The reality is that we can make a new beginning, a fresh start any time. We don’t need a special date marked in red on the calendar or a month that we know is at the head of a whole fresh year. Any time is a good time for a new beginning.
I’ve never believed in New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean I’m against making a fresh start. I just don’t confine such activities to the first month of the calendar year.
The beginning of spring is a time of rebirth and fresh starts. Your birthday is always a good day to re-evaluate your life and see what needs re-calibrating. In truth, any time is a good time to begin anew.
The point of this column, then, is to advise you not to limit your new beginnings to the start of the new year. Now, I am not telling you not to make a fresh start now. I am just telling you that if your life is not satisfactory, or it feels like your life has grown stale, or there is any aspect of your life you are not happy with, any time is a good time to take matters in hand and do something about it.
You did that when you got divorced—assuming you were the one who initiated the split. Your marriage was—for whatever reason—not what you wanted it to be. And instead of “putting up with,” you did something about it. You got divorced—a bold step, especially if it also meant that you would be raising your kids pretty much single-handedly from here on out.
Maybe now you are finding that being a solo parent is a tougher gig than you anticipated. What not to do is find the first available unmarried male and hitch up with him just so you’ll have help with the kids. Does the phrase “out of the frying pan and into the fire” resonate with you?
The same is true in other areas of your life. Don’t assume that any change is automatically a change for the better. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes the change resolves one problem or set of problems but dumps a whole different problem or set into your lap and your life instead.
What are you unhappy with in your life right now today? Is your income too low even with the child support money? What can you do about it? Can you change jobs? Do you want to go back to school and study for a whole new career that pays better? Do you want to approach your employer about a raise?
Do you see too little of your kids because you work 9-5 and also have to figure in commuting time? Is it time to think of a job at which you can telecommute from home, or maybe be really bold and start a business of your own from home?
Is your home unsatisfactory for whatever reason—too small, too difficult to maintain, dicey neighborhood or inconvenient location, or simply too many memories of when you lived there with your former husband? Maybe it’s time to move to a different place—maybe even a rental house or apartment, where the landlord or building super is responsible for repairs and upkeep, and all that falls on your shoulders is housecleaning. Or a large house you can share with another single mom who can help share childcare, cooking, housecleaning, and expenses. Think creatively. Think outside the box. Don’t assume that just because you’re living now in a single-family dwelling that you own, you should confine your search for a new home only to another single-family dwelling you own. Be bold! What other arrangement would work better for you?
Are you dating a man you know you have no future with, just so you have “someone” in your life? Yes, that type of situation offers you companionship, and perhaps other advantages as well. (Does he help with the kids? Fix things around the house for you? Make himself useful in other ways?) But if you don’t love him, or even if you do, yet realize he’s not your best choice in a life partner, now’s as good a time as any to end the relationship. (If you don’t, it will be harder to meet your Mr. Right.)