Letting Go Of Marital Lifestyle Story

I had an interesting conversation with two of my friends who are divorced. What I love about these two women are that they are brutally honest with caring hearts. They are supportive even when they may be delivering information that they can see about me that makes me uncomfortable, but I trust them to help me through the journey. And funny thing is, they don’t know each other so the message was clearly true since both of them had the same opinion.

Here’s the scenario: I’ve been in this rental with all of the items from the marriage for a few years now. Surrounded by the furniture etc. that the ex and I picked out (mostly he chose), I hadn’t realized the heavy pall that it cast on me. Here I thought I was healing (and I am), but seeing these items day in and day out, sleeping in the marital bed, are reminders of a lifestyle I don’t currently have.

Example: What began this whole eye-opening cry-fest realization was that one of my friends suggested I sell the dining room set in order to make room to get rid of the storage unit I have been holding onto since the divorce because I had no room for those items in the current rental. The thought of selling the dining room set had me bursting into tears. Being that my friend wanted to help me get to the bottom of how I was really feeling, she walked me through processing the emotions.

What I realized is this: That dining room set held memories of the lifestyle I miss and don’t have anymore. Holding onto it was keeping me mired in missing my role as wife, mom, hostess, and part of a couple who were financially stable. I am not using that set anymore because my lifestyle has changed so dramatically and I really don’t need it anymore. I could release it (and maybe make a few bucks to buy something I would like in the future) and clear the way to embrace this chapter of my life even more.

But the story in my head that unfolded was that I wasn’t embracing the new chapter as much as I thought because underneath it all, I was still missing my old life. And to add complexity to it, I don’t want the ex himself back, but I want that part of me that I had defined myself as for decades even though it no longer fits reality.

Heavy stuff for sure. But once that realization hit, it was as if the carefully patched stalwart core that I’d been holding so tightly to cracked open and a flood of tears were released. It’s easy to think that we have embraced the new life because on the surface we have. I am happier divorced than I was married even though that’s hard to say, but it’s true since he became a stranger. And I am grateful for the freedom to explore this next chapter of who I am for I have been feeling more like “me” over the past few years. But there’s a deeper layer of healing that obviously hadn’t been touched.

It took hours and two different friends to help me to untangle the dining room table dilemma. To clear the way for choosing to see it is still unfolding and processing. And while I could berate myself for my feelings, tell myself harshly to just ‘sell the darn table and move on,’ it was more than that obviously.

The good news is that one of my friends who lives nearby loves to organize and is willing to come help me to get rid of what no longer resonates in my life. This is something I’ve wanted to do from time to time, but was not able to bring myself to do it alone. So I am grateful for her offer and yes, I’ll be taking her up on it in the Fall.

Because Fall is a time for letting go. There’s some quote about the trees are still the trees even when they shed their leaves. I am still ME even when I’ve shed that lifestyle. What defines me is who I AM and not the roles I play, the jobs I have, the place where I live, the items I’ve accumulated.

And while I’ve known this cerebrally and in my heart, I’ve not chosen to really begin to release myself from this mired, tangled past in order to embrace the present Janie. But I am now…

Does this story resonate with you? Any advice or sharing is greatly appreciated if you feel like you’ve had something similar happen to you.

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Getting A Little Better And Looking On The Bright Side

Well, we’ve made it home finally. I’m exhausted as you can imagine, but at least we’re home. Now he’s just got to take meds and work on his breathing. And so we are just going to concentrate on healing him.

Last night we finally slept in our own beds and that felt great. I got up this morning and was so happy to have my own coffee, in my own mug, in my own home, with my kids healthy and home safely with me.

It’s the simple things that count.

Sometimes you have to get walloped with hard stuff in order to be grateful for the little things. Because being grateful for the little things is under-rated, but wildly important!

While this may have changed up our lives, it’s done it in a good way because it brought us closer together as a family of three. You know I always have to find the bright side.

Bright side is that he’s going to heal even though it will take time.

Bright side is that both are taking their college courses online so we’re all home together.

Bright side is that I was Authentically Janie when I made sure the ex (his father) was notified and kept in the loop as long as he wanted information (which was only for the first 36 hours) and then he went silent.

Bright side is that we are all home and healing.

Thank you all for being so kind and supportive to me. I’m here for you too!

Posted in Covid-19 Virus, finding happiness at 50 | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

It Just Ain’t Easy

This past week, it’s been really hard being a Mom, let alone a divorced one. My kid has been in the hospital since Friday night and is not going home any time soon. At least not today, nor tomorrow. I brought him to the ER on Friday and they admitted him for observation. I thought he might have had Covid, (even though he doesn’t go anywhere), he had similar symptoms to what you read online, so I had him tested last Tuesday by the pediatrician. Test results came back negative on Thursday, but by Friday afternoon he was so out of it mentally, physically and emotionally, his brother insisted it was more than just flu-like symptoms. Turns out, he was right.

