Something occurred to me a couple of days ago that really made me consider the significance of living. While I say living, I mean shooting, loving and appreciating moments versus hurrying through life like we all do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is particularly important throughout your divorce.
Here is what happened to me personally. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, somewhat relaxed and peaceful. But, when 7am came about, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the kids ready for school, doing dishes, cleaning the house, etc.. It is sort of like the gun goes off at 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 made a decision to drop off a check to somebody there–figured I’d get that job off my list. While practically running into the workout room where my buddy was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of about 40 girls who were about to start a fitness course.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land on a tough, gym floor on 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 girls asking when I needed them to call an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches somewhat and I am a little shaky still, but all in all, I have to thank God that it was not worse. He was really searching for me, and that I think giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me realize just how in a hurry I’m every second of each day. Like so many girls I know, we are all attempting to manage work, kids, our home, errands, and a social life, relationships, working out, etc.. And then maybe, just maybe we might have 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 last weeklong vacation I took? Probably more than a decade and a half–except for the TV binge watching.
I’m in no way feeling sorry for myself. I have a GREAT life. But time is going by so fast, and the bucket list is still very long.
I discover that rushing through life happens when people are going through a divorce, too. Men and women that are experiencing shock and anger and bitterness and resentment have a tendency to earn their divorce their entire world. They are rushing to talk to their attorney, 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 could become your whole life. It can consume you. It can make you feel like nothing else is happening–just your broken heart, your children’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That is the mindset.
So what I want to share are some strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice extends to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. Here it is.
Every single day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments that are purposeful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, maybe it’s that yummy cup of coffee you enjoyed this morning, possibly a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a really great talk with your mom, or maybe you appeared at the sky and it looked really very pretty. All of these are gifts that people who have so much in their mind sometimes dismiss. Slow down and stop ignoring 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 in your credit card than you thought, or putting on your favorite pair of jeans and they are really 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 is it’s only temporary), then try focusing on the great. What went RIGHT today? What are you thankful for? What do you have that you love? I guarantee there are countless things like this. Let’s see them and love them.
About six months ago, I began a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Each morning when 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 positives, instead of the pressures that will come as the afternoon continues.
It is funny. Yesterday evening, my daughter was seeing the movie, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty quickly. If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” says Matthew Broderick at the beginning and at the end of the film. Actually, that entire movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer.
In closing, I understand your divorce is horrible. I understand you can’t get through a day without crying. But typical divorces require a few months to a few years. Would you wish to spend that time living your divorce or living your own life? The option is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anybody’s hand weights!
The writer of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationship column, Love Essentially, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she’s divorced.