Monthly Archives: February 2009

Oy! Six years!

So… my venerable therapist told me today that the rule of thumb (why do thumbs have rules anyway?) is that for every 5 years that you were in a serious relationship you should wait one year before you enter a new one. Follow me?

Um… that puts me at waiting 6 years before getting into a new relationship. Gag. I’ll almost be old enough for social security (well, not really, but it sounds more dire than, well, I’ll be 6 years older).

Do you get credit for good behavior? How about bad behavior? How could you speed it up? Would you want to speed it up?

So, by my calculations, if this is almost 6 months since Mr. Ex moved out, I’m now “over” a relationship that would have been 2.5 years. 2.5 years! That’s like a high school thing. A right-out-of-college thing. Blech.

What the hell am I supposed to do for the next 5.5 years?

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Filed under Moving on

Belongs in a fortune cookie…

fortune_cookie1(Thank you , Allie) I know – easier said than done. I keep telling myself that worrying about what will happen won’t change it. I’m trying very hard to differentiate between planning for what might happen and worrying about it.

Sigh.

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Filed under Fortune cookie, Optimism

Divorce transition goal setting

The other day I talked about choices; that having too many choices is almost a daunting thing.

There are so many things I want to do, now that I’m really focusing on ME. Things I want to try, change, renovate, start, and learn.

Even my “101 in 1001” list is daunting. 101 things is too many.

So – here’s the March to-dos:

1. Take the 101 in 1001 list in categorize it and set some intermediate goals

2. Explore the whole dating thing. The last time I dated, Gerald Ford was president and the movie Star Wars had just started production. That includes writing a good online profile and paying membership in one or two dating sites. Gag.

3. Pick one room in the house and start work on it.

4. Explore one creative outlet

5. Plan for my spring break. Spring break is 2 weeks long and I’m afraid without a plan I’ll waste all the time or spend it all thinking about, ahem, the past.

I’m excited to have some goals. They’ll help me focus and move forward. What goals helped you through your divorce?

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Filed under Creating a new life, Singleness, Transition

Choices

I stopped on my way home the other night to pick dinner up for myself. It was Friday night, and I was going to be home alone. I’m okay with it – I had a busy weekend coming up and I needed the downtime. What I didn’t need was to cook, so I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few groceries. Now, everybody knows that the grocery store has become a great place to pick up ready-to-go foods as well, so I figured I could pick dinner up for that night; something that didn’t need to be prepared.

Flickr Loves Sushi. Mmm.
Image by drp via Flickr

Sushi? Roasted chicken? Frozen something? Salad bar? Deli? Pizza?

That’s a lot of choices.

First I put sushi in the cart. Mr. Sushi special forĀ  $9.99. Really. Seemed like an easy solution.

Then I walked around for a while.

Hmmm. Did I want something hot? How about the roasted chicken? Or a pizza?

Or did I want to just get some deli stuff and then have it for the rest of the week?

I put the sushi back and grabbed a chicken. Then I put the chicken back and took a pizza. Then I put the pizza back and bought two rolls and a package of liverwurst. Not even kidding.

Here’s the problem. I don’t know how to deal with choices, when it’s choosing for me only. I spent 30 years making meals for 2, 3 or 4 or more – one of whom was a vegetarian, and two of whom were children at various stages, which automatically limited choices. I’m not a picky eater (perhaps that’s my problem); I like almost everything and I’m not afraid to try things that I’ve never eaten. I eat spicy; I eat veggies; I eat meat; I eat flour; I eat peanuts.

In other words, I’m screwed. Too many choices and I don’t know where to start.

In therapy yesterday, the therapist said to me that I have the rest of my life in front of me, and now I can do what I want to do.

And that would be….. ?

It’s too overwhelming.

For 30 years my choices have been limited by my situation, my responsiblities and my role in life – wife, mother, partner, provider. Now what?

I’ve done the 100 things in 1000 days list – you can see it by clicking on the link. I guess that’s a good place to start, but even that seems like a daunting list of choices.

I need to start smaller I think. Tomorrow – my “to do” for March…

And maybe I’ll grow beyond the liverwurst (which, incidentally, was delicious).

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Filed under Creating a new life, Empowerment, Singleness, Transition

Five months

He moved out five months ago today.

Five months ago I cried easily, even at work. I’ve never done that, even after finding out about the affairs.

Windows Calendar
Image via Wikipedia

Going out at night by myself was weird, and I worried a lot about getting lost.

I worried a lot about money.

