Getting Beyond Survival

I wrote earlier today about the basics of starting over—just a little refresher course for those of us who are going through transitions or in need of a boost as we work to rebuild our lives. Of course, single parents are not the only ones who need a crash course in starting over, but it is definitely part of our life path! In the midst of getting things going again, you might find that you get very good at just surviving—holding things together and struggling along at sustenance level. At some point, however, it becomes time to take a leap into the future and get beyond survival mode…

Survival is that place where we are just barely holding things together. This is not a bad place, in fact, it can feel incredibly good to be making ends meet while we re-group and re-build. We can take comfort in the fact that we are keeping a roof over our child’s head, keeping people fed and taking care of the basic requirements on a daily basis. But, once we have survived for a while and have started to feel better about ourselves and our families, it is time to bump things up a bit and move out of survival mode and into thriving.

Can you afford a few extras? Maybe just getting your hair cut or taking your child out for pizza. What feels like pampering and luxury to you? For many of us who have been chugging along at survival level, we don’t need a weekend trip to the spa but maybe just a pair of new shoes or to buy the expensive brand of bread instead of the thriftiest. For me, moving beyond survival mode meant starting to save money and invest again. Once I was able to feel like I could meet all of the daily needs and pay the monthly bills with a little leftover, saving and investing made me feel as though I had moved beyond survival and was now back into growth mode.

Whatever it is that helps you to feel like you are growing and thriving and not just barely staying alive, it might be time to start reintegrating some of those things into your life. It might be time to move beyond just surviving.