Elizabeth Gilbert, is the author of six books of fiction and non-fiction—most famously her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love," recently wrote the following to her readers:
Dear Ones -
Long ago, a wise woman — much advanced in years — gave me a wonderful piece of advice. She said that every thoughtful woman, every ten years, should take some time to be alone with herself, in order to reexamine the direction of her own life, and to decide if any alterations need to be made.
"You change over time," my wise older friend told me. "The people around you change. The circumstances of your environment change. Therefore, you should take some time once a decade to go away and be by yourself, to check in on who you are NOW, and to figure out what you want your next chapter to look like. Don't stay trapped within a code of living that you have outgrown."
This quote by Carl Jung reminds me of that statement: Don't go into the afternoon of your life still trying to live by rules or behaviors that were better suited to the morning of your life. The afternoon of your life is not necessarily a better or worse period than the morning of your life, but without a doubt, it will be different.
Ask yourself if the moment has come to check in with yourself. Make sure that your values, dreams, goals, and companions are still appropriate — not for the person you once were, not even for the person you THOUGHT you would someday be...but for the woman you have actually become. Ask that woman what she really wants.
The following spoke to me "... every thoughtful woman, every ten years, should take some time to be alone with herself, in order to reexamine the direction of her own life, and to decide if any alterations need to be made ..."
It's true, about every ten years (actually less), or after a major life event, I go "hide." My last hideout involved a cabin near a lake, a few bottles of good French Rosé, Hostess powdered sugar mini-doughnuts, and many books. Don't ask about the powdered sugar doughnuts. First time, I had a powdered doughnut since high school, but for some reason I wanted them - - and they will be my last. To examine the three days alone, and to explain it with titles of books, it was like "The Shack meets Sleeping Beauty."
If you take some time to be alone, you will discover that you are pretty good company, and you'll visit with yourself, more often..