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Establishing a Regular Routine

In last week's post, I suggested that one way to begin coping with relocation stress is to create a regular routine.  One thing that can be a challenge after relocation is that most or all of your familiar routines will no longer exist.  If you’ve never been in this situation, you may take having a daily routine for granted, and so its sudden absence might take you by surprise. Though you may not have thought about it, routine is what structures and shapes our days, our weeks, our months, and our lives.  That is why developing a routine is so important for trailing spouses immediately following a relocation, especially if you harbor negative feelings about the move or are going from full-time employment to being unemployed.  Here are a few ways in which creating a routine can help. Having a routine gets you up in the morning Especially if you [...]

By | August 30th, 2016|Categories: Trailing Spouse|Tags: , , |0 Comments

The Trailing Spouse and Identity Loss

Whether you are moving to a new city or to a new country, Identity loss can be one of the greatest challenges for a trailing spouse, because it comes in many different forms and can be very insidious. So what is identity loss and why does it matter? Most of us have experienced identity loss in some way during our lifetime. Identity is essentially a set of constructs that we use to define ourselves. We use these constructs internally to frame our self-concept and derive our self-worth, and externally when we interact with others. A pervasive example of this in Western culture is when we talk about our work. One of the first questions you’re likely to be asked when meeting someone new is, “What do you do?” For many, the answer to that question is one of the primary components of how they define their place in the world, [...]

By | August 11th, 2016|Categories: Trailing Spouse|0 Comments

Are You a Trailing Spouse?

Are You a Trailing Spouse?   The other day I was talking with a friend and colleague about my work coaching trailing spouses. She had never heard that term before, and initially had no idea what it meant. So I explained, and much to my surprise, she said, “Wow! So I’m a trailing spouse! Who knew!” Having had so much exposure to this situation myself, I had always thought that it was common knowledge. But now having had several conversations much like the one recounted above, I have come to realize that many people—including some who are trailing spouses themselves—are unfamiliar with that term. So I thought that a good place to start this blog would be to clarify what is meant by the phrase trailing spouse, and give some examples of who falls into this group.   What is a trailing spouse?   Believed to have its origins in [...]

By | August 9th, 2016|Categories: Trailing Spouse|0 Comments

Welcome to Ideal Path Coaching!

Hello trailing/accompanying spouses, and welcome to the Ideal Path Coaching blog.  I’m Donna Goodin, career, transition, and life coach for trailing spouses, and this blog is for you. I am a life and transition coach, and I have also been a trailing spouse for the last twenty-five years.  Unfortunately for me, I spent much of that time railing against my situation, and fighting to pursue my original plans for an academic career the way that my husband was able to pursue his professional goals.  For the most part, what that brought me was a lot of frustration and dashed dreams. Looking back, I wish I had made peace with my situation much sooner than I did.  Though I’ve had a wonderful life, I know I could have had an even better one had I done so.  It wasn't until I accepted my situation and decided to build a new life [...]