He has pneumonia. But before we knew that for sure, he had to be tested again twice for Covid at the hospital and he and I were both put in insolation because of it. In fact, as I sit here in his room with him, everyone who comes in is still gowned with PPE on even though he’s tested negative. Luckily when nobody’s in the room, we go without masks, unless he’s having a coughing fit, then we both wear them.

But this whole experience broke me to my core in so many ways. Even my core cracked. While I’m grateful that he doesn’t have Covid, and so I don’t have Covid, and we’re not worrying about that part, there’s the pneumonia piece that I have to deal with and how he got it. But that’s for another post.

I have had to deal with his dad (the ex-husband) and that hasn’t been easy. We haven’t spoken at all since I took him back to court because he wasn’t paying his share according to the divorce agreement. While I could have simply not told him that our son was in the hospital, the kind part of me thought he should know for our son’s sake. Legally I don’t need to tell him since our son is over 18, but I did because I wanted our son to have his support as well. Hell, I live on hope…foolish woman that I am.

It’s hard to see your son suffering and having difficulty breathing due to pneumonia. I know he’s in the right place because he’s getting IV medications and oxygen that we wouldn’t have at home. Now that we’re not a Covid threat, I can leave and come back to be with him. The first night, I was told that if I left, I wouldn’t be able to return at all so I had no choice but to stay and barely slept worrying that he had Covid and now I did too and what that would morph into in a hospital setting. Lucky, that didn’t happen. So even though I am with him at the hospital, I do go home for an hour or two in the middle of the day to check on my other son, the house, the pets and just drive for a bit to release it all. Free in the car with the music blaring, the windows open so the wind blows my hair (and cares away) and the sun warming my face. A few precious minutes to just be JANIE. Not Janie the Mom, the divorced woman, the one who’s responsible for everyone and everything. Just me…and that’s what’s helping me get through this situation. Well, in addition to my love for my kids and the kindness of my brother and my friends.

Posted in Covid-19 Virus | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

First Love

I got a call from my first love yesterday.  Out of the blue because I had written an email to him.  You see, he gave me my first kiss and we were on again off again for years before  we mutually decided that we were better off friends.  And we were/are.  We both married other people (and I have since divorced mine).  But all is well.

It’s not unusual for us to write occasional emails.  His wife knows all about them and I have suggested he let her read them so there is no mistaking anything.  She’s since friended me on social media which is fine.  They live overseas so it’s not like I’m likely to see either of them.  And I pose zero threat to their marriage.

But there’s something about a friendship/relationship from long ago that feels good.  He knew me back when I was young and we grew up in the same town.  He knew my parents, my friends, my family and I knew his.  Those are things that one just doesn’t have when you meet someone after college, so we enjoy keeping up with each other’s lives.  It’s an easy friendship (and that’s all it is).

Yesterday he asked if I were dating.  When I told him I hadn’t found anyone yet, he asked me what I was looking for in a partner now that I’d been married/divorced.  When we finished the conversation, we were both laughing because he knew me so well that many of his ‘suggestions’ as to what I needed in a boyfriend could only have been suggested by someone who once was my boyfriend for many years.

Do you have a first love that you have stayed connected with?

 

Posted in finding happiness at 50, love | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Timelines: Pre-Quarantine or During Covid

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and we were trying to figure out when an event happened.  She was telling me how she’d helped to move her son into his apartment and was trying to figure out when his lease was up.  My first question was if it were cold out, the second was if she could remember if they were wearing masks.

Pre-Quarantine or During Covid….

So many times we have timelines that run like this.  For example:  I got a cat for the kids after their dad left.  We can count how old the cat is by that time line event.

I have others like, before the divorce and after.  Before the ex left and after.  Before this person died or after s/he did.

Do you have these types of conversations too?

How do you sometimes refer to your life timelines?

Do you refer to them by the significant events that have happened in your life?

 

Posted in Covid-19 Virus, divorce | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Checking In With You

Hi everyone!  I’m sorry I’ve been absent for a bit.  I’ve been dealing with some post-divorce issues and it has been really unpleasant so I was too stressed out to write.

How are you?  It’s almost the end of the summer.  Are you excited for Fall?  I can’t believe it’s Saturday again.  I just can’t seem to keep the days straight.  Maybe that’s because we’ve had Groundhog Day over and over (remember that movie with Bill Murray?)!  Does it seem like an endless Groundhog Day to you too?  Or are you doing different things and getting out more often now?

The kids and I are still home.  I have ventured out to eat in a restaurant a few times outside, but with the fall/winter approaching I wonder what the rules will be when it’s cold out and we can’t eat alfresco anymore comfortably?  Have you gone out to eat?

