Life transitions can be hard so it’s important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
I discovered this was the case when I had the trifecta of life transitions, I resigned from my job, my youngest son graduated from college and my husband had some major health conditions that caused him to retire earlier than planned.
This time ranks as one of the most challenging times of my life. I had voluntarily decided to leave my job, I knew my son was going to launch into his new life (we had already launched two sons) and although I thought I had prepared myself for that transition I was sadly mistaken. I can do whatever I want, WOO HOO, I thought, I’ve been waiting for this time for years. I can now put me first.
Well easier said than done. I had never really had the opportunity to just do what I wanted and to be honest answering the question of “what do I want to be when I grow up” is easier said than done.
It was just so overwhelming to think about what my “next” was going to look like. Some days it was hard to get myself going and I just wanted someone to tell me what I should do or for an incredible opportunity to land on my lap. Opportunities did come to me, but looking back I now realize that I should have taken more time to really think about what I really wanted to do and not just do what everyone expected me to do because I was good at it.
However, I was so focused on helping resolve my husband’s health issues and I was in a rush to move forward, and honestly, I didn’t know how to just Be, and I really needed to just Be to mule over what my “next” should and could be. It was a scary and trying time for me, I started to collaborate with a coach (thanks to a friend who introduced us) and at one of my lowest points decided to see a therapist.
I am ever so grateful for the strong support system that I had who rallied for me. I will say there are people who I never would have expected would have come to my side. Many were colleagues who were more acquaintances, but boy did they support me, and I now count on them as some of my primary people. Some of these friends stayed connected with me monthly. They just listened to me and offered suggestions for what I should think about. They also introduced me to people in their network.
This time also confirmed that the people I did not think were in my tribe were not as they did not reach out to support me. So, although it was difficult in many ways it helped me become more aware of the people who really care about me. Although it’s a hard reality it was also reassuring that I was correct in my assessment of my relationship with some people.
My friends and family members offered encouragement, gave me advice, provided me with a sense of comfort and security, helped to ease my feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. They also helped lift my spirits by helping me look at the bright side of things and helped me focus on the gifts that I had to offer.
On days that I felt like I just couldn’t see the light at the end of tunnel, they often provided me with laughter and joy.
As we age, women face unique life transitions, such as retirement, caregiving for aging parents, illness, and the loss of loved ones. Having positive relationships can provide the support needed to navigate these transitions and can also bring us a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
As I’ve gone through these transitions, I took a close look at my current relationships and evaluated whether they were supportive and healthy. If they were not, I recognized I needed to make some changes and seek out new relationships with individuals who brought positivity into my life and Marianne was one of these people!
I also realized that I could help others think in a more positive light. Yes, we have lots of challenges, but boy do we have lots of opportunities ahead of us.
Surrounding ourselves with positive people is essential for our health and happiness. By making a conscious effort to seek out and maintain positive relationships, we can improve our well-being, navigate the challenges of aging, and live a more fulfilling life.
Action Step: Sign up for the Isn’t She Amazing newsletter on our website and join our community of women who will support you as you go through a transition.