It’s Your Boat, Row It!

Posted under: Mind, Spirit, Lifestyle, Relationships

It’s Your Boat, Row It!

So many emotions come into play after a divorce or loss of a partner. There can be moments where you feel liberated and optimistic and then there are moments of confusion, apathy and even depression. 


We got used to having someone always there, even if it wasn’t the most pleasant circumstance.  It was still comforting in some way.  No matter how bad things got, it was a reality we came to understand and found some level of security in.

But now it is gone.  The tendency is to focus on what was lost and not on what is to be found.  We might describe this period as being ‘lost’. When we’re lost we are just as likely to do nothing as to do something.  Apathy, indifference, aimless, wasting time, procrastinating, are all words that might describe what we feel.  And frankly, it isn’t all bad.  There seems something good about not deciding to do anything for a time. Let things settle down.

In a way, we might liken the situation to a boat on a large lake, and it has just one person in it now, where there used to be two.  We each remain in our own boat, one of our own making.  And one we’re left with to navigate the remainder of our lives in.  Until we grab the oars and start directing this boat, it will remain adrift. 

Here are some key steps we can take to get ready for tomorrow and the future we want to take hold of:

  • Dare to Dream New Dreams. At some point, we need to consider what the next chapter might look like.  More than that, what do we want it to look like.  Try to think about the difference in your life when one or more of these things is resolved or is out of the way. That may be enough incentive to get you to start rowing the boat.
  • More Perspiration than Inspiration. The American author, Truman Capote, once said that writing is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. The same goes for moving on. We may not be all that inspired to make the move or make the change, but intially it is more about doing those things to make something happen – consistently and persistently.  Quite simply, we need to DO something – and it doesn’t have to be a big thing.  Just a real thing.
  • Take Specific Actions. While it may be too much to ask of one to state what they intend to do with the rest of their lives, it is not so difficult to ask them what they are going to do tonight!  Instead of being passive, intentionally insert actions into the life.  I am going out to Applebee’s to eat tonight, or I am going to this movie Saturday.  Be specific about tonight, tomorrow and next week, as well as setting more general, long-term goals.
  • Take Someone Along. Even if all of the “friends” we had before the life changing event disappear, it’s important to find one or two people we can call friend. You don’t have to make the trip into the future by yourself.

You may notice that we spend a fair amount of time on this site talking about personal readiness.  Readiness to move on, being ready to engage in a positive way our realities going forward, whether that be in dealing with singleness, aging, finances, or relationships.  It seems important that the inner man is on the mend before the outer world can have its rightful place in our lives.

Our boat is ours to move.  Where there is doubt, just start out. At least you’ll be on your way to somewhere!

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