Something occurred to me a couple of days back that really made me think about the significance of living. While I say living, I mean capturing, loving and appreciating moments versus hurrying through life like most of us do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially important throughout your divorce.
Here is what happened to me personally. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, slightly relaxed and peaceful. It is kind of like the rifle goes off in the time and the race begins.
Once I dropped off the children at their schools, I headed to the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. I also decided to drop off a check to someone there–figured I’d get that task off my list. While practically running to 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 about to begin a fitness class.
I go flying in the air and land onto a tough, gym floor in my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I appeared, I was surrounded by a group of women asking if I wanted them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are badly bruised, my body aches a bit and I am a bit shaky still, but all in all, I have to thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was truly searching for me, and that I think giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The whole experience made me understand how in a hurry I am every second of every day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying to handle work, children, our house, errands, a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, 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 tub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or films while lying on the sofa all day? When was the final weeklong vacation I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for the TV binge viewing.
I am in no manner feeling sorry for myself. I have a fantastic life. But time is going by so quickly, and the bucket list is still very long.
I discover that hurrying through life happens when people are going through a divorce, too. Women and men that are experiencing shock and anger and bitterness and resentment tend to earn their divorce their whole world. They are hurrying to talk to their lawyer, rushing to inform their buddies things their ex did, hurrying to look at lawyer motions and judgements and emails and fees. Rushing because it’s their universe and it is their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me. I did it.
A divorce can become your entire life. It can consume you. It can cause you to feel like nothing else is going on–only your broken heart, your kids’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That’s the mindset.
So what I want to talk about are a few strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice goes to folks like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. This is.
Each and every day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your child’s laugh, perhaps it’s that delicious cup of coffee you loved this morning, possibly a cute guy noticed you, maybe you had a very nice talk with your mother, or maybe you looked up at the sky and it seemed really really pretty. These are all gifts that people who have so much in their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Instead of focusing on what exactly went wrong–which call you obtained from the lawyer, or finding out you owe a lot more in your credit card than you ever believed, or putting in your favourite pair of jeans and they are quite comfortable, or perhaps how pissed you are 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), then consider focusing on the great. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? What do you have that you love? I guarantee you will find millions of things such as this. Let’s see them and love them.
Approximately six months ago, I began a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Every morning once I wake up, until I get out of bed, I speak to God about the things I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to start my afternoon focusing on the advantages, instead of 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 might miss it,” says Matthew Broderick at the start and at the conclusion of the film. Actually, that entire movie is about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer you. I would highly suggest this film to anyone going through a divorce!
In closing, I know your divorce is horrible. I understand 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 needs to do is screw you financially. But typical divorces require several months to a couple years. Do you wish to invest that time living your divorce or living your own life? The choice is yours. Think it over and try not to trip on anybody’s hand weights!
The writer of her books, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly relationship and dating column, Love Basically, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she is divorced.