Something happened to me a couple of days ago that really made me consider the significance of living. When I say alive, I mean shooting, enjoying and appreciating moments versus hurrying through life like most of us do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this idea is especially important throughout your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me. It’s kind of like the rifle goes off in the time and the race begins.
After I dropped off the children at their schools, I headed to the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. Additionally, I made a decision to drop a check off to someone there–figured I would get that task 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 about to start a fitness class.
I go flying in the air and land onto a tough, gym floor in my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I appeared, I was surrounded by a group of girls asking when I wanted them to call an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my entire body aches a bit and I am a little shaky still, but all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was really searching for me, and that I believe giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
The whole experience made me realize just how in a hurry I’m every minute of each 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 maybe, 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 tub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or films while lying on the couch all day? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Likely more than a decade and a half–except for the TV binge viewing.
I am in no way feeling sorry for myself. I have a fantastic life. However, time is going by so fast, and the bucket list is still very long.
Men and women who are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment tend to make their divorce their entire world. They are hurrying to speak with their lawyer, hurrying to tell their friends stuff 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’m not judging. Trust me.
A divorce can become your whole life. It can consume you. It can cause you to feel as nothing else is going on–just your broken heart, your kids’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That’s the mindset.
So what I wish to talk about are some strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice goes to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. This is.
Every single day, it is important to discover and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your child’s laugh, maybe it’s that delicious cup of java you loved this morning, maybe a cute guy noticed you, perhaps you had a very great talk with your mom, or perhaps you appeared in the sky and it looked really really pretty. All of these are gifts that individuals who have so much on their mind occasionally dismiss. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Rather than 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 believed, or putting in your favourite pair of jeans and they’re quite snug, or even how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new connection (which trust me, he is not and if he is it is only temporary), then try focusing on the good. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? I promise there are countless items like this. Let yourself see them and appreciate them.
About six months back, I started a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Each morning once I wake up, before 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 start my day focusing on the advantages, instead of the pressures that will come as the day continues.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” states Matthew Broderick at the start and at the end of the film. In fact, that entire movie is about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer. I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone going through a divorce!
In closing, I know your divorce is dreadful. I understand you can’t get through a day without crying. I understand you’re resentful and considering the past and about how all your ex wants to do is screw you financially. But typical divorces take a few months to a couple decades. The option 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. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she is divorced.