Something happened to me a few days back that really made me consider the importance of living. While I say alive, I mean shooting, loving and enjoying minutes versus rushing through life like we all do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this idea is particularly important during your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, somewhat relaxed and calm. But, when 7am came about, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the kids ready for school, doing dishes, cleaning the home, etc.. It’s sort of like the rifle goes off in that time and the race begins.
Once I dropped off the children at their schools, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. Additionally, I made a decision to drop off a check to someone there–figured I’d get that task off my list. While practically running to the workout room where my buddy was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 girls who were going to start a fitness class.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land onto a hard, gym floor in my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I appeared, I had been surrounded by a group of girls asking when I wanted them to call an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my entire body aches a bit and I’m a little shaky still, but all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was truly searching for me personally, and I think giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
The whole experience made me understand just how in a hurry I’m every second of each day. Like so many girls I know, we are all attempting to handle work, kids, our house, errands, and a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then maybe, just maybe we’ve got some free time to get something for ourselves.
I asked myself, when was the last time I read a book in the bathtub? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Likely more than a decade and a half–except for the TV binge viewing.
I am in no way feeling sorry for myself. I have a GREAT life. However, time is going by so quickly, and the bucket list is still very long.
I find that hurrying through life occurs when people are going through a divorce, too. Women and men who are having shock and anger and bitterness and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their whole world. They are rushing to speak with their lawyer, rushing to inform their friends stuff their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and mails and charges. Rushing because it is their world and it is their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me.
A divorce could become your whole life. It can make you feel as nothing else is happening–only your broken heart, your kids’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That is the mindset.
So what I want to talk about are a few strategies to really enjoy life. My advice goes to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. Here it is.
Each and every day, it’s important to discover and acknowledge moments which are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that yummy cup of coffee you enjoyed this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a really nice talk with your mom, or perhaps you looked up in the sky and it seemed really really pretty. These are all gifts that individuals who have so much on their mind sometimes dismiss. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–which call you got from the lawyer, or finding out you owe a lot more on your credit card than you ever believed, or putting on your favourite pair of jeans and they are quite snug, or even how pissed you’re that your ex is currently blissfully happy in his new connection (which trust me, he is not and if he’s it’s only temporary), then try focusing on the great. What went RIGHT today? What are you grateful for? What do you have that you love? I promise there are millions of things like this. Let yourself see them and appreciate them.
About six months back, I started a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Each morning once I wake up, before I get out of bed, I talk 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 pressures that will come as the day goes on.
It’s funny. Last night, my daughter was watching the movie, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty quickly. If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” states Matthew Broderick at the start and at the conclusion of the movie. In fact, that whole movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer you.
In closure, I know your divorce is horrible. I know you can not get through a day without yelling. But typical divorces require a few months to a few years. The option is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the founder of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of her books, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly relationship and relationship column, Love Basically, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.