Five years of changes


Within five years a lot can happen. Some things we plan, other things are out of our control. Still we need to relate to them. At the end we may look back and see that what we feared made us to take care of ourselves better and even fulfill dreams. Read about Gunilla's roller-coaster which took her to a very good place in life. 

Name: Gunilla Savefors

Age: 55

Occupation: Textile teacher

Family: Three sons, age 24, 23 and 21

Lives in: Vänersborg, Sweden

During the last five years, your life has changed in many ways. You divorced, started a new education and downsized, with meant that all your three boys and your own for many years. How did you tackle all the changes?

Well, it hasn't always been easy during this process and now, afterwards, I do realize in how many ways my life has changed. I don't think I have thought so much about the latest five years and how I have handled all the changes. I have taken a stand when they have come. Some decisions have been hard and taken time to process. Mainly I have worked with my self esteem and to have it back and find my own value.

Before the divorce was a fact, I had my suspicions that my husband had met someone else since a while back. It was confirmed more and more when he didn't even came home sometimes at night. One morning before our oldest boy should graduate from senior high, I confronted him when he arrived home and he told me he had met another woman. It was a terrible chock although I also understood that I didn't want to try to save our marriage. But I decided that the children were not to find out before after the graduation party.

It became a chock for them as well, as they hadn't noticed or heard anything and their father moved in with his new woman then same night as we told them about the divorce. As the rent of our lovely big turn of the century apartment was so high so most of my salary went to pay for it, we had to move to a smaller apartment.

I have moved on slowly since the divorce at 2014 and taking care of all three kids afterwards put me in some none existing condition for almost two years. In spring 2016 I got sick leave because of exhaustion. In conjunction with an extension of one month I came to a turning point which made me to begin pondering about the future and what I wanted with my life. Something that had been eating inside of me was what would happen if I took the step and resigned from my work where I had been for eleven years. We had a long conversation and I told how I felt and it was impossible for me to come back.

That day I closed a door which I had wanted to close for a long time and it was like a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders. The joy of life came back and I began to look for a new job. I saw an advertisement in our local paper about an administrative service at a small country, which grab my interest. I made a phone call, went over to give them my CV and the very next day they told me I had the job. I told them I could start the next week, but only a few hours per day at first as I was still on sick leave, but already after a couple of days I felt I wanted to work more. The employment was 70 per cent.

Then only a few weeks later I found out I had been accepted to an education on distance (which I had actually forgotten I had applied for before I was sick). Then when I accepted the place at the university a friend told me that a school in a neighboring municipality needed a textile teacher for junior high students. So I called the principal and told who I was, that I soon would begin an education and how the upcoming years looked. Imagine my surprise when I was asked to send in my application and come over for an interview the next day. He offered me the job and I accepted. Of course I had to leave my other employment although I had just begun.

In 2018 I was searching another job in my own municipality to avoid all traveling. But then I was headhunted from another school as the one who got the work was a teacher at that school. Now I'm working with pupils up to 12 years. That suits me perfect as I don't need to do any mentor ship in one of the classes and I have more time for my studies.

Looking back on all, it's still a bit difficult to grasp all things which have happened to me. It's also only four semesters left now and then I will have the job I dreamt of already 2006. Then I also have the possibility for a permanent employment. When I think about what will come in the future I also see more time for new adventures.

I got the impression that you like starting all over in an apartment of your own and looking forward to what is coming in life. Would you agree that turning 50 is a bit like a new start in life, similar as when we were young, but now we have more wisdom and knowledge?

It sure has been a journey to experience a life on my own and it is a kind of a new start in life as I don't have any children at home. Now all of them have their own homes, works and are building their own lives. Actually I think they wanted to move out, but became a bit comfortable as I took care of everything.

When it comes to age, I have no problem with being over 50, but look at it as a new phase in life. I would not like to be 20 again, but I am young at mind and still curious about life and all which is to come. Each time has its own fascination and experiences.

This summer you went alone to Greece for two weeks. Many hesitate to travel solo even though they really want to go. Was it scary as some fear, or did you got the relaxing holiday you had hoped for?

My vacation abroad this summer was something I had longed for for several years. I had struggled with my finances, studies and work and needed a break. I found a last minute trip at a hotel offering breakfast and closeness to the beach and it was at a favorably price. Even though I can have sun and bath at home it's not the same as going away. To explore new places is like winding down from the ordinary life and where all things one has to do can be put aside and one can create new memories and fill the body up with new energy.

The travel to Greece became as I wanted it and my self esteem was growing even more due to the fact that I went all by myself. I have no fear of being alone and to be so have actually enriched my life as I have been taken care of myself. To love myself was something I lost at the end of my marriage as I always saw to other people's needs. Now I know that I have to satisfy my own needs now and then, so my living becomes more pleasant.

Then of course I have this wish of finding a new partner and to share my love and do a lot of fun things together with. I know though that he is out there, we just haven't met yet!

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