I hated eating alone.

I filled up my Saturday nights so I didn’t sit home alone.

What a difference five months makes.

Going out at night is fine – I meet friends for dinner, run errands, all that – at night and alone.

Today I spent 15 minutes at the grocery store thinking about what I was going to eat for my dinner tonight. Alone. And I looked forward to eating it.

I turn down offers for Saturday nights if I want to. Sometimes I need a little down time – even on Saturday.

And I haven’t cried in months.

How far I’ve come.

(I still worry about money, though).

Can’t wait to see what another five months bring.

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Filed under Singleness, Transition

Uninvited little creeps

They spring up without notice. Uninvited. They sneak up…first just within your peripheral vision – then they slowly, insidiously creep into your direct view.

You can’t ignore them. You shake your head to make them go away, but they linger.

Memories.

I have them. Do you?

My 30-year marriage, of course, was not ALL bad. It couldn’t have been; I wouldn’t have stayed all that time if it was. Much of it was a disappointment, true, but there were good moments, happy times, contentment.

And every now and then I remember them.

The memories spring up at the oddest times, and not always at a time that seems to make sense. All of a sudden, in the middle of teaching a class, I picture the two of us sitting and enjoying a glass of wine after touring a winery in Zichron Yaakov in 2007. Or chatting with the interesting man who owned the photography store in Paducah, Kentucky. Or sitting and sharing a German pancake for dinner.

Mind pictures suck.

These are almost as bad as the ones that used to creep up after I found out about his affair. Now… those were imagined pictures and they were amazingly vivid considering they were completely (well, almost completely) fabricated in my head. They were hard to get rid of, too, and they were just as sneaky. But they solicited absolutely nothing but sadness and an overwhelming inability to understand the situation. They sent me off to a dark place where betrayal takes you.

But these pictures are different. They’re sad because they represent something I don’t have any more and won’t have again – at least not with him. But sometimes they kind of bring on a little smile, too. Is that weird? That those sad, don’t-have-anymore moments still bring on a smile?

Mostly, though, they’re annoying. See, I move quickly. I “get” stuff easily (or, frankly, I give up). It took me years and years to learn how to knit because I didn’t “get” it immediately so I would set it aside for months before giving it another shot. I set a high expectation for myself that I will “get” everything quickly. I think I didn’t expect to be thrown off by mind pictures for this long. Oh, I know that’s stupid – I know that you don’t get over the dissolution of a 30-year marriage in a matter of months (although he seems to have…), but I didn’t expect the memories to keep popping up.

Delete key on PC keyboard
Image via Wikipedia

I would like to put them all in the box, along with my wedding band, the photo album, and the kiddush cup we drank from at our wedding. Seal ’em up and leave ’em there until I die and the kids can go through them. I even said that to him in September; that I didn’t know what to do with my memories. He didn’t understand and said that was nonsense. “Your memories are still your memories,” he scoffed.

I don’t want them anymore, but I don’t know where to put them. I would like to hit “delete” and get rid of them. Pack ’em up and forget about them, like the old photos from junior high that are so hideous but you can’t bear to part with them. No – strike that. I can bear to get rid of them. Now, how do I do that?

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Filed under Creating a new life, Transition

Skill set

Sometimes, when you’re looking for a job, you need to show how skills you used at your old job will apply to the job for which you’re applying. Like how the customer service skills you honed as a food server, a retail clerk or a customer support specialist will transfer to selling tires, teaching or managing a restaurant.

Everything is about skills. In my “other” life, I teach children how to use computers. And we’ve discovered that it’s not about teaching kids how to use Microsoft Word; it’s about learning to use a word processor in general. It’s about the skills – not the specifics of one particular application.

So now I’m thinking about life skills. All those skills I’ve developed over the years of working, being a mom and wife, making a home. Those weren’t skills that only apply to those things, though, right? In my transition to my “new job” as divorced middle-aged woman I’m wondering if some of my carefully crafted, well-developed skills of making dinner for a bunch of people, arranging carpools (well, to be honest, I haven’t needed that one in a while), and organizing a busy family just aren’t as important any more.

Can that really be? Did I just spend over 30 years developing a whole bunch of skills I don’t really need?

That’s crazy – I refuse to accept that.

I guess I’m just going to have to take a careful look at my skill set and figure out how they transfer over.

I think I need a divorce transition coach.

No, wait, I think I’m becoming one…

What skills did you have to re-frame?

Stay tuned…

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Filed under Creating a new life, Singleness, Transition