I feel like ever since my divorce, well my separation, I have been doing nothing but fighting when it comes to my daughter. Fighting for her time, fighting for her attention, fighting to make sure that she is the most imporant thing to me on this Earth. Maybe it’s the Holidays, but I feel so disconnected from her lately. I miss her. I just hope she knows that.
I guess you could say a lot has changed in our relationship over the past year. But then again you could probably say that for most relationships. I remember when we first started talking and all he could talk about was my smile and how beautiful he thought it was. He would tell me that as long as I was smiling, that was all that mattered as he called me “his Queen”. Of course he still does these things and they still make my heart skip a beat each time he does, but our relationship consists of so much more these days. Our days are no longer full of sending each other a million snapchat pictures just so we can see the other person’s cute face. Instead, they contain the dreaded questions like “What sounds good for dinner?” or “Can you please do the laundry when you get home?” or include statements like “We overdrew OUR account.” (Oops!)
So, tonight as I was clicking through my phone getting ready to call my love, I couldn’t help but look down at his ear to ear grin and smile to myself. This picture, one of the previous snaps I referred to earlier, made me realize just how far we’ve come. I’m not sure at what point things started changing; some days it feels like it was overnight and some days the changes feel gradual. It seems funny how we tend to forget some of the things that had such major influence in the beginning. But this I am sure of, that every day I wake up, I am thankful for this man who makes my life so wonderful. If someone would have told me that this was where my life was going to end up, I never would have believed them. I have no idea where the future is going to take us or what new things it will bring our way, but I can only hope that we will always be able to look back and remember where we started and realize just how far we’ve come. Together. As an us.
As the holidays quickly approach us, I wanted to take a few extra moments to acknowledge all of the wonderful things I have to be grateful for this past year. Needless to say, these past 11 months have been very busy for me. You see, I was very lucky to have met a man who I fell deeply in love with. Along the way we got engaged, I got a new job, and eventually we moved into a new house together. Lots of steps. Lots of stress. But lots of wonderful memories were made along the way.
This year has also been a huge year of growth for me. I have started to fully appreciate and embrace the wonderful relationships I have in my life. I think as we get older our relationships in general change, but the one’s with our parents especially change. (At least they have for me.) We seem to gain a sense of understanding of what they have been dealing with after all of these years. Maybe we finally start to realize that just like us, they are also human. Although, I never seem to notice that my parents have aged. I still see the same young, beautiful people (with flecks of gray in their hair, don’the tell mom) that they were when I was growing up. I don’t know what I will do when the day comes that I can’t pick up the phone on my way home from work to discuss the days events with my parents. Those phone calls that have no specific reason other than I just want to hear your voice are something to truly be cherished. Not everyone has that, and one of these days, unfortunately, I won’t either.
My relationship with my daughter has also gone through some changes. She is no longer living full-time in my house. While this transition was extremely hard at first, thankfully, there is a woman on the other side that makes me happy she is there to help take care of my child and to help give her the love that she needs and deserves. The thought of another woman kissing my child goodnight and telling her that she loves her would have sent me over the edge a few years ago. I’m not sure what shifted in the universe to make me more open-minded to this situation, but whatever it was, I am grateful for it. You see, I am actually lucky because my amazing daughter just has one more person in this world to provide care and support to her.
Friendships have come and gone this year. Which is to be expected. But of course, the one’s that really matter have stuck around. While I can count the number of my “true” friends on one hand, I find myself very lucky to actually consider them as family. Sometimes the details aren’t in the quantity, but the quality.
Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, but this year I am ready to make new memories and form new traditions. While it is hard to say goodbye to some of the old, there is solace in knowing that this is only the beginning of something grand.
Last night, while I was venting to my soon to be husband about all the stress that was coming from planning our wedding, he asked me a question that completely shocked me. Who knew the four words, “How can I help?” have so much meaning behind them, even though there isn’t really a whole lot that he can do. In that moment he made me realize that I’m not alone in this. I think as women, we sometimes forget that there is another person included, a whole other side to the story to be considered . We feel as if the burden of planning everything down to the tiniest little detail is solely our responsibility, and it’s not. Why should it be? This isn’t just my wedding, it’s our wedding. Which he ever so kindly reminded me of last night. And while there may not be anything that he can physically do to help, the fact that he was willing and able to listen to my concerns is more of a contribution than I could have ever expected. He’s my rock and every day I am reminded more and more why I have made the decision to spend the rest of my life with him.
While we were having our bedtime conversations last night, the topic of babies somehow managed to come up. This isn’t a topic talked about a lot with us, although we have brushed on it from time to time and both seem to be on the same page about things, but the idea always seemed so distant. Until last night when he muttered the words, “That’s the next step isn’t it? First comes love, then comes marriage…that’s what comes next.” Yes, my darling, that’s what comes next and I cannot wait to experience it with you.
I decided to go ahead and write about this now before the busy weekend ahead takes it away from me.
