Living & Loving Life: Are you doing it your way?
Living & loving life to me, as lifestyle choices, are so important. Don’t you agree?
Back in 2005, 19 years ago now, I left my ex-husband at the end of a 20-year relationship. I found myself back ‘home’ with my parents, living in the house I was born in, sharing my old bedroom with my 6-year-old son, and the sofa in front of the TV with them. As lovely as it was to be welcomed home, it was a challenge.
I was back at the beginning and had to restart my life from scratch – not quite the lifestyle I had planned for myself.
At that point the only ‘friends’ I had were work colleagues, and a handful of friends. One was living in France, another in Wiltshire & another was travelling around India.
No-one I could call upon to make plans to go out. And back then it was a landline or an old-fashioned Nokia. No smart phones or WhatsApp groups!
I’d never fully socialised with my work friends outside of work either. As such it felt awkward to try and get invited into any of their activities. You can’t simply invite yourself along!
In short, my life looked NOTHING like one I lead today.
My ‘socialising’ took place during the day at work, at weekends with my ex’s family, and kids’ parties – deep joy! Attempts to reach out and make any plans with ‘our friends’ was always met with resistance.
In fact, I hadn’t been ‘out, out’ for over 6 years, following the birth of my son.
If you’re experiencing anything like the life changes I have been through and would like to chat let me know. I’ve had a whole host of other life changing experiences too, far more than just a divorce! You can email me here.
Changing my Lifestyle: What did I need to to?
I took my mum’s advice and said YES to all invitations. You can read more about that in this blog.
I hijacked my brother’s socialising activities at his local pub and started to build up a network of friends via the school playground. I started dating again too after a 20-year hiatus too – that’s another story for another day!
Suffice to say, my lifestyle changed dramatically. I learned LOADS along the way and built up a fantastic network of friends far and wide, across the UK and world. I feel so lucky to have such an incredible network of gorgeous humans in my life. All who support each other without question.
And so to the present day.
Gareth and I relocated to Norfolk last December. We have been here nearly 9 weeks and LOVE it! It really was the best decision ever – living so close to the sea and in such a stunning location is awesome. In fact, I wrote about my excitement for 2024 in a blog post earlier this year which I hope will inspire you to get excited too!
At the weekend we caught up with some of our fab friends (in Norfolk for a long weekend) at Sandringham parkrun & over breakfast and then out for dinner on Saturday night. It was fab to see them and have a good old catch up. We’ve started to make new friends locally via our new yoga class too.
Crow pose – for a Nano second!
Finding My Tribe – Staying Strong Along the Way
However, whilst Gareth goes back to Nottingham every month for work and catches up with family and work colleagues that is not the case for me. I’ve realised that for me personally that it would be great to start making some new friends locally.
A few days ago I spotted a photo within a local Facebook group inviting women of a certain age, ‘fifty plus & fabulous’, to join their group.
I had my reservations, for several reasons, however, encouraged by my friend who was visiting, I reached out. A few messages later & I suddenly found myself arranging to meet for a coffee at a location of my choosing. They’d come and meet me and tell me more about the organisation, which by then I’d realised was just that. A women’s organisation as opposed to a networking event or simply a group of women who met up locally.
Then the plans were changed.
My instinct and intuition were telling me that my initial thoughts were correct. As lovely as these ladies probably are, they’re not my tribe.
I politely declined the opportunity to meet them after their leader had changed the venue, to their ‘base’ where they would be wearing their ‘colours’. The undercurrent of control and being giving the once over as to whether I was fun enough to join in didn’t grab me!
I’ll be honest, I sat with my thoughts before making my decision as I didn’t want to feel judgmental in anyway, as I think their ideas of being ‘fun and out there’ are probably very conservative by contrast to mine. It would’ve been fun to see their faces though had I turned up to meet them wearing my red latex catsuit to fit in with their colours!! Not sure what they would’ve made of my alternative Instagram account either!
Living my best life in latex
The point to my post is this – be strong, know your crowd, and if something doesn’t feel right don’t do it.
Be with your crowd. These ladies may well be your crowd and not mine. And that’s good. They were just not mine. I pick up on vibes and had a sense of someone at the top of the local chapter liking her position of power. I’ve been in the company of women like this before and left. I’ve left jobs because of bullying men too. I’ve had to cut ties with close family members due to narcissism. I don’t need to walk into a hornet’s nest. And that was what my vibes were telling me. That and I think calling themselves fifty plus and fabulous was pushing the fifty plus a little too far. Which again is fine, as I have fab friends in their 70s and 80s but … nah, just not my tribe.
Be yourself lovely people.
Surround yourself with those who ‘get you’ and support you being you and not those who will bring you down.
If being you means friends, family and contacts fall by the wayside when you’re being you – as long as you are being your best self of course, then that is fine too. Stay strong. Good people will replace them.
Love your life and trust that the right people will present themselves.
I went out today to Princess Theatre and got chatting Anna in the box office. We had a fab chat – she is ‘my tribe’. As is Sarah, my yoga teacher. Patience and time will out.
I have many lovely friends who I am sure you have too – appreciate them for who they are. I know I do, and I also recognised 19 years ago that I had an opportunity to have another stab at life in this lifetime too.
I’ve created my life to be the one I want it to be, and it is still a wonderful work in progress.
Lifestyle choices – how are you making yours right now?
What changes would you like to make?
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