Something occurred to me a couple of days back that really made me think about the significance of living. When I say living, I mean shooting, loving and appreciating moments versus hurrying through life like most of us do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this idea is especially significant throughout your divorce.
Here’s what happened to me. But, when 7am came around, it was time to start making lunches, getting the kids ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the house, etc.. It’s sort of like the rifle goes off in that time and the race begins.
Once I dropped off the children at their schools, I headed to the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. I also made a decision to drop off a check to somebody there–figured I’d get that task off my list. While practically running to the exercise 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 class.
I go flying in the air and land on a tough, gym floor in my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I appeared, I had been surrounded by a group of girls asking if I needed them to phone an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my entire body aches somewhat and I am a bit shaky still, but all in all, I must thank God that it was not worse. He was really looking out for me personally, and that I think giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The whole experience made me realize how in a hurry I’m every second of each day. Like so many women I know, we are all trying 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 do something for ourselves.
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 movies while lying on the sofa all day? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Probably over a decade and a half–except for the 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 list is still quite long.
Men and women that are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment have a tendency to earn their divorce their whole world. They are hurrying to speak with their lawyer, hurrying to tell their friends things their ex did, rushing to look at attorney motions and judgements and mails and charges. 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 as nothing else is happening–only your broken heart, your kids’ pain and 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 extends to people like me, and also individuals going through a divorce. Here it is.
Each and every day, it is important to discover and acknowledge moments which are meaningful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, perhaps it’s that delicious cup of java you enjoyed this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a really great talk with your mom, or perhaps you appeared at the sky and it seemed really really pretty. These are all gifts that individuals who have so much on their mind occasionally dismiss. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Instead of focusing on what exactly went wrong–which call you got from the attorney, or finding out you owe a lot more in your credit card than you thought, or putting in your favourite pair of jeans and they’re really snug, or perhaps how pissed you’re that your ex is currently blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he is not and if he’s it’s only temporary), try focusing on the great. What went RIGHT today? What are you thankful for? What do you have that you love? I promise you will find countless items such as this. Let’s see them and appreciate them.
Approximately six months ago, I started a ritual that I believe has helped me tremendously. Each morning once I wake up, before 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 start my afternoon focusing on the positives, instead of the stresses that will come as the afternoon goes on.
It is funny.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it,” says Matthew Broderick at the beginning and at the conclusion of the movie. In fact, that entire movie is all about enjoying the little 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 horrible. I understand you can not get through a day without yelling. I understand you’re resentful and considering the past and about how all of your ex needs to do is screw you financially. But typical divorces take several months to a few decades. The option is yours. Think it over and try not to trip on anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the founder of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. Oh, and she’s divorced.