You would not be out of line to feel as though you were, every so often, in a rut as a single mother (or a single working mother). Not that we don’t love the kiddos! We love the little devils.
At this juncture, I am reminded of Louise Hay, a hero of mine (I mean, who can’t love a person who makes it her entire life’s mission to teach people to love themselves?). Anyway, she always says she loves her bills because they are reminders that the institutions or people sending the bills have full belief in her ability to pay. So, bills are like a big vote of confidence–sort of (I really do love Louise Hay, so I really try to hear her on this one, really I do…).
All the same, the excitement of bills aside, there is the occasional rut-ishness to life. And ruts, well, they are not known for their overwhelmingly festive qualities unless we are referring to the deer population.
So, dear ones, what to do?
I have thought of 15 things off the top of my head that I have done in the past and would typically do to snap myself out of any potential doldrums. And they work! You will see how simple and “small” they are, but they do, in fact, catapult me out of said rut—thereby tested by one single mother and passed on to others. Whenever I pass around advice, I try to make sure it’s something I have actually done. Therefore, without further ado, here are some of the things I do to bust out:
1. First, there must be the realization that I am/YOU are in charge of bringing in the “new;” sure, I can/you can wait for lightning to strike but who wants to get struck by lightning?
2. Try a new driving, biking or walking route for one of your daily activities, whether it’s driving the kids to school, getting to work or an exercise routine.
3. Add a new food to your daily meal(s); you can combine this with walking around the grocery store clockwise if you normally walk around counter clockwise; I swear that doing this will change something about your food intake.
4. Try a new recipe (or restaurant if you are like me and have given up all cooking).
5. If you imbibe, then try a new cocktail. Or try a different kind of wine. So if you, say, only drink merlot…try Riesling; same with beer, just try a new brand or style. However–and I have to say this because I have so many friends and family who suffer from alcoholism–be judicious in your use of drinking.
6. Wear a new color, something you’ve never worn or haven’t worn in a very long time; a cheap version of this is to try a new color of lipstick. I know it sounds too simple to work, but it does!
7. A favorite of mine is…change your hairstyle or hair color; to me, hair is like an accessory—easily changed. Eventually it grows out if you aren’t thrilled with it.
8. Try a new physical exercise.
9. Move a piece of furniture; there is a thinking that says if you move 29 objects in your environment, then your life changes. I have tried this and even though 29 objects sounds like a lot, just begin counting what you move when you straighten your house or office. You will be surprised how it adds up. Does it change my life? Not sure. It certainly changes the moment.
10. Paint something! Anything! A lamp base, chair, table, canvas, pot. Anything!
11. Read a book; maybe a new genre.
12. Go see a live performance; I find this to be powerful juju. Seeing music, a play or a storyteller is transformative for me.
13. Download a new album or song; something you’ve never heard before, something unusual for you.
14. Buy new sheets for your bed; if you are not a complete snob about WHERE you buy your sheets, then you have so many inexpensive (yet high thread-count) options. Get a new color or new pattern that updates the look in your bedroom.
15. Go on a date if you are not in a relationship; it does not matter who it is so much as that you encourage yourself to stretch outside your comfort zone. A man does not have to be perfect dating material if you are only having coffee, a drink or a meal. Most likely, whoever he is, he is circumspect about the whole thing and simply views the outing as an outing with a slim chance of finding his version of a goddess.
Most people who’ve been dating for a year or two are at peace with the fact that dating is a numbers game. You may have to go on bad or so-so dates to get to the good ones. Just go!