Something occurred to me a couple of days ago that actually made me consider the importance of living. While I say living, I mean shooting, enjoying and enjoying minutes versus hurrying through life like we all do. I mean Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this idea is particularly significant throughout your divorce.
Here’s what occurred to me personally. I started my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, slightly relaxed and calm. But, when 7am came around, it was time to get started making lunches, getting the kids ready for college, doing dishes, cleaning the house, etc.. It is sort of like the rifle goes off in that time and the race starts.
Once I dropped off the children at their colleges, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. Additionally, I decided to drop off a check to someone 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 someone’s hand weights and falling in front of approximately 40 girls who were about to begin a fitness course.
I go flying in the atmosphere and land on a hard, gym floor on my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I appeared, I had been surrounded by a group of girls asking if I wanted them to phone an ambulance!
By some miracle, I felt OK. My knees are seriously bruised, my entire body aches somewhat and I am a little shaky still, however all in all, I must thank God that it wasn’t worse. He was really searching for me personally, and I think giving me a warning to slow down the hell!
The entire experience made me understand how in a hurry I am every minute of every day. Like so many girls 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. That is a big maybe.
I asked myself, when was the last time I read a book in the tub? When was the last time I binge watched TV or films while lying on the couch all day? When was the final weeklong holiday I took? Probably more than a decade and a half–except for the TV binge viewing.
I’m in no way feeling sorry for myself. I have a fantastic life. But time is going by so fast, and the bucket list is still very long.
Women and men who are experiencing shock and anger and bitterness and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their whole world. They are hurrying to talk to their lawyer, rushing to tell their friends stuff their ex did, rushing to look at lawyer motions and judgements and emails 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 consume you. It can cause you to feel as nothing else is happening–only your broken heart, your kids’ pain and your asshole ex who just ruined your life. That is the mindset.
So what I wish to share are a few strategies to actually enjoy life. My advice goes to people like me, and also people going through a divorce. Here it is.
Every single day, it is important to discover and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Perhaps it’s your child’s laugh, perhaps it’s that yummy cup of java you loved this morning, possibly a cute guy noticed you, maybe you had a very great talk with your mom, or perhaps you appeared in the sky and it seemed really very pretty. All of these are gifts that individuals who have so much in their mind occasionally ignore. Slow down and stop dismissing them! Pay attention.
Notice little things. Instead of focusing on what exactly went wrong–which call you got from your lawyer, or finding out you owe a whole lot more on your credit card than you believed, or putting on your favourite pair of jeans and they are really comfortable, or perhaps how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new relationship (which trust me, he isn’t and if he’s it is only temporary), then try focusing on the great. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? I guarantee you will find millions of things like this. Let’s see them and love them.
About six months ago, I began a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Every morning once 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 afternoon focusing on the positives, rather than the pressures that will come as the afternoon continues.
It is funny. Last night, my daughter was watching the movie, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it,” states Matthew Broderick in the beginning and at the end of the film. Actually, that whole movie is all about enjoying the small pleasures that life has to offer you.
In closing, I know your divorce is horrible. I know you can’t get through a day without yelling. I know you are resentful and thinking about the past and about how all your ex wants to do is screw you financially. But typical divorces take several months to a few years. Do you want to invest that time living your divorce or living your own life? The choice is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anyone’s hand weights!
Jackie Pilossoph is the founder 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 relationship column, Love Essentially, printed in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press. Pilossoph lives with her family in Chicago. Oh, and she is divorced.