Get a New Toothpaste!

It took me at least two years of frustration and pain to understand the magic of solo adventuring.

When you have been married to someone for years, and you are used to having someone by your side every day, when all of a sudden that person goes,

you go blind and lost.

You lose everything but your name.

You see fear in everything.

You even get lost while driving around in your neighborhood.

Something inside of you tells you every day that life is no longer what it used to be, and you are unable to function.

You feel paralyzed in an invisible way.

Doing things in pairs was easier.

This solo thing requires emotional and physical muscles you do not have.

This letter is all about getting this solo thing mastered.

Not because I believe you should not seek to do life in pairs, but because you need to have adventures regardless.

So here it goes.

First we have to redefine the word adventure after loss.

Building the muscle of solo adventures is like walking around the block before going to the gym. Or even going up and down your stairs before you climb a mountain.

So at first, the adventures will not be huge daring explorations but very small tiny experiences even inside your house.

Dare to try something unlike you.

Step outside of yourself for a few moments.

And into a brand new world you get to create, in solo mode at first.

Try new music while you are in the kitchen.

Get a new toothpaste you never tried before.

Go to your closet and give away your favorite dress,

find a new one to replace it with.

Let go of things that defined you.

There are so many of those inside of your house.

Get rid of them. I have to be direct about it.

You need to use these solo, mini adventures to find out who you are.

Holding on to your favorite things will keep you from knowing the new self that is emerging.

Holding on to your history does not allow you to grab on to your present moment. (Click to Tweet!)

After my husband died, I could not bare the silence inside the bedroom and went and got the biggest TV I could find.

It was huge.

I wanted to bring the world inside the most lonely and heartbreaking place.

My bedroom.

I also sold my car, his car, painted all the walls, took down all the pictures and re-framed new ones. Then I started moving my solo adventures outside of the house.

Solo beach walking.

Solo movie watching.

Solo car driving after dinner. Many of those.

Solo road tripping with my two baby girls.

And while you are finding your way in these solo adventures you are slowly stepping out of the old self and walking in to someone completely different.

Solo adventuring is not here to keep you lonely, it is here to keep you away from a ghost life inside the Waiting Room.

Ghost living is the experience you are still having even after your old life is gone.

You need solo adventuring to get out of it.

I wish I could keep my old life, it was almost perfect.

I wish you could have kept yours too.

But whether we like it or not that old life is no longer here, don’t stay in it.

It is a ghost town with one resident. YOU.

RUN. Run as fast as you can.

Get a new toothpaste, get rid of your favorite dress.

Do whatever it takes. However silly it sounds.

It will change your life.

With many solo moments,


P.S. I had a conversation on loss, transformation and being stuck in the waiting with Chantal of Emerging Women. You can listen here.



  1. I also made many changes in my bedroom, decorating in the colors I love. I still walk on the lakeshore alone and have found peace there. I love the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. I also sold his car, my car and got a new red one for me. Now I am realizing I need to make more changes in my home. I recently removed a family picture from when my children where small from the book shelf and put it in the album. I am now going to work on repainting all the walls too, making it my own. Going to some concerts this month by myself. More and more I know I am so different now, grief has changed me. You are so right, after 34 years of marriage and being with my husband for so long , I strive to find solo adventures and yes, some are in the house. It seems to be an on going process for me and gets easier . I feel my new life emerging.
    Thanks for all your encouragement and help!
    God Bless,

  2. I thought I was just crazy when I started buying things I knew my husband wouldn’t like. I cut my hair, he always liked it long. I got 2 cats, he hated cats. I got rid of most of his clothes rather quickly after his death. I even threw away the recent stockpile cof all his favorite bath soap! I attributed it all to the rollercoaster ride of grief, sadness, disbelief, even anger. I went thru them all. I guess what I was doing was actually healthy, not crazy! I stepped out of the waiting room fairly quickly. 4 years later and I still find times of great sadness but I am not afraid anymore.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I am about to embark on a huge new adventure…I am getting married next week. Talk about second firsts…that is one I never thought I would have. I feel blessed and terrified all at the same time. Reading your post is helping me breath through the conflicting emotions

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.