By: Joy Kirsch
If you have traveled, or are traveling, the widowhood road, you probably know how overwhelming its myriad changes and choices can be. Making even one good decision, let alone many can be an especially tall order at a time when just putting one foot in front of the other may seem like more than you can muster.
“To Do Something or to Rest?” That is the Question
The amount of “doing” to be done when your spouse dies can feel insurmountable. But with grief, stress, anguish, and uncertainty camped out on your doorstep, you may lack the clarity and wherewithal to do the best thing. Most of the time you’re so mentally (and maybe even physically) tired that all you really want to do is rest.
But even resting can feel scary. Won’t take a time-out means you’re not making progress? That you’ve failed somehow? That you’re stuck in the uncomfortable, uncertainty that is NOW?
It’s hard not to succumb to the pressure to do something – anything – just to fast-track yourself from point A to point B…to get through this grieving thing. However, the truth is that reacting that way often equates to anything but real progress.
Being stuck certainly can describe someone who is unready and incapable of planning, decision making, implementation and/or follow-through. But if you rush to do anything just to prove to others and/or yourself that you can, you can get stuck in a different way – stuck in a pattern of stress-induced reactions and behaviors that aren’t in your best interest.
Deciding to Rest
As financial consultants trained in the art and science of transition, we know that deciding to take a much-needed breather means you’re anything but stuck. In fact, it could be exactly what you need to get un-stuck. We understand the value of resting, a period during which you limit what’s on your plate to truly urgent issues while backing away from making any decision or taking any action that isn’t absolutely and immediately necessary.
Mindful resting gives you space to absorb your experience and reflect on key issues such as a sense of self and sense of purpose – rather than potentially getting stuck in stress-induced behavior and rash commitments that don’t work for you.
Resting allows you the time you need to come to terms with all the newness that widowhood brings. Furthermore, it empowers you to look back at how you’ve reacted and responded to previous transitions and to determine what has (and hasn’t) worked well for you, providing powerful information for your journey forward. When your period of rest has helped you become truly ready, you can thoughtfully respond to the changes and choices that remain, rather than merely reacting to them out of discomfort, fear, or urgency.
The Ironic Truth about Resting
Resting doesn’t mean that you’re doing nothing. It means that you’ve made the prudent choice to undertake some of the most important work that a person can do in the face of life-altering change.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Meet the founder of our Widows Division, Joy Kirsch.
At age 30, is when Joy became widowed, she lost her husband, best friend and business partner. She quickly discovered that she had no real education or training about how grief affects our brains and bodies. Her natural curiosity and desire to “get it right” led to years of study around life-changing events and how they affect financial decision-making. She now devotes her time to helping other women prepare for life’s transitions with the goal of improving financial well-being. “Life Happens and sometimes it’s difficult, but we get to influence the outcome. I want women to have the resilience, courage, and wisdom to make good financial decisions while moving forward through difficult times with confidence and a sense of purpose.”
Joy believes that true wealth is not just a measure of one’s financial assets, but the sum of a person’s health, wealth and personal relationships. She has devoted her professional career to helping others define their values, dream new dreams and align their wealth accordingly. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner, a Certified Financial Transitionist® through the Sudden Money® Institute and the founder of The Widows Journey, a non-profit entity dedicated to educating and empowering widows to allow them to lean into life and make a difference in the world. She is a member of the Dallas Financial Planning Association and former chairman of the Fort Worth Business and Estate Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association. She is securities and insurance licensed and graduated cum laude from the University of Dallas with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Although Joy has won several industry awards, she is most proud of her twenty-five talented, beautiful and exceptional nieces and nephews. When she’s not hanging out with those little family members, she enjoys golf and tennis, weight training, yoga, meditation and trying every new restaurant in Dallas with her beau, Ron.