The Circle Doesn’t End

March. Spring. Sun. Spring Break. This is a month I have always loved. I assume that’s why the fact that I am not “loving” March is hard for me to wrap my arms around. I also think the fact that this feeling came out of nowhere and was unexpected has actually made me mad. Mad that my normally positive, love my new life (most of the time,) and more chill than I have ever been way of living has been “disrupted” this March by these feelings. These feelings that have come rushing in like a bit of a tidal wave and I don’t like it, not one bit. So instead of fighting it I am here. Choosing to turn these feelings of what I think I have identified as anger, disappointment, lack of understanding and often just frustration into a way for me to share what is happening, 2 years later, and hopefully serve someone else in the process. So maybe its OK that I won’t “love” March for a while. Just because I didn’t see it coming at me this year, doesn’t mean its not a natural and normal reaction to my life changes. I am sure this is all part of that (lack of) control thing I am destined to learn. Always thought I was a fast learner, but maybe not as much as I thought, not when it comes to this personal growth thing anyway.

So what’s wrong with March? It’s just a month. Here it is, or so I think here it is. I will start with Spring Break. I once again had to tell my 2 younger kids that no, we can’t financially take a Spring Break trip AGAIN this year. I know, poor us, right? I know it sounds shallow. I get it. It sounds like some spoiled family who wants a week away like “everyone else does.” Its not how I mean it. Not in the least. There were many years we didn’t go on Spring Break “before” by choice. And,  I am sure truth be told its harder for me than it is them. What’s hard is that  I want to give them that again. Like it “used to be.” But nothing is as it used to be. Nothing. And nothing can be as it used to be. I also know that isn’t a bad thing, its just different. Its change. And change, while often for the better, its still very, very hard. And that silly Spring Break example leads me to the real meat of this and thats that March is “the month.” Its THE month that everything changed. I honestly wasn’t ready for it to affect me this March, the 2nd year anniversary of all the changes in our life. Year 1? I was SO ready. And I made it through with flying colors. Not even a blip. Not so much this year. I think my lack of being prepared, lack of awareness that it would hit me in year 2 is part of whats making it so hard. Fact that its still not done. Fact that the surprises and disappointments just keep coming. I actually say to myself how can there possibly be more? And yet there is. Its clearly all a part of the transition, the change,  the journey to next. Goes to show how little control I have, and frankly need to have, but its a process to understand that overcoming obstacles when you aren’t ready for them are all part of the process.

So this all  begs the question. When does the disappointment end? Does it? When does the process of trying to understand what seems to be impossible to understand end? Does it? When does the lack of questioning yourself and how you could have possibly missed the warning signs that MUST have been there end? Does it? When does forgiveness REALLY happen? Does it?  And the guilt? The guilt you feel towards your kids for failing them as their mother? Honestly, I worry that part may never end. I don’t have the answers to all of this. What I do know is that I may never. And that I will have setbacks. The kids will have setbacks. I was told very clearly that this process is circular, not linear and that I need to accept it as that. And I did. In fact I quoted it. I embraced it and it made full sense to me. Except I missed one key piece. I don’t know when that circle ends. And that circle of grief? It’s different for all people. Even the 5 people whom I live with. So this is me, embrace this circle of grief and realizing that setbacks will happen, whether I like it or not. Love to you all. Be Brave.