I feel like the terror of Covid-19 has relaxed a bit.  While it’s still upfront and personal, I am not disinfecting everything all the time.  I used to wear gloves to get the mail, but I don’t anymore.  Why is that?  Are you relaxing your germ protection too or are you still vigilant?  Sure, I wash my hands all the time (and make the kids do it too), but the craziness of the isolation has relaxed a bit here.  Are you doing the same or are you still hyper vigilant?

I have friends on both sides of the germaphobe extremes.  I like to think I’m careful, but not an extremist.  Then again, it’s fine to be ubercareful if that keeps you safe and comfortable.  Perhaps I’m the fool to not be as vigilant as I was a few months ago.

How about you?  Have you noticed an increase in your vigilance or a decrease?  Just wondering…

I hope that you are healthy and safe wherever you are!  Check in and let me know how you’re doing!  I miss you!!

 

 

Posted in Covid-19 Virus | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

More Changes To Come?

I went to the local grocery store yesterday and many of the shelves were bare again.  I know at the beginning of the quarantine there were bare shelves.  But now?  Is it starting again?  This hoarding of food and supplies?  It gave me a little tingle up my spine as I wandered around and stared at the empty shelves.

Is it time to get an extra package of paper goods just in case?  I mean, it’s not like I won’t use them (nor am I a hoarder so fear not)!  I won’t be buying up all the cleaning supplies and paper goods like a prepper.  I’m just wondering…

Because if there is a second wave of the virus as predicted and the shipping companies are having difficulty delivering, we may be in for a more difficult time the second time around.  It hadn’t occurred to me until yesterday when I was dumbfounded by the scarcity of some products that had come back to the shelves after a brief hiatus.

I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.  I’m sorry to say that, but I’m open to hearing how it is where you live.

And what you’re thinking…because it has me a little on edge again.  How about you?

Posted in Covid-19 Virus | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Solution For September Schooling?

As a parent, a former teacher, and someone with many friends still teaching and in the trenches trying to get ready for September, I have one important suggestion that may help everyone to embrace the uncertain changes.

UNITE and LISTEN

We are all in this together.  Have you forgotten this?  And our primary focus is on our kids and their learning!  It’s not about whether there’s in person teaching or virtual teaching.  It’s not about the inconvenience you have as a teacher or as a parent.  It’s about the kids and how to keep them safe, to help them transition and to continue learning in whatever form the school has chosen.

Stop blaming each other.  Work together and not separately.  Ok, you are right in your points of view (probably because I haven’t heard yours,) but that doesn’t make any difference when we have kids involved.  And let me remind you that administrators are doing the best they can under the circumstances too.

I think it’s like getting divorced.  You can be completely right, but if you put the kids in the middle, the only ones who suffer are the kids and they don’t deserve that treatment. I hate to compare the coming school year to a divorce, but it seems like a good metaphor because in a divorce, everyone has to compromise in order to successfully sign the papers to get divorced.

COMPROMISE

No teacher, nor parent will get their child’s schooling the way the want it for the Fall.  There will be teachers who complain and parents who complain.  It is hard for teachers to be in the classroom with the threat of the virus being passed along in a crowded classroom.  It is hard for teachers to virtually teach as well.  There’s no easy solution here and most of us never thought we’d still be dealing with the virus in September.  But here we are.

You may have a different viewpoint which I would love to read so please feel free to share below.  My point here is only that we need to think of the students and how best we can keep them safe and not backslide their learning as the future unfolds.  We also need to keep the teachers healthy so that they can continue to teach.  And finally, we need to keep the parents’ minds at ease and support them throughout the year.

 

 

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Back To School In September?

I used to love September and looked forward to the beginning of school.  Fall temperatures and back to a normal routine made me so happy as a Mom because by then (pre-pandemic), I’d be getting weary of the summer freedom frenzy and the heat.  I needed to take back the reins so that I could be more productive and the kids could get back on a decent schedule.

But this summer wasn’t normal for any of us.  And schools are opening, but it’s not going to be like it was last year at this time.  I feel badly for the college kids because each university has a different set of rules these days and they keep changing it up.  My kids will be online in September so they’re not living in a dorm, nor commuting.  I’d rather have them here, than worrying about the lack of social distancing at college and the what if’s that would probably be keeping me up at night.  Such is the new normal for now.

How are you doing?

What’s your kids’ school schedule look like?

Are they going back to school in a classroom?  In a dorm?  Or are they online?

How do you feel about it?

What are your kids saying about it?

Being a single parent isn’t easy and dealing with the pandemic and quarantine has added more stress than ever.  But so far we’re surviving here.

How are you?  I’m listening…and I’m here for you!

 

Posted in #womenofacertainage, divorce | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments