It’s been almost four months since my 12 year relationship with my now ex-boyfriend L ended. I’ve spent the summer digging deep in my tool box of healing techniques. I have to admit that I’ve been doing pretty well getting over L. I don’t miss him as much because my life has been filled with joy during my days at my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore.
Feeling free without being in a relationship
I’m enjoying the freedom of being solo. No one to answer to when I want to go somewhere. No one to rush home to make dinner for at a certain time. No one to consult with if I’m running late or decide to change plans. I feel free. The thing I do regret the most is not being part of a twosome or having a partner. It’s not always easy going it alone.
Sometimes I let the sadness stay for awhile and remember the good times L and I had together. When resentment stirs and negative thoughts emerge I unpack my tool box of healing remedies to help me process the loss.
Old favorites in my healing tool box
Yoga and mindfulness meditation are two restorative practices that I can always count on to bring me back into the present. Child’s pose calms me when I am restless at night and Warriors remind me that I am strong on my own two feet.
The “Letting Go” meditation I do each morning prompts me to release anything that isn’t serving me in the moment. “You can breathe in and let go,” says Kelly Howell on the Meditate Me app. “Let go of tension. Let go of cares. Let it all go. When thoughts arise bring your attention back to letting go. It’s all you need to do now is breathe and let go.”
Family and friends have provided great support during my grieving. Whether it’s a phone call into the wee hours of the night or a short chat to give me a pat on the back, talk therapy with those who lift me up is welcomed. My therapist A is also there to coach me into seeing the positive growth I’ve experienced the past few years. I know what brings me joy and am more decisive about making it happen.
The calming ocean waters
My mom used to say that salt water cures everything. Maybe that’s why I love my strolls by the water’s edge. That’s when I let my thoughts run rampant. I don’t care if I dream about the future or ruminate on the past. The sounds of the ocean waves are soothing to the spirit.
When I’m doing my 10k steps beach walks I often tune into a podcast. Favs include: Smartless with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett, Next Question with Katie Couric, WTF with Marc Maron, and Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman.
Some weekdays I go to evening yoga class on the beach. There’s no music required when the ocean waves roll in and out during savasana. Even the sand on my towel doesn’t keep me away. It’s lovely to do asanas by the seashore.
Cycling away my grief
Riding my bicycle with the wind on my back is another healing technique in my tool box. Now that I have a pouch to hold my iPhone it’s easier to play music while I ride. It’s fun to cycle at the Jersey shore with flat roadways and bike lanes around the island. Weekends are when I usually tap my helmet, adjust my iTunes and get lost in soulful songs from Taylor Swift, James Taylor, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys, and Carole King. Or if I want to invigorate I’ll jive up the playlist with BeeGees or HAIM tunes.
Discovering fun activities that bring me joy
Other pursuits have captured my interest this summer:
Gardening is one of those activities. While I’ve never had a green thumb, I’m pretty proud that I’ve been able to keep my little basil plant alive for two months. I also revived my petunias after the aphids attacked the pot. And my hydrangeas are growing too.
Pickleball is my current sport of choice. Do you play Pickleball? Ooh, ooh, ooh, if yes, do you love it as much as I do? I’m a recreational player and and am already hooked. It’s all the craze with boomers and even younger folks. Practicing how to serve, how to dink and rules about the Kitchen are my latest pastime.
Zumba is another activity that I’ve refreshed. It’s a fun aerobic workout. I was never good at Zumba but decided to revisit the classes at our community center with my free senior pass. LOL there are some benefits to being 60+. Feeling less inhibited at this age has improved my dance moves. “Who cares if you have no rhythm?” I tell myself. “Just go with the flow Judi. Just go with the flow.”
Welcoming a new male figure to love
Lastly, I must tell you that I’ve fallen in love again. His name is O and he is my new grand puppy. He came into my life in early July when my daughter A brought home a cavapoo pup. I’ve been helping A take care of O while she works from home at my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore. O keeps me on my toes all day and evening.
Not being a dog person (and never having had a dog in my 60+ years) it’s been an incredible learning experience. I’ll tell you more about O in an upcoming post. There’s lots to share. One thing’s for sure – when O is awake there’s no time to do anything else. He has been a great distraction for my grief.
That’s all for now. I’m actually writing this post while O takes a nap. Uh-oh, he’s about to get up. Grandma’s gotta go play.
Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I’m enjoying mine.
BTW, I’m on the mend after falling face down while walking O last weekend. It was a harrowing experience and a reminder that one minute you’re fine and the next you can be in the ER with a badly bruised face and a mouth needing stitches. No Pickleball for me for the next few weeks.