Filling Up My Cup

Just the other day I wrote a post mentioning I was strongly encouraged to discover what fills my cup. Tending to be the type of person to push myself, activities I choose to do fill my cup, but they take away from my cup as well. Balance. How this idea of balance needs to come to fruition in my life. I am the girl who signs up for a triathlon to take her FIRST swim lesson just two months prior to the race. The one who joined only about a hundred people in total (at that time) who had traversed the Via Ferrata at the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.

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Right about here I am cursing myself “Why do you do this??!!”

The girl who would have panic attacks while running, but managed to find the finish line of a marathon. The girl who was told “you can’t bike 100 miles” and made sure less than a year later that statement was proved wrong.

I push myself. All the time. And I think it’s because I don’t feel worthy otherwise. I feel week. T and I watched Hidden Figures last night – my new favorite movie! – and it is so inspiring to witness women pushing beyond limits, despite being told “you can’t” they proved they can. They defied what was perceived as possible at that time. They were strong and bright and determined. And they weren’t going to allow anyone to hold them back. Granted their pushing beyond limits was for something far greater – equal rights and basic humanity.

But this is where my line blurs. The line of balance. When does pushing yourself become too much? Where does that sweet spot lie – the exact spot where you have pushed just the right amount. I haven’t discovered it yet. It’s a constant back and forth in my mind…a struggle to prove myself maybe? What am I trying to prove? That I am strong? Capable? Anything but week? Or am I “running” away from something? Is my constant push actually an attempt to avoid? All thoughts to ponder I suppose.

These past few days I have discovered a few ways in which I can fill my cup – without simultaneously depleting it.

  1. Walking – through my neighborhood, with my son, with my dog. Just walk. And notice.
  2. Watching an inspiring movie – fosters motivation, some clarity, and honestly..joy
  3. Sitting on the sidelines of T’s sporting events – listening to all the sounds…the birds, referee’s whistle, the cheers, the clapping, feeling the energy

I intend on adding to this list. But for now this is my start. Drop by drop.

Regret Versus Guilt

So by now you must know I carry a lot of guilt. Waxes and wanes, but always peaking its head around the corner daring to be seen, guilt is ever present. At times I am able to assuage this annoying and often incredibly persistent emotion. While other times, I succumb to the drowning effects.

Certainly regret and guilt are not mutually exclusive. They seemingly both stir up negativity in many ways. But for me, in my case of divorce, one does not mean the other. To clarify – because I carry this guilt does not equate to regret. Admittedly, the weight is slowly lifting. And yet, I truly don’t think will ever completely disappear. The definition of being a parent surely includes feeling guilt. Somewhere in there it must state “be prepared to go to bed many a night feeling guilty.” But, I did not choose divorce in that I ultimately had no choice. Despite the many good “things,” some of the best were not shining through or even present. For example, I want my boys to witness love at it’s core; to experience first hand what respect looks and feels like between two people who have promised their life together; to sense compassion; to taste the sweet, sweet taste of undying selflessness; to witness patience and self-control; to appreciate the ups and downs are to be travelled together.

Yes, there is a possibility that I will never be able to personally exemplify all of this for them. But, they are no longer living in a place where the opposite exists and teaches them all that should never be taught.

Guilt? Yes. Regret? No.

This morning I read a beautiful post. It was the reminder I needed. My boys are strong. And I think that maybe, just maybe, I am too.

‘Honey, that challenge was made for you. It might hurt, but it will also nurture wisdom, courage, and character. I can see what you’re going through, and it’s big. But I can also see your strength, and that’s even bigger. This won’t be easy, but we can do hard things.’                        -Glennon Doyle Melton

 

Be

I’m trying, trying to demonstrate how I want my own boys to be

How I hope they will treat others…

But I am pushed back, not by them

I am not allowed to provide them the example I wish for them to witness

I have done all I feel I can, and then I try more

And my heart starts to ache, my breathing increases, but shallow

Don’t they deserve more?

Who are their role models?

How will they be better fathers and husbands if they haven’t witnessed a better example?

My purpose in my life was without a doubt to be a mom

And I will always work to be better at my purpose

 

Be kind, be considerate, be unselfish, be giving

Be love, be happiness, be compassionate, be alive

Be nurturing, be supportive, be forgiving, be strong

Be a hero in your future children’s eyes

….and do not allow a moment to slip by when you can be everything to them

 

D Day

Three days. Actually less. In less than 72 hours, I will sit in a courtroom surrounded by strangers. I will state my name, my salary, my state of health. Simple yeses to complicated questions. An agreement that lays claim to the next five years of my life. And then…I’m left. Swim or sink. Numb and hollow walking down the halls of work, driving down well known streets, brushing my teeth, and lying there. Unable to sleep.

“The way to be strong in any relationship I think is to just look at yourself and the other person honestly. The hardest most strong thing any two people can do.” B.C.K.

This is what I did….it led me here.

With my weakened body and mind, stepping forward into what feels like a dark cave at times, I anticipate. Divorce. It’s everything I am not. But hope and peace are…me.

A Single Word

Amazing how the body can remember. The mind, without consciously thinking it, feels it, instantly. Memory. The response is automatic…because it’s what your body knows. Crying out loud. Tears. Sobs echoing in the hallway. No matter how strong one thinks they are, lurking is always a reminder that may threaten to weaken. This, this space, is where holding on tight, remaining strong, and realizing the gust may push back but it will not push down. It’s not allowed.

Days

There are times when I feel I am going through the motions of day to day life. I have noticed, however, I am better at stopping and truly being in the moment. Moments go by so very fast. And then there are times when I just want to turn my brain off. To sleep away any uncomfortable feelings. Taking a deep breath is at times medicine. I have come to realize so much is perspective. Training my brain to look at things a bit differently. What a difference this can make.
I had this conversation with my ten year old two days ago. He was starting to feel like no one was getting along – not his friends, not his brother and he, not his father and I. I told him what I saw – him sledding with his friends, his brother giving him a hug, and his father and I having nice conversations. He could not deny these statements. And once I put those happier perspectives in his mind, he calmed. His perspective was changed ever so slightly, but enough to give him, and me, a bit of peace.
So with each passing day, I am learning and growing. I am stronger. As days go by, moments slip by, I am getting stronger.