Amongst the myriad exhortations to embrace the new year with gusto, I wanted to make space for those less glamourous feelings – of loss, sadness, grief, wistfulness and confusion which are so much a part of every life, and so often close to the surface for those of us living the life unexpected.
I thought you might find this recording of my Reflect & Renew webinar which I hosted last week (29th December 2018) to talk about feelings that come up at this ‘in-between’ liminal moment in the year, and how to cope with them.
There are also questions from viewers on coping with difficult questions, navigating female friendships, self-care, grief work, ageing as a childless woman, childlessness in the workplace and more! I mention a lot of resources and I’ve listed them all at the end of the video and below.
Please sign up to www.bit.ly/gw-update to know when I’ll be hosting my next free webinar and also to download a free chapter from my book, ‘Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Life Without Children’ – I mention quite a few different sections from my book in this webinar and how they can be used to help understand or shift certain aspects of our experience as childless women. I know it can be daunting to read it, but why not just dip into the various bits I mention?
My wish for you this new year is that the space created by letting go fills up with self-care, self-compassion and other lovely nourishing things.
Resources mentioned in this webinar:
- Gateway Women website: www.gateway-women.com
- My book “Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful & Fulfilling Future Without Children” by Jody Day www.gateway-women.com/book (You can also download the intro and first chapter free at www.bit.ly/gw-update)
- Poem: ‘Starlings in Winter’ by childless poet Mary Oliver in (2003): Owls, And Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays
- An enlightening book of essays about being childfree by choice which busted my preconceptions about the childfree choice being an ‘easy one’: ‘Selfish, Shallow & Self Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids’, edited by Megan Daum.
- An excellent book about self-care by another childless psychotherapist, Tracey Cleantis: ‘An Invitation to Self Care’.
- My TEDx talk ‘The Lost Tribe of Childless Women’ by Jody Day www.bit.ly/jodytedtalk
- Megan Devine’s book about grief (for those in grief and those supporting someone who is grieving) ‘It’s OK that You’re Not OK’ and also a short animated clip on how to support a grieving friend at www.refugeingrief.com
- Ageing Without Children www.awoc.org the UK organisation advocating, campaigning and supporting those ageing without children for whatever reason
- Childlessness in the workplace article on the Gateway Women website: www.gateway-women.com/workplace
- Meet other childless women through Gateway Women either at meetups www.gateway-women.com/meetup or our private online community www.gateway-women.com/community
- Other recorded podcast and webinar interviews with Jody www.gateway-women.com/talking-about-childlessness
- Sign up to my list to learn about future webinars & download a free chapter of my book: www.bit.ly/gw-update
????????????????thank you so much Jody. I’m teary…but thank you. You articulate SO well my feelings and experiences around being childless, Xmas, New Year, getting older, also grieving the loss of my Mum. It’s horribly difficult. Again, thank you for lighting a way forward. ????
Dear Sandra – I’m so very sorry to hear of your Mum’s death. It’s not unusual for that loss to really intensify our grief around childlessness again, bringing up fears around our own ageing process as childless adults as well as a real sense of existential loneliness when we no longer have that feeling of there being a generation ‘above us’ or ‘below us. I’d really encourage you to seek out the work of http://www.AWOC.org (Ageing Without Children) which is an organisation I was a founding member of. And do lean on us, your childless sisters, in our private online community – we get it! Hugs xxxx
Happy New Year to you Jody, and thanks so much for this website, it has helped me so much. You look fantastic, Ibiza must be suiting you! Just regarding people asking if one has children, I have found, over the years, that if you reply “No, I don’t, do you?” in a pleasant tone, it turns the question back to them, and they’ll happily chatter on, and it gets over the awkwardness. Best wishes for 2019 to all, Mhairi