“You are smarter than you ever have been. You are free. And it’s not too late to become the person you always wanted to be.”
Many Vibrant Nation members understand how difficult a divorce after 27 years of marriage can be. Whether the divorce is your choice or whether you’re on the receiving end of the divorce papers, the sad reality is that divorce is one of the most traumatic experiences a woman will ever endure.
“When I was newly divorced, people would come up to me and tell me they were sorry and what a terrible thing to go through,” says Vibrant Nation member and personal coach Jackie Haughn. “That’s when I decided to start saying that I was ‘unmarried’—with a smile on my face. I realized the negative connotation that came with the word divorce, and decided to change that word. This helped me change my thinking about the whole experience.”
VN members know: there is a better life ahead of you. If you are ready to reconnect with your best self post-divorce, here four tips that members of the Vibrant Nation community have shared.
1. Check in with yourself and find out how the girl in you grew up. “In all the busy-ness of doing, we can lose track of what we have become,” says Jaki Scarcello, Vibrant Nation blogger and author of Fifty And Fabulous: The Best Years Of A Woman’s Life. “You may be wonderfully surprised by the talents and skills and wisdom your life experience has grown. Don’t forget to include your values and beliefs in this self inventory.”
2. Find your strength. Only when you can feel the physical strength of your body will you begin to engage that same strength emotionally, says Judy Steinberg: “At our age, we must lift weights, stretch, work out and exercise every day. Lifting weights and strengthening the torso so that you can hold your shoulders up will prevent that pesky little hump from forming on your back, and give you a stronger, more youthful posture and a whole new attitude.”
Vibrant Nation member and author Lois Joy Johnson agrees. “Adopt a dog and get out and walk! The exercise and spirit-boosting endorphins will lift your derriere, firm your legs and give you energy.”“
Just wait until you begin to see what impact you can create when you walk with confidence and strength,” adds Judy Steinberg. “When you feel strong, you think differently about yourself and make better choices. People will treat you differently and look at you from a different perspective. Pull your shoulders back and lift up your chin. You are no longer invisible!”
3. Revive your independence. For the first time in decades, you are back in sole charge of your own life. The prospect may seem frightening at first, but what a gift this truly is. You now get to make your own decisions about each and everything in your life: Where will I vacation this year? What restaurant do I want to eat at? Which of my friends will I spend time with this weekend? Do I feel like watching TV or reading a book?
“What a wonderful sense of freedom that brings,” says Vibrant Nation member Jackie Haughn. “You have always been the creator of your experiences. But now, as you make the transition from being married to doing things by yourself, really focus on the feeling of joy as you step into your power of making your own choices.”
4. Embrace the richness of your present time of life. When you divorce after 30 years or more, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a failure because you no longer have the same options you had at 20, 30, or even 40. It’s time to rethink your definition of success and your attitude towards this time of life. “Each stage of life has its own unique energy,” says Vibrant Nation blogger Jaki Scarcello. “If you are going to tap into that energy flow, you need to be evaluating your success with criteria that is appropriate to your stage of life now.”
“When we are younger, we often look forward to the next stage of life,” Jaki adds. “We approach change with a more positive view because we feel positive about the future in general. But a funny thing happens when we turn fifty. All of a sudden we no longer look forward to our next birthday. We try to postpone it and perhaps even lie about it! We start filtering all the events of our daily life through a perspective which is negative because we view our future negatively.”All the effort that goes into fear of aging and strategies to delay it is energy misspent. To have the energy to move forward, you need a positive outlook on your destination. “Ask yourself, ‘What is it I am resisting today besides my age?’” suggests Jaki Scarcello. “You may find it is the very change that will free you.”