Something occurred to me a few days back that really made me consider the importance of living. While I say alive, I mean capturing, loving and enjoying minutes versus rushing through life like most of us do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this idea is particularly important during your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me. I began my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, slightly relaxed and calm. However, when 7am came around, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the children ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the house, 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 to the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. I also decided to drop off a check to somebody there–figured I would get that task off my list. While practically running into the workout room where my friend was, I ended up tripping over a person’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 women who were about to begin a fitness course. Embarrassing as hell, but that has been the least of my worries.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land on a tough, gym floor on my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I looked up, I had been surrounded by a group of girls asking when I needed them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches somewhat and I am a bit shaky still, however all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was truly looking out for me, and I believe giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me realize how in a hurry I am every minute of each day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying to handle work, kids, 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. That is a big maybe.
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 last weeklong holiday I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for its TV binge watching.
I’m in no manner feeling sorry for myself. I have a fantastic life. However, time is going by so quickly, and the bucket listing is still very long.
I find that rushing through life happens when people are going through a divorce, too. Men and women who are having shock and anger and bitterness and resentment tend to earn their divorce their entire world. They are hurrying to talk to their lawyer, rushing to inform their friends things their ex did, hurrying to look at lawyer motions and judgements and mails and charges. Rushing because it’s their universe and it is their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me.
A divorce could become your whole life. It can consume you. 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’s the mindset.
So what I wish to talk about are a few strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice extends to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. This is.
Every single day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments which are purposeful. Perhaps it’s your child’s laugh, maybe it’s that delicious cup of java you enjoyed this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a really nice talk with your mom, or perhaps you appeared at the sky and it seemed really very pretty. These are all gifts that individuals who have so much in their mind sometimes ignore. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Instead of focusing on what just went wrong–that call you got from your lawyer, or finding out you owe a whole lot more on your credit card than you thought, or putting on your favorite pair of jeans and they are really snug, or perhaps how pissed you’re that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new connection (which trust me, he is not and if he is it’s only temporary), then consider focusing on the good. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? What do you have that you love? I guarantee there are millions of things like this. Let yourself see them and appreciate them.
Approximately six months ago, I started 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 what I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to begin my day focusing on the positives, rather than the stresses that will come as the day goes on.
If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” states Matthew Broderick at the beginning and at the conclusion of the movie. Actually, that whole movie is about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer. I would strongly suggest this movie to anyone going through a divorce!
In closure, I understand your divorce is horrible. I know you can not get through a day without yelling. But average divorces require a few months to a couple decades. Would you want to spend that time living your divorce or living your life? The option is yours. Think it over and try not to 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 Essentially, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she is divorced.