Something occurred to me a couple of days ago that actually made me think about the importance of living. While I say alive, I mean capturing, loving and appreciating moments versus rushing through life like we all do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially important throughout your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me. But, when 7am came about, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the kids ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the home, etc.. It’s kind of like the gun goes off in that time and the race starts.
After I dropped off the kids at their colleges, I headed to the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. Additionally, I decided to drop a check off to somebody there–figured I would get that job off my list. While practically running into the exercise room where my buddy was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of about 40 women who were going to begin a fitness course.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land onto a hard, gym floor on my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I appeared, I was surrounded by a group of girls asking if I wanted them to call an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches somewhat and I am a bit shaky still, but all in all, I must thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was truly looking out for me personally, and I believe giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
The entire experience made me realize just how in a hurry I am every minute of each day. Like so many women I know, we are all attempting to manage work, kids, our home, errands, a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, just maybe we might have some free time to do something for ourselves.
I asked myself, when was the last time that I read a book in the bathtub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or films while lying on the couch all day? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for its TV binge watching.
I’m in no manner feeling sorry for myself. I have a GREAT life. However, time is going by so quickly, and the bucket list is still quite long.
Women and men that are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their whole world. They are rushing to talk to their attorney, hurrying to tell their friends things their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and emails and charges. Rushing because it’s their world and it is their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me.
A divorce could become your whole life. It can cause you to feel like nothing else is happening–only your broken heart, your children’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That is the mindset.
So what I wish to talk about are a few ways to really enjoy life. My advice extends to folks like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. Here it is.
Every single day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments that are purposeful. Maybe it’s your child’s laugh, maybe it’s that delicious cup of java you enjoyed this morning, possibly a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a very nice talk with your mother, or maybe you looked up at the sky and it looked really really pretty. All of these are gifts that people who have so much in their mind sometimes ignore. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–that call you obtained from the lawyer, or finding out you owe a whole lot more on your credit card than you ever thought, or putting on your favourite pair of jeans and they are really comfortable, or perhaps how pissed you’re that your ex is currently blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he isn’t and if he’s it’s only temporary), try focusing on the good. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? I promise you will find millions of items like this. Let yourself see them and love them.
About six months ago, I began a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Each morning when I wake up, before I get out of bed, I speak to God about the things I’m thankful for. I do it every single day. It is a way to begin my afternoon focusing on the positives, rather than the stresses that will come as the day goes on.
It is funny. Last night, my daughter was watching the movie, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” states Matthew Broderick at the start and at the conclusion of the movie. Actually, that entire movie is about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer you. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone going through a divorce!
In closure, I know your divorce is dreadful. I understand you can not get through a day without crying. I understand you are resentful and thinking about the past and about how all of your ex wants to do is screw you financially. But average divorces require a few months to a few decades. Would you want to spend that time living your divorce or living your own life? The option is yours. Think it over and try not to trip on anybody’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationship column, Love Basically, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she is divorced.