Something happened to me a couple of days ago that actually made me consider the significance of living. When I say living, I mean shooting, enjoying and enjoying minutes versus rushing through life like we all do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is particularly important throughout your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me personally. But, when 7am came around, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the children ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the home, etc.. It’s kind of like the rifle goes off at that time and the race starts.
After I dropped off the children at their schools, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. I also decided to drop a check off to someone there–figured I would get that job off my list. While practically running to the workout area where my buddy was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 women who were going to begin a fitness class.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land onto a hard, gym floor on my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I looked up, I was surrounded by a group of girls asking if I wanted them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches somewhat and I’m a bit shaky still, but all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was truly looking out for me personally, and I believe giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me understand how in a hurry I am every minute of every day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying to handle work, children, our home, errands, and a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, just maybe we’ve got some free time to do something for ourselves. That’s a big maybe.
I asked myself, when was the last time that I read a book in the tub? When was the final weeklong holiday 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 fantastic 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. Men and women that are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment tend to earn their divorce their entire world. They are hurrying to talk to their attorney, rushing to tell their buddies things their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and emails and charges. Rushing because it’s their universe and it’s their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me. I did it.
A divorce can become your whole life. It can make you feel like nothing else is happening–only your broken heart, your children’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That is the mindset.
So what I want to talk about are some ways to really enjoy life. My advice extends to folks like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. Here it is.
Every single day, it’s important to discover and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your kid’s laugh, maybe it’s that delicious cup of java you enjoyed this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a very great talk with your mom, or perhaps you looked up at the sky and it looked really really pretty. These are all gifts that people who have so much on their mind sometimes ignore. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Notice little things. Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–that call you obtained from your 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 are really comfortable, or even how pissed you are that your ex is currently blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he is not and if he’s it is only temporary), then consider focusing on the great. What went RIGHT today? What are you thankful for? I promise you will find millions of items like this. Let yourself see them and love them.
Approximately six months back, I started a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Each morning once I wake up, until I get out of bed, I talk to God about what I’m thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to begin my afternoon focusing on the positives, instead of the pressures that will come as the afternoon goes on.
It is funny.
“Life moves pretty quickly. If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” says Matthew Broderick in the beginning and at the conclusion of the film. In fact, that whole movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer you.
In closing, I know your divorce is horrible. I understand you can’t get through a day without crying. I understand you’re resentful and thinking about the past and about how all your ex needs to do is screw you financially. But typical divorces take several months to a couple years. Do you want to spend that time living your divorce or living your life? The choice is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anyone’s hand weights!
The author of her books, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationship column, Love Basically, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she’s divorced.