Save Your Big Between! (Part 2)
By Jacey Eckhart
So you’ve got a Big Between. I get it. Everything in you wants to watch all one thousand seasons of ER on Hulu and eat chips on the couch while wearing your pajamas. I beg you not to. (Also, the pants that currently fit you called and asked that I intervene before they become the pants that no longer fit.) Rather than trying to kill that time before your Next Door opens, put it to work for you. And if you don’t, my mom will.
Find a Needy Orphan
There are always people on this planet who need a little help AND people like my mom who can think up something for you to do. My mom puts people to work baking casseroles and cutting up fruit for the funerals in the parish. Your local assisted living center could use someone to call Bingo and give the regular ladies a break. Start a short-term project collecting old towels for the SPCA. Adopt a beach for a few weeks and pick up trash. Attend other people’s charity functions and swell their numbers. And tip your barista, would you? They do so much for the underbusy of the world.
Don a Red Riding Hood
If you have a family who is not too far off the dysfunctional family scale (all families are pretty much dysfunctional in one way or another), put on your red riding hood, steel yourself against wolves, and go visit them for a day. Watch an episode of Finding Your Roots on PBS and get all inspired to learn about your family history. If your family is far flung, think ROAD TRIP. Take your cousin and your aunt to lunch. Besides, your grandma called my mom and says she misses you.
Give Your Spiritual Side 30 Days
According to the Pew Research Center, Americans who do not identify with any religious organization are the fastest growing group. That does not mean you don’t have a spiritual side. Maybe these next few months are a time you give meditation a real try, go on retreat, read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Maybe you go to hot yoga 30 days in a row and do a juice cleanse. Maybe, just maybe, you go back to the origins or source book for your particular faith. I’ve heard it is very good for the heart. Or is it the soul?
If you really want to get all virtuous, do something really hard—like quit smoking. Take a class. See a hypnotist. Join a group. I thank you. Your heart thanks you. And my mom especially thanks you.
Doing one of these projects is not going to feel that good at first—your Big Between is weighing you down. Reframe the way you look at it. Polish it up. And you can look back at this time with a lot of well-earned pride.