One of the biggest challenges I encountered on the road to making peace with my childlessness was how to find joy in my life again. For a long time, everything seemed meaningless if children weren’t part of my equation. I didn’t want to have fun; I didn’t want to pick up childhood interests; I didn’t want to face the seemingly epic task of building a life I hadn’t planned on leading. Where to even start?
Last year, my dear friend and fellow Life Without Baby editor, Kathleen Guthrie Woods, launched a new project called 52 Nudges. Each week, Kathleen “nudges” herself to try something outside her current norm. Some weeks, she’s nudged herself to rekindle an old love, such as going for a picnic or buying a houseplant. Other weeks she’s pushed herself out of her rut by trying something new—wearing red lipstick, learning a phrase in Italian, signing up for a pilates class. Each week, Kathleen posts her nudge for the week, then posts a follow-up of what happened when she did the nudge. What started off as an idea designed to nudge herself out of a rut has turned into an adventure of self-discovery.
When you’re trying to find your feet again and struggling to reshape your life, it can feel overwhelming. Taking tiny steps like these might not seem significant, but sometimes it’s all you can do, and sometimes it’s enough to force a bigger step to change.
If you’re struggling with what’s next or don’t know how to even begin piecing your life back together, I urge you to watch this interview with Kathleen.
Kathleen started a new season of nudges this week, so now is the perfect to join her. You might be surprised by what you learned about yourself.
You can read more at 52 Nudges.
Great video.Thank you both.
I did something similar for last Christmas.[ In recent years a tough time.] I locked out all seasonal obligations to family and friends.Booked Xmas Day off work [first time in years, “because actually work mates, it’s not just folks with kids who want to be home Xmas morning”] And came up with my own version of an advent calendar. I made a simple sack, filled it with a bag of mixed chocolates, and 2 pouches.1 with event prompts and activities to book over the season and into brrr….January [to stop me hibernating] and 1 with little suggestions, such as taking a different walking route to local shops [to see my neighbourhood in a new way] Each evening I would select 1 sweet,1 planned activity and one suggested idea.
I loved the daily surprise. So much so that my Advent is still going!
[Another site for inspiration is Action for Happiness where they post a monthly calender with simple ideas]
Jane P (UK) says
Thanks Kathleen – this is a really useful post. Letting joy back in takes time and you need to be ready for it. This is a fantastic way to build up slowly with small steps. I will definitely be following your nudges and checking out your interview. Its also an excellent reminder to me that even though I can feel sideswiped at work (with announcements/office chat etc), and feel like I have not accepted my infertility at all. Reading this post and realizing that I have been letting joy back in for some time – so I’m not going backwards even it it feels like it some days! Thank you both for this wonderful place to share and come to terms with how I feel.