Something occurred to me a few days ago that really made me think about the significance of living. While I say alive, I mean shooting, enjoying and appreciating moments versus rushing through life like we all do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept 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 peaceful. It is kind of like the rifle goes off at that time and the race starts.
Once I dropped off the children at their colleges, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. I also made a decision to drop off a check to somebody there–figured I’d get that task off my list. While practically running to the workout area where my friend was, I ended up tripping over a person’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 girls who were about to start a fitness course. Embarrassing as hell, but that has been the least of my concerns.
I go flying into the air and land on a hard, gym floor on my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I appeared, I had been surrounded by a group of women asking when I wanted them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are badly bruised, my body aches somewhat and I am a little shaky still, however all in all, I have to thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was really searching for me, and that I think giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
The whole experience made me realize how in a hurry I am every second of each day. Like so many women I know, we are all attempting to manage work, kids, our house, errands, a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then maybe, just maybe we might have some free time to do something for ourselves.
I asked myself, when was the last time I read a book in the tub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or films while lying on the couch all day? When was the last weeklong vacation I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for its TV binge viewing.
I am in no way feeling sorry for myself. I have a GREAT life. But time is going by so fast, and the bucket listing is still quite long.
I find that hurrying through life happens when people are going through a divorce, too. Women and men who are having shock and anger and bitterness and resentment tend to make their divorce their entire world. They are hurrying to speak with their lawyer, rushing to tell their friends stuff their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and mails and fees. Rushing because it’s their universe and it’s their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me. I did it.
A divorce could become your whole life. It can consume you. It can cause you to feel as nothing else is happening–only your broken heart, your children’ pain along with your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That’s the mindset.
So what I wish to talk about are a few ways to actually enjoy life. My advice extends to people like me, and also people going through a divorce. Here it is.
Each and every day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that yummy cup of java you loved this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a really nice talk with your mom, or perhaps you looked up at the sky and it looked really really pretty. All of these are gifts that individuals who have so much in their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Instead of focusing on what just went wrong–which call you got from the lawyer, or finding out you owe a lot more on your credit card than you ever thought, or putting on your favorite pair of jeans and they’re quite snug, or perhaps how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he is not and if he’s it’s only temporary), then consider focusing on the good. What went RIGHT today? What are you grateful for? I promise there are countless items such as this. Let yourself see them and appreciate them.
About six months back, I began a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Each morning when I wake up, until I get out of bed, I speak to God about what I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to begin my day focusing on the positives, instead of the pressures that will come as the afternoon goes on.
It is funny.
If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” says Matthew Broderick in the beginning and at the conclusion of the film. Actually, that entire movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer. I would strongly recommend this film to anyone going through a divorce!
In closing, I understand your divorce is horrible. I know you can not get through a day without yelling. I know you’re resentful and thinking about the past and about how all of your ex wants to do is screw you financially. But average divorces take several months to a few years. Do you wish to spend that time living your divorce or living your own life? The choice is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. Oh, and she’s divorced.