Excerpt from the Happy Section in the book 'Newly Single Woman' by Joy Casillas
Find A Passion...
Notice I did not say find “your passion” – this does not have to be a lifelong quest or like finding your life’s purpose. Just find something that ignites enough passion in you to devote time and attention to learning about it. If you identify something that you want to spend your time thinking about, it will help you to stop thinking about any issues (or people) that you no longer want to think about.
It can be anything from learning a new language to trying new recipes, planning a trip, or learning a new activity – whatever draws you in enough that you want to spend time with it.
I learned this through my own life. During times when I am deeply saddened by a breakup or loss, this strategy helps me to recover.
In 2016, I went through a bad breakup with a boyfriend. This was one of the few men that my daughters had met and also become close to. The breakup left me in a dark place mentally and emotionally. After several weeks stretched into months, and counseling sessions became somewhat repetitive, I reminded myself: “energy flows where attention goes.” I knew I had to put my attention onto other things.
Throughout their whole lives, I have told my daughters:
“YOU are the only one that will be with YOU 100% of the time.
You have to be your own coach and pull yourself through tough or scary times.”
So, I knew I had to do something.
I spent several days thinking about things that would be fun, not only for me but for my daughters and friends, too. I decided and announced to my family and friends in May of 2016 that this would be “The Year of Italy.” I would learn to speak Italian, play Italian music, cook authentic recipes and make homemade pasta, and visit local Italian restaurants. And so we did.
We even had a sleep over where my daughters and their friends made homemade pasta and cut it by hand.
I did not become fluent in Italian or become a gourmet chef, but I did learn some useful phrases, cooked some fantastic meals, found some great new restaurants, and most importantly, had fun!
It also grew into the achievement of bigger dreams.
I had been wanting to take my daughters on a European vacation their whole life. I had not done it yet, though because as a single mom the trip was expensive to pay for all three of us and although I kept saving, it never seemed like I had enough. It was also out of my comfort zone – traveling to places I had never been, where I didn't know the language or the customs, and was the lone adult responsible for myself and two teenage girls!
Well, on New Years Day 2017, I got a marketing e-mail from Hilton Hotels saying, "This is your year to see Europe." I knew that was my calling. I went directly to my computer and looked at the sale prices Hilton was offering. coming out of my “Year of Italy,” I finally booked us a trip to Europe for Spring Break 2017! I still get teary-eyed when I think of how proud I am that this became a reality! The three of us went to Italy (Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Cinque Terra, and Florence), Paris, and London.
From my incredible sadness to my search for a passion to distract my thoughts and emotions,