Something happened to me a few days ago 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 mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially significant during your divorce.
Here is what happened to me. I began my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, somewhat relaxed and calm. It is sort of like the gun goes off at the time and the race begins.
After I dropped off the kids at their schools, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. Additionally, I decided to drop a check off to somebody there–figured I’d get that job off my list. While practically running into the workout room where my friend was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 girls who were about to begin a fitness course.
I go flying into the atmosphere and land on a hard, gym floor in my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I looked up, I was surrounded by a group of women asking if I needed them to call an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are badly bruised, my body aches a bit and I am a little shaky still, however all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was truly looking out for me, and I think giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me realize just how in a hurry I’m every minute of each day. Like so many women I know, we are all trying to handle 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 movies while lying on the couch all day? When was the final weeklong vacation I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for the 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 very long.
I discover that hurrying through life occurs when people are going through a divorce, too. Men and women who are experiencing shock and anger and bitterness and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their whole world. They are hurrying to speak with their attorney, hurrying to inform their friends stuff their ex did, rushing to look at lawyer motions and judgements and emails and charges. Rushing because it is their world and it’s their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me. I did it.
A divorce can become your entire life. It can make you feel as nothing else is going on–just your broken heart, your kids’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That is the mindset.
So what I want to share are some ways to really enjoy life. My advice goes to folks like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. This is.
Every single day, it is important to find and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your kid’s laugh, maybe it’s that yummy cup of coffee you loved this morning, possibly a cute guy noticed you, perhaps you had a really great talk with your mom, or maybe you appeared in the sky and it looked really very pretty. All of these are gifts that individuals who have so much on their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–which call you got from your lawyer, or finding out you owe a whole lot more in your credit card than you ever thought, or putting on your favorite pair of jeans and they are quite snug, or perhaps how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new connection (which trust me, he isn’t and if he’s it is only temporary), try focusing on the good. What went RIGHT today? What are you grateful for? I guarantee there are millions of items such as this. Let yourself see them and appreciate 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 talk to God about what I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It is a way to start my afternoon focusing on the positives, rather than the stresses that will come as the afternoon continues.
It is funny. Yesterday evening, my daughter was seeing the film, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty quickly. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” says Matthew Broderick in the beginning and at the conclusion of the movie. In fact, that whole movie is about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer you.
In closure, I know your divorce is horrible. I understand you can not get through a day without yelling. But average divorces require several months to a few years. Would you wish to spend that time living your divorce or living your life? The choice is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anybody’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the founder of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. Oh, and she is divorced.