Starting over or being newly single is an ideal time to look at your life and think about what you want in it. New adventures and meeting new people can be intimidating. Designing the life you want, exploring your interests and meeting others who share those interests will expand your world in just the right way. Not everything you try will be the right fit. It will require moving out of your comfort zone, but the inherent growth and success can build your confidence and allow you to find out more about you. Nothing happens overnight. Be patient with yourself. You have nothing to lose.
Five Easy Ways to Expand Your World
1. Think about what have given up to spend more time with your ex or care for your kids.
It’s not unusual to give up something as we evolve our relationships. Below are comments/examples of just that.
- Country music he/she hated. Now I can listen to it again and get back to those country concerts.
- I loved to dance, she didn’t.
- I quit seeing some friends that he didn’t like.
- Going to rom-coms/action movies/political thrillers
Get back into those activities that you loved. See your friends, watch the movies you want, listen to the type of music you like. Find yourself again. Not only can you do what you want, if you have children, you can introduce them to the rest of you, or at the least, take advantage of the times they are with your ex to do what you want!
2. Check out local community colleges for interesting noncredit classes
Local community colleges typically provide quarterly, or biannual classes listed in a published class schedule with class descriptions. They class length can range from one (1) two-hour class to multiple times a week and/or multiple weeks. Offerings may include:
- Weight Loss
- Tracing your family tree
- Jewelry making
- Wine appreciation
- Holiday special baking or art projects
- Investing, or planning for retirement
If you don’t get a booklet in the mail, go online, or stop by a local college.
…join a local meet up group, sport club or community adult sports league!
3. Join a book club
Books introduce us to new ideas, new places and adventures. Books alone expand our world. Combine that with discussions about what we’ve read, it’s impact on us and others and how it made them feel or what they thought was important can build relationships and expands awareness. To find a book club, check with your friends, look online or ask at your local bookstore or library. Many book clubs meet in coffee shops or libraries. If you aren’t hearing about it from a friend, you may want to stick with clubs that meet in these public places.
4. Volunteer your time
I have always enjoyed volunteering. I get to meet other people or kids. I get to interact with other volunteers who are typically kind and selfless. Volunteering has helped me as much as the group I volunteered for. The quotes below say it far better than I could.
- “The quality of your life will be determined by the quality of your contribution. When you work to improve the lives of others, your life improves automatically.” – Kurek Ashley
- “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
- “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi
- “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” ― Abraham Lincoln
To find local volunteer opportunities either do a search “volunteering” or use one of these sites; https://www.volunteermatch.org/search, https://www.pointsoflight.org/virtual-volunteering-opportunities/, https://www.volunteer.gov/s/global-search/all-results
You can also check with local schools, nonprofits, food banks etc. There is always a need for people to help.
5. Join a local meet up group, sport club or community adult sports league
This suggestion is another example of remembering what you like to do and finding people to do it with. Activities are often more fun when we meet people like us, (and some not), and we engage is sports, or games that we truly enjoy.
www.Meetup.com Is a national website that connect you with people in your area. You can also download the app in Apple or Google Play.
You can also do a browser look up for Community Adult Sports Leagues.
Many libraries, or Starbucks have a community bulletin board that will list upcoming events and league startups. Some leagues are purely for fun, some are very competitive, make sure you pick the group that’s right for you.
Take the first step, with one of these ideas. Find what’s right for you, pick up some old and new interests, and put yourself out in the world. Only do what you enjoy. Expect to feel a little uncomfortable but remind yourself how much you used to love a specific activity, or how much you love to grow or want to add experiences to your life. If the first experience isn’t great, try another one. Keep at it until you find something that’s right for you.
Let us know what works for you. We’d love to hear about it in the comments!