Olivia Arnold

  • published Growth, Change, and New Opportunities in Blog 2019-01-03 20:50:10 -0800

    Growth, Change, and New Opportunities

    A lot of people use the start of a new year as a time for reflection and resolutions. However, since being widowed I feel like what people do on new year’s day is what I do constantly; I am always reflecting, reevaluating and adjusting to make changes. I haven’t felt like I can go through my life like I once did - just doing things because I’ve done them before or because that is how it has been for whatever amount of time. I’m conscious of how I spend my time and the things and people in my life. I want my life to meaningful and purposeful to me. I don’t want to arrive at my death having not done the things or lived the life I wanted.

    So that is what I try to pursue. I continue to grow, change, and explore what makes me happy or what I believe will lead to more happiness. In the past little while that has meant taking a course in the evenings, figuring out and planning investments, practising acro yoga, continuing to travel and be outdoors and active when I can, spending time with family (including Tango), and continuing to grow my relationship with David. Those are the things right now that challenge me to grow, think, and be happy.

    That being said, as I’ve been reflecting lately, I’ve been finding some things that no longer fit my life. It’s not easy to acknowledge and change because it’s things and people that I have valued, thought would be lifelong (or close to) and in the case of relationships, that I had assumed were reciprocal. Some connections/ relationships that I thought I was valued in, that maybe I actually pushed beyond their expiration. Some activities that no longer bring me as much joy as they once did. I think I resist the change at first because I go back to my old self where I thought I just had to “keep going” and I pushed my true feelings aside for the sake of comfort.

    It can be hard for me to let go. But I think that by leaning into and embracing the change that there opens up a space for growth. Quite literally, by leaving behind one activity there becomes time for another. In the way of a relationship, by letting some people go you have space and time for new people. And my hope is that the new space is a space for things and people that are more intune to where I am now. Things and people that support my journey and growth. It’s an opportunity for me to become more me.

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  • commented on Building My Wings 2018-12-17 07:58:21 -0800
    Loved reading this! I’m glad you’re challenging your beliefs about yourself

  • commented on I'll Not be Home for Christmas 2018-12-12 05:43:02 -0800
    I have 3 families to split myself between for the holidays…my own parents/family, Mike’s family and now my boyfriend’s family. They don’t live as far apart as your 4 families but each is about an hour away from the next. It’s hard to balance it all. I’m trying this year to do all 3 in the day since they all do Christmas day. I’m not sure it will be able to be a yearly thing but we’ll see. I hope you enjoy your day!

  • commented on Be Present 2018-09-06 18:27:21 -0700
    You said it all so well right there Jana! A broken heart and permission to start a new fearless life with a new mind. Great words!

  • commented on Getting Older Doesn't Suck 2018-09-06 18:25:13 -0700
    Sorry to hear about both of your health issues. I did mention in the blog that I don’t have experience with health issues so I was not commenting on that hardship and not meaning to offend.
    My perspective is that it would be very fortunate for Mike to be getting older. I understand that health may deteriorate at some point but I think there is a lot to experience before and even during that which would have been better than dying at 28 years old.

  • commented on Widow's Roast 2018-08-29 04:18:37 -0700
    haha I know, so many Mikes and it’s confusing. I guess you can take solace in the fact that out of the Mikes involved in this Soaring Spirits blog you are the only one still living. Maybe we can distinguish by calling you “alive Mike” :p

  • commented on Get in the Casket and Die Too 2018-08-21 08:23:20 -0700
    I feel the same. I don’t wish the pain or loss on anyone but glad to have my perspective.

  • commented on Planning Hawaii 2018-08-01 05:59:49 -0700
    I don’t think that’s a fair question. It’s not a comparison. They’re not in competition. They’ve existed to me in 2 different times in my life. I loved what was with Mike but I also love what is with David now. I don’t have to choose. There’s so much that’s different (me and my thinking mainly) and I think I love them differently because of that. Not more or less, just different (apples to oranges). I have more of an awareness that this is not a fairytale and it both scares me (and sometimes makes me panic) and makes me love deeply. I consciously choose this relationship knowing that loving deeply can also mean hurting a lot and I appreciate the love as it is now. My values, interests and way of being have shifted after loss which makes David a good fit for me now whereas Mike was a good fit to me before. I try, as much as possible, to stay in the moment. I have to be where I am. Trying to compare the love of then and now strips the joy of today does not do me any good.

  • commented on Easy To Love 2018-08-01 05:36:15 -0700
    The insecurities are definitely difficult. I don’t know if I would call it a full heart. I don’t have a full heart to love from. My heart still has an empty space left from Mike dying. I would say it’s an expanded heart. The space from Mike is still there but my heart has grown to fit someone new and I love him with all that new space. It keeps pushing bigger. There is room for both.

  • commented on Getting Out of My Own Way 2018-06-12 05:03:49 -0700
    Karin, that’s great you have a group out there. I wasn’t planning on going to Kona unfortunately :( It would have been nice to meet up. I’m not sure how to privately send you my contact info in case something changes. Maybe find on fb?

  • commented on Vacation Reflection 2018-04-03 10:02:56 -0700
    Marybeth, Barbados is so nice! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it too. I hope you are able to plan a vacation soon!

  • commented on And That's Why You Don't Have a Baby 2018-04-03 10:00:18 -0700
    I’m glad you could relate. You can’t enjoy the present if you’re thinking of what milestones you haven’t had

  • commented on Vulnerability 2018-03-20 09:47:38 -0700
    Thanks Stephanie! I do find it healing to write. Yes, not healed but together in the process so not alone. Thanks for your comment!

  • commented on Vacation 2018-03-20 09:57:36 -0700
    Thanks Cindy! Other than the Caribbean I haven’t traveled to the same places without Mike. However, my travelling philosophy is more so in seeing as many places as I can so I am not inclined to go back for other reasons. Caribbean is an easy relaxing vacation so I had to move past my reservations with that one. I agree, the triggers can be a reminder of what a wonderful love we had. I don’t try to stop it. I let it come; happened a few times on this trip.

  • commented on The Me Now 2018-03-07 18:39:57 -0800
    Thanks Stephanie for the warm welcome! I’m sorry for the very slow response. I realized I can only respond to comments on my laptop and it doesn’t post from my phone.

    Teresa W, that’s great you’re from Ontario! Maybe see you at Camp Widow!

    Teresa Renee, it was a pleasure meeting you too. Your words are so true! Thank you for sharing them!

  • commented on The Me in the We 2018-03-07 18:37:09 -0800
    Thanks Gayle!

  • commented on Why I Smile 2018-03-07 18:36:36 -0800
    Indira, I know the feeling of a shattered heart. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • commented on My Family 2018-03-07 18:34:03 -0800
    Teresa, I know I am very fortunate to have them. I definitely appreciate them!

  • commented on I'm Building my Wings on the Way Down 2018-01-06 11:47:25 -0800
    Loved this post. The first paragraph about not wanting to ring in the new year without him, now or never really resonated with me. Thank you!

Doing things a late twenty-something woman does...as a widow. Re-creating my life and identity, being outdoors, adventurous and active, teaching, laughing and crying, and living my new life a little less seriously.
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