Something occurred to me a few days ago that really made me consider the importance of living. While I say alive, I mean shooting, enjoying and enjoying minutes versus hurrying through life like most of us do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this concept is especially important throughout your divorce.
Here is what occurred to me personally. It’s kind of like the gun goes off in that time and the race begins.
After I dropped off the kids at their colleges, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. Additionally, I made a decision to drop a check off to someone there–figured I would get that task off my list. While practically running into the workout area where my friend was, I ended up tripping over someone’s hand weights and falling in front of about 40 women who were going to begin a fitness class.
I go flying into the air and land onto a hard, gym floor in my knees. The fall (especially my knees hitting the floor) was so loud that when I appeared, I was surrounded by a group of women asking if I needed them to phone an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches a bit and I am a bit shaky still, however all in all, I have to thank God that it was not worse. He was truly looking out for me, and that I believe giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me realize how in a hurry I am every second of every day. Like so many girls I know, we are all trying to manage work, kids, our home, errands, and a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then maybe, 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 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 over a decade and a half–except for the TV binge watching.
I’m in no way feeling sorry for myself. I have a GREAT life. But time is going by so quickly, and the bucket list is still quite long.
I discover that rushing through life occurs when folks are going through a divorce, too. Women and men who are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment have a tendency to earn their divorce their entire world. They are hurrying to talk to their lawyer, rushing to inform their friends stuff their ex did, hurrying to look at attorney motions and judgements and mails and fees. Rushing because it’s their universe and it’s their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me.
A divorce can become your entire life. It can consume you. It can make you feel as nothing else is going on–just 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 ways to actually enjoy life. My advice goes to folks like me, and also people going through a divorce. This is.
Each and every day, it’s important to find and acknowledge moments which are meaningful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, maybe it’s that delicious cup of java you loved this morning, possibly a cute man noticed you, maybe you had a really nice talk with your mother, or maybe you looked up in the sky and it looked really really pretty. All of these are gifts that people who have so much in their mind sometimes ignore. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Notice little things. Instead of focusing on what just went wrong–which call you got from your lawyer, or finding out you owe a lot more on your credit card than you ever believed, or putting on your favourite pair of jeans and they are really snug, or even how pissed you’re that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he is not and if he is it is only temporary), then try focusing on the good. What went RIGHT now? What are you thankful for? I promise there are countless items like this. Let yourself see them and love them.
Approximately six months back, I started a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Every morning once I wake up, until I get out of bed, I speak to God about the things I am thankful for. I do it every single day. It is a way to begin my afternoon focusing on the advantages, rather than the pressures 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 in the beginning and at the end of the film. In fact, that entire movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer you.
In closure, I know your divorce is horrible. I know you can not get through a day without yelling. I know you’re resentful and considering the past and about how all your ex needs to do is screw you financially. But typical divorces take several months to a couple decades. The option is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anybody’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the founder of her website, Divorced Girl Smiling. The writer of her novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly relationship and dating column, Love Essentially, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Oh, and she is divorced.