Something occurred to me a few days back that really made me consider the significance of living. While I say alive, I mean capturing, enjoying and enjoying minutes versus rushing through life like most of us do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is particularly important throughout your divorce.
Here is what happened to me personally. It is kind of like the gun goes off at that time and the race starts.
After I dropped off the kids at their schools, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. I also decided to drop off a check to someone there–figured I would get that task off my list. While practically running to the workout room where my friend was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of about 40 girls who were about to begin a fitness class. Embarrassing as hell, but that has been the least of my concerns.
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 was surrounded by a group of girls asking when I wanted them to call an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches a bit and I am a bit shaky still, but all in all, I have to thank God that it was not worse. He was truly searching for me, and that I believe giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me understand just how in a hurry I’m every minute of each day. Like so many women I know, we are all attempting to handle work, kids, our home, errands, and a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, just maybe we might have some free time to get something for ourselves. That’s a big maybe.
I asked myself, when was the last time I read a book in the bathtub? When was the final weeklong vacation I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for its TV binge viewing.
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 hurrying through life occurs when folks are going through a divorce, too. Men and women that are having shock and anger and bitterness and resentment tend to make their divorce their whole world. They are rushing to talk to their attorney, hurrying to tell their buddies stuff their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and emails and charges. Rushing because it’s their world and it’s their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me. I did it.
A divorce can become your entire life. It can consume you. It can make you feel as 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 a few strategies to really enjoy life. My advice extends to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. This is.
Every single day, it is important to discover and acknowledge moments which are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that delicious cup of java you loved this morning, possibly a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a very nice talk with your mom, or perhaps you appeared in the sky and it seemed really really pretty. All of these are gifts that people who have so much on their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Rather than focusing on what just went wrong–that call you obtained from your lawyer, or finding out you owe a whole lot more on your credit card than you ever thought, or putting in your favourite 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 is not and if he’s it’s only temporary), try focusing on the great. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? I guarantee you will find millions of items like this. Let’s see them and love them.
Approximately six months ago, I began a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Every morning once I wake up, until I get out of bed, I speak to God about what I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to begin my afternoon focusing on the positives, rather than the stresses that will come as the day goes on.
It’s funny. Yesterday evening, my daughter was seeing 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,” states Matthew Broderick at the beginning and at the end of the film. Actually, that whole movie is all about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer.
In closing, I understand your divorce is horrible. I know you can not get through a day without crying. I know you are resentful and considering the past and about how all of your ex needs to do is screw you financially. But average divorces require several months to a couple decades. Do you want 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 anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The writer of her books, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly relationship and relationship column, Love Basically, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph resides with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.