Buying into the idea that life begins all over again at forty...

Buying into the idea that life begins all over again at forty...

Monday, December 17, 2012

The end of this one rocks, at least...

In re-reading my previous post, I realized how completely "boo hoo...whoa is me" the first half of it sounds. In reality, I guess that is a good representation of the thought process I go through--first feeling overwhelmed or injured by things, and then rationalizing and realizing that I do have a very blessed and wonderful life. So, I hope that is not misunderstood by my whole 2.5 readers (or less) that still read this blog.

After purging all of that whining, something kind of good happened--even if it is with regards to something very negative--talking to our youngest about the shootings. I had a quick impromptu call this morning from my ex and he was wanting to update me on what he'd told her, which basically may hear some things at school and do not worry. We will talk about them at home tonight. We both had been on the fence with talking to our third grader about it. Do you sacrifice your child's security and cause them mental anguish, when as parents we are supposed to make our younger children feel safe and loved?

So, What is so amazing in all of this? With as many differences and as much tension that has developed in what started out to be such an amicable split between us, my ex vented the exact same frustrations I have had and had the same opinion that I did in how and if this should be relayed to our kids and to what level.

I texted him later and told him that despite everything lately, it gives me great comfort in knowing that when it comes to our kids we remain completely in line with one another. We still share the same beliefs in how to handle something as delicate as talking about these shootings. This aspect of our marriage was always something that was a huge positive.

It was the one shining moment of connection I have felt with him in the past year. And, that was enough for me to know that we will be OK. We will calm down again. We are still the same people in some ways as when we were married, even if in other ways we've grown and changed immensely in others.

So, there is that silver lining in the midst of all of this mess and chaos. 

And, here is another positive...

I just found the PERFECT white elephant gift for my company exchange tomorrow....

The PEZ "Kiss" gift set. ROCK ON, PEEPS!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Down the road I go...

She accidentally called me by her name the other day.

My daughter was trying to tell me something, and called me by her step-mother’s name on accident.

She immediately corrected herself and explained why she made the mistake. And, I smiled and said without missing a beat, “No big deal. What was your story?”

But, inside, I cringed. I’ll admit it.

Only a few weeks before, she’d described how she has a new friend who is like her—“She has two moms too, actually.” She’d said. And, I’d thought to myself…but she’s not your Mom. I am! It sounds so selfish as I write this. But, this is what went through my head.

After the tragedy in Connecticut, like most parents, every fiber of my being wanted to hold my children. My children were with my ex-husband and his new wife this weekend. And, when texted a few times to check on them, the ex acted unsurprisingly annoyed. That’s how he acts now—like he must tolerate my existence. I am the thorn in his side, and what did I want again?

After picking up and taking my son to confirmation class this morning, I asked him how his trip with his Dad to put together bikes for kids in need went this weekend. I knew this was a new tradition my kids’ father had started a few years ago, and I supported it wholeheartedly. My son said, “It was really great, Mom. The whole family was there.”

I quietly mumbled, “Well, not the whole family.” I knew I should not have said those words aloud. I really didn’t even know they were coming out of my mouth until I did. I truly have to learn to keep those thoughts only in my head. And, I look forward to a day when I don't even have those thoughts anymore.

The past few years have taught me so much. I’ve learned about what real friendships look like and, how a great majority of the time people may not be there for you in the way you expect or need. I have chosen to let go of the bitterness of that.

I’ve let go of the hurt feeling of being so quickly and easily replaced with my former family. I own the fact that, after years of counseling and trying, I was a part of the decision to end the marriage. I grieve for that, even though I hold no regrets and actually have new understanding of why that was necessary and justified.

I hold tight to the hope that I mean something to my children, but I also realistically know that there is a new mother figure in their life as well. I told them that it just means there is more love for them in the end. In my heart, I did believe it when I said it, but that doesn’t mean there is not a parallel fear that runs through me of losing the two things that mean the most to me in the world.

This past few years, I’ve lost a lot. Financial security. Half of my family. For a time, even my parents were not there. The comfort of tradition. A great chunk of my friendships (which were not friendships at all, I've realized.)

I could sit here and focus on that. The loss. There are rare occasions when I let myself feel it. I have a good cry, and I move on. And, I did that some this week, I’ll admit.

But, I have gained so much in the past few years too. I’ve grown in my faith with God. I’ve learned that I can and will make it on my own. I’ve learned that I don’t need someone else to complete me, but I’d also like very much to find a companion one day. I know now though, that if that is not what God has in mind for me, that I can still be happy.

I have learned to count my blessings and to focus on the positive. I have learned to recognize and appreciate my very blessed life, and pray for those less fortunate, because they are all around me. I have learned to let go of hurt and anger. I can now sit in a completely quiet home and have peace inside. Good friends who have watched me on this ride say that I seem much calmer in general now-content even. It is an accurate assessment, I think.

We do not always know or understand the road we find ourselves upon. I never saw myself as ever being divorced. I never thought I would be starting over at 40-years-old…that I would face a feeling that I could lose everything that matters most to me. I hug my kids tighter now. I tell them I love them multiple times a day. I never let them question how much they mean to me. I do all of this, not for the return hug or the hope that they love me too. Of course, I want that always. But, I do this because I feel it and they need to know they are important and meaningful to me.

In such a week when so much has been lost and we are having our faith so strongly tested, I have to trust that the road God has put my feet upon is the road I am destined to walk. I have to let my feet shuffle and stumble, when the path gets worn and rocky. I have to pick myself back up when I fall and keep looking ahead. I look off onto the horizon and know that the sun still sets in the same place and rises every morning in the same way. And, I know inside that many blessings lie ahead of me, once I have learned the lessons of today. And more lessons are to be learned along the way. Most of all, I know that my life has a purpose and a meaning, even when that meaning isn’t obvious to me. God has a plan for me. I just have to keep walking down this road…