Something happened to me a few days back that actually made me think about the significance of living. While I say living, I mean capturing, enjoying and enjoying minutes versus hurrying through life like most of us do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially significant during your divorce.
Here is what occurred to me personally. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, somewhat relaxed and calm. However, when 7am came about, it was time to start making lunches, getting the children ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the home, etc.. It’s sort of like the gun goes off at the time and the race starts.
After I dropped off the children at their schools, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. Additionally, I made a decision to drop a check off to somebody there–figured I’d get that job 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 approximately 40 girls who were about to start a fitness class. Embarrassing as hell, but this has been the least of my worries.
I go flying into the air and land on a tough, gym floor in my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I looked up, I was surrounded by a group of girls asking if I wanted them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are badly bruised, my entire body aches somewhat and I am a bit shaky still, but all in all, I have to thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was truly looking out for me, and I believe giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
The whole experience made me understand how in a hurry I’m every second of every day. Like so many women I know, we are all attempting to manage work, kids, our home, errands, a social life, relationships, working out, etc.. And then maybe, 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 bathtub? When was the final weeklong holiday 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 quite long.
I find that hurrying through life happens when folks are going through a divorce, too. Men and women that are having shock and anger and bitterness and resentment have a tendency to earn their divorce their entire world. They are rushing to talk to their lawyer, hurrying to tell their buddies stuff their ex did, rushing to look at lawyer motions and judgements and emails and fees. Rushing because it’s their universe and it’s their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me.
A divorce could become your whole life. It can make you feel as nothing else is happening–just your broken heart, your children’ pain along with your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That’s the mindset.
So what I want to talk about are a few strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice goes to folks like me, and also people going through a divorce. Here it is.
Each and every day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments which are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your child’s laugh, perhaps it’s that delicious cup of coffee you loved this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a very nice talk with your mom, or perhaps you looked up in the sky and it looked really really pretty. These are all gifts that individuals who have so much on their mind occasionally dismiss. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Instead of focusing on what just went wrong–which call you got from your lawyer, or finding out you owe a lot more in your credit card than you thought, or putting in your favorite pair of jeans and they are quite comfortable, or even how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he is not and if he’s it’s only temporary), try focusing on the good. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? What do you have that you appreciate? I promise there are millions of things like this. Let yourself see them and appreciate them.
Approximately 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 talk to God about what I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It is a way to start my day focusing on the advantages, instead of the stresses that will come as the afternoon continues.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” says Matthew Broderick in the start and at the conclusion of the movie. In fact, that whole movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer you. I would highly suggest this movie to anyone going through a divorce!
In closure, I know your divorce is dreadful. 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 invest that time living your divorce or living your own life? The choice is yours. Think it over and try not to trip on anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. 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.