It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change. – Mignon McLaughlin

I know, it sounds like an over simplification. You’re sitting there right now saying to yourself “But Mom,  I can’t change this because…”.

First things first, accept that the current situation is no longer working, or serving a positive purpose in your life. Second, begin to define acceptable alternatives. Third, choose an alternative and make the first step.

For example:
I was unhappy living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had elderly parents, and two children whose Father had no desire to leave the area.

My list of acceptable alternatives did not include moving the kids away while they were under a certain age, or leaving my parents who needed me. I could have chosen to be angry and resentful which would have made everyone miserable – that’s no way to live. My chosen alternative was to accept that I would feel better about myself if I put the needs of my kids, and my parents first temporarily.

Most importantly, I choose to change my thinking. Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t have, leaving the Bay Area, I chose to be grateful for what I did have, which was physical and moral support while raising my children, and knowing that they were having time to spend with their Father and Grandparents that was priceless.

And, I started planning for the day when I could move. My Mother passed away when the kids were 5 & 6, and by the time my Father passed away, my children were old enough that I was able to take the insurance money and invest in a cross country move. Because I’d been planning this move thoughtfully, and I knew what I wanted in my new hometown, I haven’t regretted it for a moment.

That’s an extreme example, it took time, but it began with a thoughtful decision to not allow my life to become stuck because of the circumstances I found myself in.