Something occurred to me a few days ago that really made me think about the significance of living. When I say living, I mean shooting, loving and appreciating moments versus rushing through life like we all do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially significant throughout your divorce.
Here’s what happened to me. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, slightly relaxed and calm. It is sort of like the gun goes off in that time and the race starts.
Once I dropped off the children at their colleges, I headed to the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. I also made a decision to drop off a check to someone there–figured I’d get that job off my list. While practically running to the exercise area where my friend was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of about 40 women who were going to start a fitness class.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land on a tough, gym floor in my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I appeared, I had been surrounded by a group of women asking if I wanted them to call an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches somewhat 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, 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 every day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying 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 bathtub? When was the last weeklong holiday I took? Probably over 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 fast, and the bucket list is still quite long.
I discover that rushing through life happens when people are going through a divorce, too. Men and women 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 inform their buddies things their ex did, rushing to look at lawyer motions and judgements and mails and charges. Rushing because it is their universe and it is their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me.
A divorce can become your whole life. It can make you feel like nothing else is going on–only your broken heart, your kids’ pain along with your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That’s the mindset.
So what I wish to talk about are some strategies to really enjoy life. My advice goes to folks like me, and also people going through a divorce. Here it is.
Every single day, it’s important to discover and acknowledge moments which are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your child’s laugh, perhaps it’s that delicious cup of coffee you enjoyed this morning, possibly a cute guy noticed you, perhaps you had a very great talk with your mom, or perhaps you looked up at the sky and it seemed really really pretty. These are all gifts that people who have so much on their mind sometimes dismiss. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Notice little things. Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–that 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 favourite pair of jeans and they’re really comfortable, or even how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he isn’t and if he’s it’s only temporary), then try focusing on the good. What went RIGHT now? What are you thankful for? What do you have that you love? I guarantee you will find countless things like this. Let yourself see them and love them.
Approximately six months ago, I began a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Every morning when 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’s a way to start my afternoon focusing on the positives, rather than the pressures that will come as the afternoon goes on.
It is funny.
If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” says Matthew Broderick at the start and at the conclusion of the film. In fact, that entire movie is all about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer. I would highly recommend this film to anyone going through a divorce!
In closure, I know your divorce is dreadful. I know you can’t get through a day without crying. But average divorces require a few months to a few years. Would you want 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 anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator 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 dating column, Love Essentially, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she is divorced.