Mourn Closed Doors, Then Open New Ones

Life is full of disappointments. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t always realize that. Didn’t seem to have “disappointments happen all that often.” Well, its true. And we all really do have them, eventually. At this phase of my life, I am in the middle(hopefully very near the end of the big D word, “divorce”.) It’s a nasty, ugly, bitter, lets make a lifetime movie out of it kind of divorce. More twists and turns than one could imagine. Comical one minute, head shaking in disbelief at times, and infuriating the next. Now to be clear. I don’t believe in divorce. I know, that makes no sense. And its not like it even matters, right? Because I am in it. No, I didn’t choose it. I also know I would have never initiated it. And like the rest of the world, I didn’t get married thinking oh someday this may end in divorce. I mean, does anyone think that way? But 2 years ago when my soon to be Ex made this decision for our  family of 6, he loved to justify it with his perceived facts. One of his  favorites was that over 50% of the population gets divorced, this happens. (thats not actually a true fact, but oh well.) As if somehow I would say well then, I feel so much better and so do the kids, we are so happy you decided on our behalf for us to be in THAT half of the group! In hindsight(which I can and likely will say about hundreds of things, I should have realized that since this was his 2nd marriage, walking away wouldn’t be all that hard!) In fact since stats were brought into this, stats show that over 70% of second marriages end in divorce. I read that, don’t know if its a true fact, but to me it sounds just as good as using his other stat. Regardless, it’s not good!

Now, fast forward to exactly 2 years later to the night this “news” of our marriage is over was delivered (hence this post tonight) I still don’t “believe in divorce” and If I could go back in time I am sure I would do a lot of things different…….Now here comes my “BUT” BUT I now believe that us staying married was NOT the plan for my life, or my kids life. I fully believe that now. Don’t worry, I spent months begging, apologizing( I cringe at that part now,) blaming myself(more cringing) and as I so beautifully have referred to that time frame I was a puddle on the floor. Kind of literally. Lovely visual, right? I remember telling one of my friends how I would escape to my closet so I could sob, alone, in the quiet, where no one could hear me or find me. That shit was real. But I fully believed, and still do in theory, that with hard work, open and honest communication, both parties willing to try for what is right and best for the family, marriages can be restored, and in many cases even be BETTER. But it takes two and it takes HARD WORK and I may get a lot of argument here, but it is my personal belief that once a 3rd party is brought into a marriage, it makes it that much harder to repair. I know some do. And I don’t judge that, not in the LEAST. I fully believe none of us walk in each others shoes and we should not EVER say we know what we would do…..because we don’t. We really don’t.

So here we are two years later. And what I know with all of my being, is we were NOT meant to stay married.  We now  function as a “party of 5,” with a puppy who made us 6 again, and we are surviving. Are we all healed? No way! Do we have some really bad days? Of course we do! There’s me, mama bear,  strong willed, hard working, passionate, fiery temper, previous trust issues now magnified even more, but determined that we WILL all be better than ok when it all finally settles.  And there are the boys. Depending which boy it is we have a range of “feelings” towards our new family set up. I will say this. The 2 oldest had to grow up fast. In case you don’t know, Tweens and Teens know a LOT more about real life than we did at their age and they have a very strong opinion about indiscretions. I PRAY daily they keep this with them and change the course of behavior that was modeled for them in not only one, but 2 generations. Then we go to the younger boy and his needs and his emotions are very different, just as they should be. And then there is that daughter of mine, the baby, the caboose. So young and so innocent and has truly no idea what has hit her and how this will impact her life as she grows into a woman one day. I know there will be a LOT of repairing that needs to be done and we will work towards that for years to come.

So here we are bringing on year 3 of our “new normal.” I spent time today remembering “this dreadful night” in 2016. I thought my life was literally over.  Having a great memory is usually a blessing, in this case I kinda wish the details weren’t so clear. But here is the good news for me and my kids and I hope and pray its also good for anyone else going through this traumatic life event that may read this post. Because honestly, all it is now is a memory. It’s not fresh. There are no more tears from grief. There is no more blaming and apologizing. Is there still anger? Absolutely. Maybe it will disappear someday. Time will tell. Have I hit forgiveness? I would be lying if I said yes. Let’s not get crazy. It’s a process, for sure. I have accepted its out of my control. I have accepted me and the kids will NEVER get the apology we deserve. I have accepted that the plan for our life didn’t involve that 6th person. That we are on a different path and that the path we are now on is for the better. I have accepted that I am not exempt from disappointments. How childish that I thought I was. I encourage everyone to see  closed doors when they close, mourn the closed door in your way, in your time, and however helps to heal you and become the person you are destined to be. Then look to the open doors. The doors that have opened for me in the past 2 years I would have never seen coming. And I am forever grateful that God’s plan to close a pretty big door has led me and the kids on the path we are on today. Grateful for 3-6-16. The pain was real and the pain was unbearable. But the bounce-back has been a blessing  I never saw coming.I believe we all have those blessings coming to us, but we have to open the doors to see them.  Love to you all, Be Brave!

