Something happened to me a few days ago that really made me consider the significance of living. When I say alive, I mean shooting, loving and enjoying minutes versus hurrying through life like we all do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially significant throughout your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me personally. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, somewhat relaxed and calm. It’s 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 quick workout. I also made a decision to drop off a check to someone there–figured I’d get that task off my list. While practically running into the exercise room 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. Embarrassing as hell, but this has been the least of my concerns.
I go flying in the air and land on a hard, gym floor in 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 when I wanted them to call an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are seriously bruised, my entire body aches a bit and I’m a bit shaky still, but all in all, I have to thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was truly searching for me personally, and I think giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me realize just how in a hurry I am every second of every day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying to manage work, children, our house, errands, a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, just maybe we might have some free time to get something for ourselves.
I asked myself, when was the last time I read a book in the tub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or movies while lying on the sofa all day? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Probably more than a decade and a half–except for its TV binge viewing.
I’m 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 very long.
I discover that hurrying through life occurs when folks are going through a divorce, too. Women and men that are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their whole world. They are hurrying to speak with their attorney, rushing to tell their buddies stuff their ex did, hurrying to look at lawyer motions and judgements and mails and charges. Rushing because it’s their world and it is their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me.
A divorce can become your entire life. It can cause you to 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 is the mindset.
So what I wish to share are a few ways to really enjoy life. My advice extends to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. Here it is.
Every single day, it is important to find and acknowledge moments which are purposeful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that yummy cup of java you enjoyed this morning, possibly a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a really nice 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 in their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–which call you got from your attorney, or finding out you owe a whole lot more on your credit card than you believed, or putting on your favourite pair of jeans and they’re really comfortable, or even how pissed you’re that your ex is currently blissfully happy in his new connection (which trust me, he isn’t and if he is it is only temporary), then consider focusing on the great. What went RIGHT now? What are you thankful for? I promise you will find countless items like this. Let yourself see them and appreciate them.
Approximately six months ago, I began a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Each morning when I wake up, until I get out of bed, I talk to God about the things I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to start my day focusing on the positives, rather than the pressures that will come as the afternoon goes on.
It is funny. Last night, my daughter was watching the film, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” states Matthew Broderick in the beginning and at the end of the film. In fact, that whole movie is about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer.
In closing, I understand your divorce is horrible. I understand you can not 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 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 choice is yours. Think it over and try not to trip on anybody’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the founder of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The writer of her novels, 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 lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she’s divorced.