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Don’t Just Survive, Thrive

It is 2024. Here you are, and you may be wondering where your person went.


Do you ever wonder how you got here?


Do you feel hopeless because you are starting a year without him or her?


Are you mad because your life isn’t turning out the way you’d planned?


Did all your plans, hopes, and dreams get buried or cremated?


Take a deep breath and pause. I feel it too.




I was talking to a widow the other night. I was at a singles mixer and we were sipping cocktails. She kept looking over my shoulder, at him. I didn’t mind I was giggling because she was giggling. She is in the throes of something. A flirtation? A boyfriend? An affair?


Her husband has been gone for three years. Last year she went to Cuba and started attending this singles group I attend too. We have never discussed our husbands or our stories. Instead, we always talk about the new things we are doing. Then she hit me with a doozy. Of course, I want to share it with you.


“It bugs me when people call me a survivor. I am a thriver.”


I love how that sentence reframes our situation. I want to be a thriver. Don’t you?


Life threw us the worst curve ever. Now what are we going to do? Let’s stretch ourselves. I am not suggesting that if you are still in new grief you should sign up for a dating app. (I will actually never tell you to sign up for a dating app.) But if you are in new grief know that love and fun are selections on the life menu for later.


Your potential is endless. You can take up the viola, decide to run marathons, move to a new city, change your career, write a book, learn French cooking, join a book club. I start to get excited when I see the possibilities of doing something new.


Recently, I attended my 100th Meetup event. Through the Meetup app, I enjoy hiking, singles happy hours, and pickleball. I smile when I remember my first hike. I cried as I was hiking because I felt so conspicuous without a husband. I blurted out, “My husband died!” I was so upset that I didn’t even notice that no one on the hike had a mate either. The poor man who was hiking next to me steers clear of me still. LOL


It took me a while to find my groove, and I have found it: pickleball. I am obsessed. I play at least twice a week and my friends from Meetup are all single. My blurts these days are when I miss a good dink! We play and have happy hour after. I am happy the whole day in anticipation and the whole next day just remembering. I have met some great people. I even dated two pickleball partners. Socializing with new friends is good for the soul. Try it.


Pickleball is such a different choice for me. It is the first ball sport I have ever played. I would have never had this pleasure if Eric was still with me. I am a new person and the same person. If he ever gets to peek down from heaven, I am sure he laughs at my new ball fetish. I have taken up NFL—GO CHIEFS!— also.


How can you stretch yourself? Are you already doing it? What do you want to do? Email me and tell me. Or if you are having trouble with ideas let’s brainstorm.


Share your victories on my recent Facebook post about my 100th Meetup event. I can’t wait to see what you guys are doing!


Death is so desolate, losing your person is so abandoning. Feel that. But know you can feel more.



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