Something occurred to me a few days ago that really made me think about the importance of living. When I say alive, I mean shooting, loving and enjoying minutes versus rushing through life like we all do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is particularly significant during your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me. It’s kind of like the rifle goes off in the time and the race begins.
Once I dropped off the children at their colleges, I headed to the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. Additionally, I decided to drop off a check to somebody there–figured I’d 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 girls who were about to begin a fitness course. Embarrassing as hell, but this was the least of my concerns.
I go flying in the air and land on a tough, gym floor on my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I appeared, I was surrounded by a group of women asking if I wanted them to call an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are badly bruised, my entire body aches a bit and I am a little shaky still, however all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was really looking out for me, and that I think giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
The whole experience made me understand how in a hurry I’m every minute of each day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying to manage work, children, our home, errands, a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, 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 I read a book in the bathtub? When was the last weeklong holiday I took? Likely more than a decade and a half–except for its 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 quite long.
I find that hurrying through life occurs when folks are going through a divorce, too. Men and women who are having shock and anger and bitterness and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their whole world. They are hurrying to speak with their lawyer, rushing to inform their buddies stuff their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and emails and fees. Rushing because it is their world and it is their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me.
A divorce can become your whole life. It can make you feel like nothing else is going on–just 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 talk about are a few strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice goes to folks like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. This is.
Every single day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that delicious cup of coffee you enjoyed this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a very great talk with your mother, or perhaps you looked up in the sky and it seemed really really pretty. All of these are gifts that people who have so much on their mind sometimes dismiss. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Notice little things. Instead of focusing on what exactly went wrong–that call you got from your attorney, or finding out you owe a lot more on your credit card than you ever believed, or putting in your favorite pair of jeans and they are really comfortable, 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 great. What went RIGHT today? What are you thankful for? I guarantee there are millions of items like this. Let yourself see them and love them.
Approximately six months back, I began a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Each morning when I wake up, until 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 positives, rather than the pressures that will come as the day continues.
It’s funny. Yesterday evening, my daughter was seeing the movie, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty fast. If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” states Matthew Broderick at the start and at the conclusion of the film. Actually, that whole movie is about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer. I would strongly recommend this film to anyone going through a divorce!
In closure, I understand your divorce is dreadful. I understand you can’t get through a day without yelling. But average divorces take several months to a few decades. Do you want to invest 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 creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. Oh, and she is divorced.