Flat as a tack

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Grey nomads depressed

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
We had a great Christmas at a free campsite in Tasmania. The scenery was beautiful, we met some lovely fellow travellers, and I have never felt as close to my husband, Liam, as I do now. So why on Earth do I suddenly feel so flat, and how do I perk up again? The simple things that brought me so much pleasure suddenly don’t seem to mean anything any more.  All of our kids have now got families of their own and are independent and happy, so it’s not like I feel guilty about living a carefree lifestyle while they are at home. We’ve been on the road for nine months now and this unexpected change of outlook has hit me like a freight train. Liam is starting to notice, but I don’t want to spoil things for him. Help!

You say you have never felt as close as you do now to Liam, so it’s time you share your feelings with him about this, Lani.  A problem shared is a problem halved and you shouldn’t try to deal with this on your own. Christmas is an emotional time and a time when grey nomads miss their friends and family more than ever … whether they realise it or not. Being ‘away’ for the first ever festive period also brings it home that life has moved on. You are getting older and the children don’t need you in the same way any more … and that realisation  can trigger conflicting emotions. Don’t be down on yourself. It is completely understandable and I am sure your sadness will pass. I think you’ll be surprised at the number of kindred souls out there.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, Lani! Life has its up and downs and it would be pretty dull if it didn’t. Think back to all those times when you had a shocking day at work or you had a blazing row with one of your children, or you were worried sick about this or that. Yes, the grey nomad lifestyle is a wonderful one but I doubt even the most ardent long-term travellers would describe it as endless joy. Why not take a few minutes to sit in your campchair on your own and count your blessings and to think back over all of those incredible milestones you have enjoyed in your life … marriage,  children, grandchildren. Life is a journey and it is important to look back … and to look forward. Happy New Year, Lani.


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