Making Space: One article/ Day at a Time

My Mac Book tells me daily that my “disk space is almost full.” I know I have to handle it eventually,  but not my favorite thing to spend time on. So I ignore it. Effective, huh?Then there is my iPad. Another of my 3 devices where I spend time daily doing my work. Well a couple of nights ago I was on my iPad to download a book. Not a marriage book, or a divorce book, or an entrepreneurship book or a self help book which is all I have been reading for the last 2 years, but a book for my Book Club. Yes, I recently joined a book club to force me to read for pleasure, not because I have nothing else to keep me busy, but to branch out some. But 2 books in, I have yet to read one. Also effective. I decided this is the month I am reading it. After all the book that was picked out of the fishbowl of titles was one of my 5 suggestions. Figured that was a sign, READ THE DAMN BOOK. So I decide to go the electronic route. Download to iPad, wait, what ? Download unsuccessful…..”storage space is full.” So, last night was the night. Sat down and decided its time to make space so I can get going on this book. As I began tackling what I told myself would be a short and sweet little project became a connection and an aha moment for me instead.  The amount of articles saved on my iPad, (I assume for a rainy day or something?) was shocking. I have had an iPad since they hit the world of Apple so imagine how many articles I have.  And boy do they run the gamut of topics. We start with all things toddler. Top games for toddlers. Best birthday party ideas. How to treat lice(I know, just keeping it real) Then there are articles about boys and what they REALLY need to succeed in school (mom of 3 boys here.) And then sports and concussions. You can see where my focuses were. Being a busy mom. Raising kids. Trying to do what all us moms do and “figure it out.” Then as I deleted, scrolled, deleted, scrolled, the topics changed. Which is where the aha moment happens.

See, the articles on my device weren’t in folders, they just happened to be in chronological order. Suddenly there were titles that make everyones stomach sink initially when you realize this is where my life and my focuses and my “google searches” began to change.  All the memories of obsessively googling came flooding back to me. I remember looking to “experts,” others that had been in my shoes, really just someone or something to give me the answers to all the things I didn’t understand. There were SO many articles saved that I finally decided to count them.  There were ONE HUNDRED FIFTY FOUR saved on the topics of separation, cheating, divorce, children and divorce, depression, mid life crisis, brain injuries(yes, I fully believed this involved a brain injury, don’t ask,) faith and christianity, did we ever really love each other anyway, and many more things that you can’t even imagine. Well, unless you have had the displeasure of being in the same google frenzy as me that is, you likely can’t imagine how many articles exist on ALL of this and you name it, I had saved it. Yep. But for what, another rainy day? Good news is this. I didn’t open or read one of them as I was scrolling(winning.) Also good news is I quickly connected this to the fact that  “taking up space” means a whole lot more than storage space on my iPad and Mac. But these topics, articles, unanswered questions, lack of that awful word, CLOSURE, is whats taking up the most space of all. (If you stick with me awhile, you will see I am heavy on the metaphors.)

Now, in the spirt of honesty, I didn’t delete these in that moment.  Something stopped me. As the saying goes, I think I needed to sleep on it. So I did, and here I am now, writing and sharing what I discovered was holding me back from clicking delete. Before I do, I want to share this, and its a terrific realization to have.  It’s not my need to read them again.Or to rehash and reopen all that I was searching for “back then.” It’s not me holding onto some strange hope that this was all a bad dream and it will go back to the way things were. And it is not in anyway me hoping that somehow I can change the inevitable outcome.

