Serendipity

Just last weekend I had the good fortune of being invited to a house party to watch the movie “Bad Moms.” Because it was a friend of a friend, I was in a way the “odd man out.” It was a group of women who all lived in a particular neighborhood…except for me. While the movie is definitely well worth watching – and let me just say I picked up more of the sentimental excerpts the second time around more than likely because the first time I was just laughing so much I simply missed them – it was the conversation prior to starting the movie that cements in my mind. Let me share….

The woman hosting made reference to her “soon-to-be-ex-in-laws.” This is a mom of three, full time mom and full time social worker, a woman of great humor, what sounds like a very trying past, and one I met through a mutual friend on a ski trip about three years ago. After that ski trip I honestly didn’t even remember her name. I had seen her maybe twice in passing usually at the school. But we ended up at yet another mutual friend’s home just a month ago and I became part of a conversation that included getting together to watch the movie “Bad Moms.” So here I was a bit of an outsider at a gathering with women I mostly did not know, but I knew the laughter for me would be medicine. However, the night presented me with another surprise.

This woman told me during the ski trip about three years ago she remembered starting her car to warm it up before making the three hour drive home. (She had only stayed one night so we didn’t share much conversation up until this point). When she came back in to gather the last of her belongings, our mutual friend and I had been discussing my separation. At this time, my husband and I were sharing two homes – which we continued for a year and a half. I remember the woman telling me I should travel and give presentations on how to separate in a healthy manner. I took this comment with a grain of salt. She was a social worker and I knew she was trained to be a good listener. And she was…she was listening. Before we all knew it a solid hour had passed and she suddenly remembered her car had been running this whole time.

Fast forward to the present, and she told me that conversation was life changing for her. Little did I know, her marriage had been struggling. She had been desperately trying to determine a healthy transition to separate but had only believed that was in theory and could not actually be executed. My story…my experience!….actually gave her hope. It gave her the courage to move forward slowly, but positively. And at the heart of all this are her three young children. The unfortunate part is that her marriage is dissolving. But the wonderful part is that it’s amicable. And knowing that that is occurring as a result of me and I actually gave someone hope, in return, gave me hope. Hope! Serendipity…it was all serendipity.

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Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 1

This is one of my absolute favorites; one I have quoted before and surely worth repeating.

“Divorce isn’t such a tragedy. A tragedy’s staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.”

― Jennifer Weiner, Fly Away Home

 

Rules of the challenge:

Three quotes for three days.
Three nominees each day (no repetition).
Thank the person who nominated you.
Inform the nominees.

 

Thank you to https://mysecondchancelife.wordpress.com who nominated me!

 

Today I am nominating:

Sara at http://mumturnedmom.com

Jo at http://www.motherofteenagers.com

Maria at http://collectingmnts.blogspot.com

 

 

Once Upon a Time

I remember

running off the bus, talking – or rather yelling – to my mom as I ran down the street, excitedly telling her the “gossip” of the day.

I was 6 maybe

I remember

racing my bmx bike down the street with my next door neighbor Bobby. I saved up to buy that teal blue Mongoose bike. And I remember the day I walked into the bike store with my Dad.

I was probably about 12

I remember

laughing, giggling, doing crazy, stupid things in High School. I remember late nights, heartbreaks, crying, being scared, feeling mature, and dreaming about my future.

I was 16 and planned my whole life.

I remember

feeling a bit lost in college. Finally finding my way and discovering happiness.

I was 20

I remember

my life unfolding as I began a marriage, started a career, became a mom, and a mom again.

I was in my 20’s

I remember

a life I have lived thus far that I do not regret. For all the memories, good and bad, brought me here. Where I should be. It brought me two amazing children. Somewhere, somehow, I did something so true that I was blessed with the both of them.

And so I will not forget. I will remember.

 

5 days…

It’s been 5 whole days since court. I’ve woken in the middle of the night in that ignorant state of unknowingness….to then be slapped with reality. Finding myself blocking emotion though – as a means of self-protection? Is this good? Bad?

Walking in the supermarket the day of, was a gentle reminder “you never know what someone is going through, what kind of day he/she is having.” I found myself wanting to painfully scream “I just got divorced!”

Blocking out all in the courtroom except for my lawyer and the judge when addressed, I slowly narrowed my vision; otherwise I would have completely broke down. The stenographer sat right in front of me, so close he could have held my hand. Looking at me, I thought he was making eye contact, offering a silent “I’m sorry,” but I quickly realized he was only concentrating on what he was typing – he wasn’t looking at me as so much as through me. Typing words that I declared, words that would officially end my marriage.

Vulnerable in front of strangers who now heard my age, my children’s birth dates, our wedding date, and witnessed my sobs. Sterile. Cold. All so opposite from the day nearly eighteen years ago when we promised to be forever. The judge read the final comments as a script, stating “I wish you both luck.” Hardly sincere, just meaningless commentary.

And then we left. My lawyer hugged me and started to cry herself as my now ex-husband stated “I’ll let you both talk.” He offered no hug. Maybe it was me – my obvious avoidance of looking straight at him. He even asked “why are you crying?” A sign of being unattached, so far removed. Despite knowing me for over twenty years, he somehow didn’t or maybe couldn’t ever know me.

Tomorrow marks the first full week of the rest of my life.

So very scared.

For Better, For Worse

I was always a staunch believer in “For Better, For Worse.” Until one day I realized the “For Worse” was not healthy for my family. I wondered yesterday why it’s acceptable to stay in a marriage simply “for the kids.” When unhappiness, resentment, really any negative feelings continue, how is this “for the kids?” I have been separated for two years now. I still try to create healthy, memorable times for my children that include both their mother and father. I’m working so hard to model positive behavior. To send a message that yes, your parents were not able to continue their marriage, but that does not equate to unhappiness, resentment, anger. Should they not have a model of how to work through a challenging situation in a positive, constructive manner? Even if it means going against the grain? Even if it means it will be a more challenging path to follow? I’m trying to emulate a life long lesson. A lesson in love, in compassion, in collaboration, in respect. Have I faltered along the way? Yes. But I continue to march forward. I have chosen to not stay married for the kids and for the family as a whole. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes….

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost

Struggling

I have noticed older people tend to say things like “let me tell you a thing or two about marriage.” Younger people are focused on “Do what makes you happy.” I fully understand marriage is work. It certainly is not all bliss – despite what I may have thought as a young girl. And I have worked hard to follow through on the commitment I made. I finish what I start. Even a book I am not enjoying, I finish. I feel better when I do. In this particular case, I obviously decided finishing what I had started was no longer a healthy choice for me. Actually no longer a healthy choice for all involved – mainly my boys. But then why am I struggling? I want to know. I want to know when will I feel certain about my life? When will I stop hurting? When can I just exhale?