Something happened to me a couple of days ago that really made me consider the importance of living. While I say living, I mean shooting, loving and enjoying minutes versus rushing through life like most of us do. I am Slow Down. Big. Time. And, this idea is particularly important during your divorce.
Here’s what happened to me personally. I began my day around 5:30am, drinking coffee and working, slightly relaxed and calm. It’s sort of like the gun goes off in that time and the race starts.
After I dropped off the kids at their colleges, I headed into the gym to squeeze in a fast workout. I also decided to drop a check off to someone there–figured I would get that job off my list. While practically running to the exercise 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 in the air and land on a hard, gym floor in my knees. The fall (particularly my knees hitting the ground) was so loud that when I looked up, I was surrounded by a group of girls asking when I needed them to call an ambulance!
My knees are seriously bruised, my body aches a bit and I am a little shaky still, but all in all, I have to thank God that it was not worse. He was really looking out for me personally, and I believe giving me a warning to slow the heck down!
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 attempting to handle work, kids, our house, errands, a social life, relationships, exercising, etc.. And then perhaps, just maybe we might have some free time to do something for ourselves.
I asked myself, when was the last time I read a book in the tub? When was the final weeklong vacation I took? Probably more than 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. However, time is going by so fast, and the bucket list is still very long.
Women and men who are having shock and bitterness and anger and resentment have a tendency to make their divorce their entire world. They are hurrying to talk to their attorney, hurrying to tell their buddies things their ex did, hurrying to look at lawyer motions and judgements and emails and fees. Rushing because it is their universe and it’s their top priority. I am not judging. Trust me. I did it.
A divorce could 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’s the mindset.
So what I want to share are some 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’s important to find and acknowledge moments that are meaningful. Maybe it’s your kid’s laugh, maybe it’s that delicious cup of java you loved this morning, maybe a cute man noticed you, perhaps you had a really great 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 on their mind sometimes ignore. Slow down and stop ignoring them! Pay attention.
Notice little things. Rather than focusing on what exactly went wrong–that call you got from the lawyer, or finding out you owe a lot more in your credit card than you ever thought, or putting in your favourite pair of jeans and they’re really comfortable, or even how pissed you are that your ex is already blissfully happy in his new connection (which trust me, he is not and if he’s it is only temporary), then consider focusing on the great. What went RIGHT now? What are you grateful for? What do you have that you appreciate? I promise you will find countless things such as this. Let yourself see them and love them.
Approximately six months ago, I began a ritual that I think has helped me tremendously. Every morning when I wake up, until I get out of bed, I talk to God about what I’m thankful for. I do it every single day. It’s a way to start my afternoon focusing on the advantages, rather than the pressures that will come as the afternoon goes on.
It is funny. Last night, my daughter was seeing the movie, “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off.”
“Life moves pretty fast. If you do not 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 whole movie is about enjoying the little pleasures that life has to offer you. I would highly recommend this film to anyone going through a divorce!
In closing, I know your divorce is dreadful. I know you can’t get through a day without yelling. But typical divorces require several months to a few years. Would you want to spend that time living your divorce or living your own life? The option is yours. Think it over and try to not trip on anybody’s hand weights!
Oh, and she’s divorced.