Something occurred to me a couple of days back that really made me think about the significance of living. When I say alive, I mean shooting, loving and appreciating moments versus hurrying through life like we all do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially significant during your divorce.
Here is what occurred to me. But, when 7am came around, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the kids ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the home, etc.. It’s kind of like the gun goes off at the time and the race begins.
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 a check off to somebody 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 a person’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 women who were about to start a fitness course. Embarrassing as hell, but that has been the least of my concerns.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land onto a tough, gym floor on my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I looked up, I was surrounded by a group of women asking if I needed them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are badly bruised, my body aches somewhat and I am a bit shaky still, however all in all, I have to thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was truly looking out for me personally, and I believe giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The whole experience made me realize just how in a hurry I’m every second of each day. Like so many women I know, we are all trying to manage work, children, our home, errands, and a social life, relationships, working out, etc.. And then perhaps, just maybe we’ve got some free time to get something for ourselves.
I asked myself, when was the last time that I read a book in the bathtub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or movies while lying on the couch all day? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Likely more than a decade and a half–except for the TV binge viewing.
I’m in no manner feeling sorry for myself. I have a fantastic life. But time is going by so quickly, and the bucket list is still quite long.
Women and men that are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment tend to earn their divorce their entire world. They are rushing to speak with their attorney, hurrying to tell their buddies stuff their ex did, rushing to look at lawyer motions and judgements and emails and fees. Rushing because it is their world and it’s their top priority. I’m not judging. Trust me.
A divorce could become your whole life. It can consume you. It can make you feel as nothing else is happening–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 talk about are some ways to actually enjoy life. My advice goes 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 that are purposeful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that yummy cup of java you enjoyed this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a really nice talk with your mom, or maybe you looked up at the sky and it seemed really really pretty. These are all gifts that individuals who have so much on their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Instead of focusing on what just went wrong–which call you obtained from the attorney, or finding out you owe a lot more on your credit card than you thought, or putting on your favourite pair of jeans and they’re really comfortable, or perhaps how pissed you’re that your ex is currently blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he isn’t and if he’s it’s only temporary), then try focusing on the great. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? What do you have that you love? I guarantee there are countless items like this. Let yourself see them and love them.
About six months back, I started a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Every morning when I wake up, until I get out of bed, I speak to God about what I’m thankful for. I do it every single day. It is a way to begin my day focusing on the advantages, instead of the stresses that will come as the day continues.
It is funny. Yesterday evening, my daughter was watching the film, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty quickly. If you do not stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” states Matthew Broderick at the beginning and at the end of the movie. Actually, that whole movie is about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer.
In closure, I understand your divorce is horrible. I understand you can not get through a day without crying. But average divorces require several months to a few years. 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 anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the creator of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly relationship and dating column, Love Basically, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she is divorced.