Those of you that read my blog now are up to speed on recent events- or you wouldn’t have access to reading it. In a divorce situation you never know what might be said or used against you, so I thought I’d make it private for awhile.
Clearly, things haven’t been easy. I’ve been put through the ringer in ways that I hadn’t imagined. There have been times that can only be described as dark and ugly. But through it all, I’ve felt a sense of optimism- a sense that right now things are bad- but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and thinking about that gets me through each day. I’m doing good. I’m looking forward to each new day. And I’m discovering some interesting things about the life of being suddenly single! Most of you know I went from college student to married. So, a lot of things are completely new and foreign to me!
1) Shopping. Grocery shopping is a whole new experience. I buy what I want, when I want. Sometimes I let the fridge be empty for days at a time. And it’s fine. Sometimes I accidentally buy 4 of the same thing. And it’s fine. I walk through the isles and I don’t think about all the logistics of who likes what and what if he doesn’t like it and what if it goes bad before it’s eaten. None of it matters now. The first trip to the grocery store was- enlightening. I actually had to stop and think, “What do I want to eat? What do I want to cook? What it is that I actually like?”
2) The ring callus. Once you stop wearing a wedding ring you notice something. There is a callus just under where that ring was. Years of wearing it have told my skin that it should toughen up a little. But now it’s just a bare finger and a callus. I really wonder how long that takes to disappear. It’s like one of those little reminders that lurk around every corner- reminders of a life you left but the remains are still there scattered around. Anyone know of a good hand exfoliator?
3) Choice. I have a freedom of choice I’ve never experienced. And I am definitely exercising that freedom. I’ve purchased a few new clothes. A new cell phone. Even looking at a different car. It’s a… foreign, but great feeling. I’m done living a life of constantly second guessing decisions. There’s a time to be safe and a time to take a chance. And I think my choices should reflect a few more chances. I might fall down a few more times. But I might have experiences that I couldn’t have imagined before.
4) Family & friends. I’ve always been close to my family and a close knit group of friends. But being tried really reinforces how amazing they are. They are there at midnight when you need to hear a reassuring voice to talk you down from the ledge. They are there to help with the load of being a single parent when you don’t think you can do it alone. Even when you can’t see it, they can see the good, and they don’t let you forget it. They look out for you when you can’t, and they help guide you when you most need it. I’ll never forget how amazing they are- and always have been. Every night when I pray- I never forget to be thankful for the amazing people in my life.
5) Happiness. One thing I can see now, is that happiness in life is important. There’s a time for personal sacrifice. There’s a time for trying to do the right thing & the moral thing. But there’s also a time to evaluate your life- to look at the bigger picture and think about the reasons and motivations behind your actions. To make judgments on if there are changes you need to make- maybe for a greater good. I think it’s easy to use excuses to cover up cowardice, fear of the unknown & fear of change. It’s something I fell in to. It’s something I never want to do again. Change is hard. I’m just so thankful for the people and events in my life that have helped give me the courage to seek the change I needed.
6) The legal system- it has some serious issues!
7) Failure. No matter how you slice it, divorce feels like a failure. At some point, you look in the mirror and think, of all the people that do this- half of them are going to fail. I'm in the bottom half. And you can blame the other person all you want, but in the end, the buck stops at some failure that you had a part in. Maybe it was a doomed match from the start. But then, that's a failure of judgment isn't it? It's one of those things I think, that all I can do is try to learn from the failure. The things I did wrong and the mistakes I made.
8) The division of people- This might be the worst casualty of divorce. Of course the division of assets is going to be a part of the process- and maybe not a pretty one. Lawyers and judges will determine what is fair and to whom- and walk away with a fair portion for themselves. But in the end- who really cares about the stuff. The assets or furniture or collections of this or that. It's replaceable- and clearly it didn't bring me all that much happiness when I had it all. But the harder thing is who gets the people? You don't just erase a;; pf the feelings you've developed for mutual friends and in laws. Nieces and nephews that I've loved since the day they were born- are suddenly in "the other camp." And we all know it's an unspoken rule, that when it comes to mutual friends- somewhere the tie originated with one of you or the other. But it doesn't mean it doesn't suck. What about the wife of his coworker/friend, who everytime we get together I laugh until I cry. She's his now. Her amazingly witty sense of humor is his now. And that sucks.
9) Traditions. We all find ourselves building traditions- or at least habits over the years. And suddenly, an awful lot of my habits no longer make sense. I've had to rethink the way I do some things. Every year I went to his family for Thanksgiving. Every year. My family knew that and they've built other traditions on different days, so we could all be together. So now... on Thanksgiving. What? A movie? Guitar Hero? I don't know.
10) The last thing to round out my top ten today, is independence. There's no doubt- I'm an independent person. I think I'm pretty much able to do whatever needs to be done to keep things together. But... there are those things that I'm not used to thinking about- things I haven't maybe had to think about in the past. The mowing. The snow removal. Cleaning the gutters. Caulking around the chimney. Changing the batteries in the smoke detector. Things that you just come to depend on someone to take care. Man things. I have no doubt I can do these things. And in the end, maybe it will give me a better perspective on some things. I have a brother, and a dad and a step dad, and some great friends, and I know any of them would be willing to help. Maybe that's a skill I have yet to work on- when to just reach out and ask for a hand.
I know there will be more pitfalls on this journey. I have a feeling there are more dark clouds ahead before things get brighter. But I know I can do it.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for your support!