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Numbers are numbers

“Oh, mom, I’m so sorry. Do you want to get another opinion?” Older daughter asked.

The good news is that the second opinion of which she spoke would not have been from a medical professional. By the way – did you know that now you can get same-day results from a mammogram? Sorry for the digression, but it was SO worth making the hour appointment to hear “come back next year” at the end. And I got some serious reading in while I waited (Caught by Harlen Cobin – awesome!).

Anyway; the “I’m so sorry” was the result of my conversation with a real estate professional, who, with numbers in a pretty binder at hand, gave me the bad news.

He might as well have said, “Ms. Coffee; you are the only person who gets a house in a divorce and gets screwed.”

Yup.

The house I “got” is nothing but a big ole’ worthless lump of debt, at the moment. And, if it’s not “underwater,” it sure as hell is treading it.

My first inclination was so say I would suck it up, take the lumps and sell it, even at a loss.

But that’s dumb.

I mean, I’m fortunate that I don’t have to sell it; I just had a lot of great work done on it, and there’s no reason I can’t stay.

Except that I don’t wanna.

All year I focused on “moving out and moving on,” and now that doesn’t seem possible. Or even remotely intelligent.

So, it looks as if selling the house is not going to be in my immediate future.

Change direction…again.

Now – to figure out what to do to the house to continue to put my stamp on it, and hopefully, make it really outstanding, so that, when I do put it on the market, it wows any potential buyer.

Once again, a bump in the road.

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Crazy Heart

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Actor Jeff B...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Went to see Crazy Heart tonight with three friends. Two old friends and one new one; all from my divorce support group (tonight’s meeting of the divorced dining out club will now come to order…).

Loved it – just loved it. I loved the “you can start over, even if you’re in your mid-fifties” theme; loved Jeff Bridges; even loved the music (and I am not by any means a country music fan).

See it.

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Guest blogger: Donna F. Ferber

When Mr. Ex and I separated, I responded with my usual trip to Amazon.com to locate resources. One of the books I purchased was From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce by Donna F. Ferber. I mention it in my “on my nightstand” bar on the right.

Imagine my surprise – and delight – when she commented on my blog! And my further delight when she offered to guest post.

Let’s hear it for the blogosphere!

Women and Divorce -The Lore of the Rings

As we make our way through the arduous and challenging transition from married to single, we are bombarded by a myriad of changes and adjustments. Some of those are private and practical changes, such as getting comfortable sleeping in the middle of the bed. Others are more public and symbolic.

Perhaps there is no symbol more laden with meaning for women than their wedding ring. Inevitably, when a divorce is imminent, the question arises – when is it appropriate to remove my ring?

The time to remove your wedding ring varies from woman to woman. Women who experience betrayal often feel the marriage ended at the moment of discovery. They may feel that to continue to wear the ring is hypocritical. Other women entertain taking it off when divorce papers are filed or served.

Still others feel married until the divorce is legally finalized. Others continue to wear their ring long after the divorce, especially if they did not want the divorce or if they feel that, for religious reasons, the divorce is invalid. Women in the work place sometimes continue to wear it as a way to avoid questions at the office. It provides them with a sense of security and it wards off unwanted suitors! Still other women continue to wear their ring, but transfer it to the other hand or wear it on a chain around their neck.

The point is that there is no “right” time to take it off. If the ring is an important symbol for you, then the act of removing it should mean something as well. Do this mindfully, not in anger. Do it when there is acceptance and inner understanding. Do it when you feel ready. Do it as an affirmation of your single status. It doesn’t have to just mark the end of the marriage; it can symbolize the beginning of your commitment to yourself, “to love, honor and cherish” yourself.

Today’s Thought: I will consider what my ring means to me. That will help me know when it is appropriate to take it off. I will acknowledge the removal of my ring reflects the end of something, but that it also can symbolize my new single status. I will work just as hard to be a good companion to myself as I worked to be a good companion to my spouse. I know more about life now and I have more to offer myself than ever before. All the things I learned about myself through both my marriage and divorce will now provide clues and insight on how to “be” with myself.

©2009. From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce by psychotherapist by Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC, won an Honorable Mention Award by the Independent Publishers Association. The book is now a classic in the field and has been a constant companion and support to thousands of women as they struggle with the demise of their marriage. The author is a licensed psychotherapist in Connecticut. Her newest book, Profileactics: A Guide for the Prevention of Ill-Conceived Personal Ads is available at bookstores and at Amazon.com. To read more about the author and her work, please visit http://www.donnaferber.com.

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Reflections

As we enter into the last week of the year (and, incidentally, decade), some reflections…

Celebrity marital discord:

NEW YORK - APRIL 15:  (L-R) Tim Robbins, Susan...
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1. Jon and Kate. who cares?

2. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. I was saddened to hear this one. I always thought they were a classy couple who kept their private life private, and they seem to be doing the same with this. I just saw her yesterday touting her new movie on some show (thank goodness for winter break – how would I keep up with these things?) and I thought how wonderful she looks.

3. Tiger Woods. Elin says she’s done. I say good for her. What a disappointment – I think of all those kids who looked up to him as a determined athlete.

4. Governor Mark Sanford and his wife Jenny. She stood by him at the outset, but she, too, is now outa there. Why did she stick around at the beginning? Perhaps it was a desire to help him avoid impeachment; maybe that desire to just keep her life the way it was.

And, interestingly, what looks like a great movie is opening tomorrow – It’s Complicated. I’m planning to see it with my divorce support group – who better?

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