Category Archives: Support

Get out the pom pons

At dinner the other night with my newest friend-from-divorce-support we talked about how we had spent our lives being our now-ex spouse’s and children’s cheerleaders.

And that now it was time to be our own.

We don’t really know how to do that, but we decided that we would start by finding other women who were in the same position. Kind of start with cheerleading one another, and that maybe we’d get good at cheering ourselves. Just a few, to start.

Recently I tripped across the organizational development process known as Appreciative Inquiry.

When I was in corporate America we occasionally would go through these improvement initiatives – no doubt the brainchild of some middle manager who needed to prove his worth – that required us to get together in groups, find problems, document them and then figure out how to solve them. They came and went; we’d have the meetings, we’d make the charts, we’d create the PowerPoint presentations, and then we’d come up with ways to solve the problems we didn’t know we had until we started the process… Anyway, Appreciate Inquiry is one of those improvement processes that starts out a little differently. You start by figuring out what’s good – where the strengths are, and where the successes lie.

So I spent some time at the AI Commons website, and it occurred to me that this could be a nice way to start… not with what’s wrong but with what’s right.

You see, when you go through a divorce, you start to see (well, at least I did) your life through a rather dim lens. Something failed. You were part of something that broke. To use the corporate America metaphor, your organization went bankrupt and the management was responsible. And there was no government bailout. And we got fired.

Here’s the plan: find a small group of women (and, yes, that may be arbitrary, but I’m in charge so I get to pick and I only want women in this) who would like to figure out what’s right, would like to help one another move forward and participate in something where they can get unconditional support.

And I’m sure we’ll have cookies, too.

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Filed under Moving on, Support, Uncategorized

Braving the cold

Tonight I went to my first support group meeting. It another meetup thing. Who knew that Wednesdays are Wacky Wednesdays at Baker’s Square? Really – a free piece of pie with any (ANY) order. Oy vey – a small cup of chili and a free piece of pie to boot.

Enough about the pie.

The people were so nice, thoughtful and supportive (in a support group way). Everybody shared their stories; custody issues, ex-spouses with pregnant girlfriends, ex-spouses who refuse to spend time with their children, financial problems, house problems…

Here’s what I learned:

1. I am incredibly lucky to not have children children.

2. I am incredibly lucky to have a career and to be able to support myself.

3. Everybody has the same problem with the house. Not who gets it, but who gets stuck with it because nobody can sell.

4. Thirty years is a long time to be married, and it makes my divorce thirty-year-painful, but I am fortunate that we had the good times that we had and can now go our separate ways and focus on ourselves.

5. Everybody, EVERYBODY, has the same “how the hell could I have been married to this person?” moments that I have had.

And, all over free pie. Win-win.

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Filed under Gratitude, Support