A couple of days from now will mark the four year anniversary of my divorce. Do you remember where you were four years ago on September 17th? Most people probably don’t, but I do. However, it seems so much longer than four years from my viewpoint. There I was, 25 years old, walking into the court house all by myself as a Mrs. and walking out those same exact doors, an hour later missing a letter and wondering what in the hell I was going to do with myself. I was no longer married.
I’ll spare you the gory details for now of the years to follow. As a good friend of mine said the other day, “But it wasn’t good for a long time.” And she’s right, it wasn’t good for a long time. I had days, weeks, even months where I felt the world around me was caving in. But my response was this, “But that time seems minute now compared to what I’ve found.” Divorce isn’t pretty by any means, and mine, thankfully, wasn’t even that bad considering some of the stories I have heard over the years. But it isn’t just all bad, there have been a lot of good things that have come out of my divorce that I think should be recognized and celebrated.
The same question always tends to rise up, “Did I make the right decision?” And over the years the answer has changed. And then it hit me the other day, for the first time in four years, I am actually content with where I am at in my life. I finally feel as if all those years of struggle have brought me here, to exactly where I am supposed to be.
Subconsciously, this time of year is almost a measuring point for me in a sense; a way for me to look back at my life and see how far I have actually come. A way for me to realize that sometimes, the things that are really important to us are worth fighting for, like one’s own personal happiness. And my goodness have I learned a lot over these past four years. (Who knew jumping a car was so easy? Or learning that airing up one’s own tires isn’t as complicated as one always thought.) The point is, that the personal growth I have not only gained as an individual, but as a mother are noteworthy. And I’m thankful for that.
And so here we are, four years later. I’m sure that when the actual day rolls around I won’t give any of this but a second’s thought. You see, I’ll be too busy relishing in this beautiful life that is now currently mine. It just so happens that the day that marks an ending of a relationship, also celebrates the beginning of a new one for me. It may seem silly to some to glorify the fact that we have been together for nine months, but I have come to learn that the little things are sometimes the biggest of all.
I woke up from a dream this morning where I was at the Container Store. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was. The subconscious organizational side of my brain was seeping with satisfaction. I remember going up and down the aisles mentally placing things in their perfect containers on their perfectly placed shelving in my perfectly organized home. But that’s not the point of this blog. And of course I don’t and probably never will live in a home where everything has it’s perfect little place either. Side note: #lifegoals.
I continued to relish in my dream throughout most of the morning. The more I seemed to think about it, I realized I wasn’t just shopping for empty containers. This “container store” was a metaphor for life. And then I got to wondering, what if life had a container store in which we could go and purchase the things we felt we were missing? Feeling a little agitated today? Patience is fully stocked and located on aisle four. Needing a little more motivation? Head on over to aisle six. How amazing would that be? Except, reality check, a place like this doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix on most personality shortfalls. Lack of patience is something I have been struggling with for my entire life. And so far, I haven’t found a place to acquire more.
But what if there were a way to create your own store? A way to take a step back on those moments we feel stressed or tired and go to a place where for two seconds we can catch our breath? Our happy place. Of course there is no way to actually “buy some patience,” but maybe those two seconds of relief will help stock back up on what we do have missing in our tank. People always say to think before you act. Maybe there is some truth in that, however, as an over reactor, hindsight is always twenty twenty.
I’m not sure if there will ever be another moment like this one, so I felt the need to capture it while I got the chance. Last night, while I was sitting in my bathtub, enjoying the ambiance of the candle light, the bubbles, and the soothing sounds coming from my Pandora radio, my 8.5 year old daughter walked in and asked if she could come in and relax with me. Naturally, my first instinct was to say no. Not only was I enjoying my check out from reality, I also began to question whether or not my daughter was too old for moments such as these. Thankfully, I kicked my doubts and told her to climb in for what resulted in a moment in time that I came to realize would probably be few and far between if ever again.
You see, my daughter is coming into her own. Developing her own personality, her own wants and needs. She has her own schedule in a sense and her need to have her mother by her side is slowly becoming less and less. The beautiful baby that at one time was completely dependent on me, is not so dependent anymore. And it’s so hard to let go.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day that we tend to disregard the fact that our little one’s will never be this young again. There is no getting the seconds back, there is only forward momentum. So, here is to giving a second thought to those initial no reactions and embracing the joy of living in the moment. Here’s to creating “it’s just us two, mommy” moments and soaking them up, literally, for all that they are.
Do you ever feel like you are being drug in ten million different directions with every little thing demanding more and more of your attention? How do you know when enough is enough? How do you know when you have reached the capacity of what you can take on? Sometimes the pure lack of participation from your body is a sign; the days when the thought alone of putting even one foot in front of the other is just too much to even bare. On these days, when life is especially hard, remember to step back, take a deep breath, and focus on what is really important. The other minute things can wait, they will probably still be there for you tomorrow to deal with if you so choose. And sometimes ,the best option is to just say “No, I simply just do not have time for you today, tomorrow, or the next.”.
That’s the thing about relationships. You can’t go into them expecting them to fix the holes from your past.