportunities and framework for enjoying them. Last year I spent New Year’s alone in my apartment. It was perhaps for the best, if not a little lonely. There had been many changes in a short time and socializing would have been difficult.

This year though, I decided I wanted something different. 2016 is going to be different, because I am choosing to make it so.

This is the year of a brave new me and to begin it I chose to attend a New Year’s house party in which I knew no one. No, I didn’t gate crash! As part of a larger social group a member posted he was going to have a small and laid back New Year’s Eve party – maximum 8 people. Pot luck, conversation, games. That worked for me. I had a back up plan if I wanted, but I felt it was time to do something different. So, I did.

Oddly, it worked, this group of disparate souls.

All of us had chosen the evening setting for different reasons. The host has social anxiety and so this meant he could participate, but in an environment in which he had control. I think perhaps at least two other people also had varying levels of that. Another knew the host and wanted a few hours out, but not the whole scene of New Year’s. It was a pleasant break from her routine of caregiver to an ailing parent. Another attendee is an introvert like myself, and decided at the last minute, as did I , whether he was up for a social evening. He was and he did. Everyone had their reasons for attending and for this year, for me, it worked. Next year will be a new year and open to new options and opportunities.

Then there is the everyday, the free time sandwiched in between our work lives and other obligations. How do you spend it, watching re-runs of old movies, binge watching a tv series or perhaps taking yourself out into the world?

As part of the 2016, everything is new. adventure, I have also decided this will be the year of less others and more me. As many of you can relate, so much of our social interactions seem to be intertwined with committee work, family obligations or volunteer organizations. That’s certainly one way of meeting social needs, but I have decided on a different tack.

Recognizing that I wanted only to be serving my needs and not that of others I joined a women’s group. Women who are looking to try new things, make friends and be out in the world.

One of the challenges of newly single is that while we may have more time, our friends still in relationships don’t. In order to thrive, it becomes tremendously important to forge some new friendships and broaden our social net. I found this possibility through an online site called Meetup.com. If you are not familiar with it, check it out. It has made meeting people with like interests much easier.

Whether it is occasions or the everyday, we can wait for someone to take our hand in the living of life, or we can just live it.

Yes, I wish I would have embarked on this a long time ago, yet we live it as we are ready for it.

Transitions are movement from what was known to the unknown and accepting it for what it is, unsettling, unnerving and interspersed with exciting. The point is that you are changing, as is every part of who you are and what your life looks like now. Not easy, very worthwhile.

If you are finding your way, have made some inroads into your own life, leave a comment or share your story. This transition, from then to now, is a journey many share and we can all take pointers..

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