So what is it? Its about me, and many women just like me, to have control of scary, bad, hurtful situations. Its about wanting and needing to fix what is wrong. Women are fixers of all things feelings and all matters of the heart.  It’s  also about the apology I never got. The full blown lack of “closure.” Its about what I once considered “proof” in 154 articles about right vs wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in the same beliefs, that hasn’t changed. But what good does holding on to proof do? What good does holding onto anything that isn’t positively serving you and is doing nothing but taking up space? It’s doing no good at all. So today, I deleted these articles to make more space, yes, for books if I so choose, but more importantly space for ME. Me as a single mom, as a woman who doesn’t have it all figured out but is focusing every day on whats ahead vs. what has been taking up space from behind.

As I write this 1 year and 357 days after the night that I truly believed was the worst night of my life, I am still deleting to “make space,” to grow, to learn, to be the best version of me I can become. And it’s a process, there will be set backs and likely always will be. For me and anyone else who goes through a life changing and emotional experience. I will write about it. I will talk about it. I will share about it. For one, it’s a part of what makes me, be me. And two, there are others that need to hear, to know, to have hope that you can and will go from what you think is the worst day of your life to a place of  better. Everyone has a different cycle, a different story to tell. I also know this. There has always been a plan and I am not in control of the plan. Never was. Just thought I was, and I was so very wrong. But that plan? I know it is, was and will continue to be for the best, for all parties involved.

And in the words of an old, and one of my favorite, Garth Brooks songs, ‘sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers”  The chorus has so much meaning to me now. It  ends with “And just because he doesn’t answer, doesn’t mean he don’t care Some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered prayers” Time to keep on making space. Love to you all.Be Brave. 

Ready to Receive

I have put this off, for really close to a year. I would be lying if I didn’t say my stomach hurt a little and my hands are a little shaky. Not sure why really when I will post anything and everything on Facebook without a care in the world. This is a thought I will need to ponder later. What I have come to understand is the many reasons I have put off writing my first blog post.

1. I am not a writer, not by trade. No training and mistakes WILL be made.

2. I clearly have a learning curve. I mean who is going to read this anyway? Not to mention I post my real world life all over social media and that is certainly met with many eye rolls, won’t this be more of the same?

3. Not to mention, do I really have time to add one more thing to my plate? This blog thing? What purpose does it even serve?

4. And there is of course this…..won’t this just be judged by all the “judgy’ people anyway? (I know its not a real word.) I mean its open and transparent and really no mincing of words. Plus, I don’t have a platform. Its not focused on any one topic. I have learned that not many people are a fan of tell all!

But then this morning happened. Just a Thursday morning, nothing out of the ordinary. Except this epiphany, many “things” happened and it just all came together. They all connect, for me anyway.

  1. I was relocating my vision board. Yes, I am one of “those” vision board people(this is one of my many new things.) On my board I have a print out that says “Stop being a writer that doesn’t write.” I stared at it for a minute……got me thinking.
  2. Next, I thought about a post I did on my Facebook page last night about Fear of What Others Think, Fear of Being Judged by Others and often times even worse, Fear of Failure. My next point will explain what made me think of my post.
  3. This morning while eating her cinnamon toast, my 8 year old daughter  says to me that she thinks she should quit gymnastics “because  she is never going to make it to the advanced level.” Hello, Fear of Failure? We had a terrific  conversation about how powerful your words are that you ‘put into the universe.” It is a goal of mine for her to believe she can do anything she chooses to do in her lifetime
  4. And tonight, I have plans to meet my very 1st beloved mentor  in my past career. I haven’t seen her in years and have been looking forward to tonight all week. And, guess what? She is an English major, with amazing and inspiring writing skills. Back in the day I would hang on her every word and hope to be able to write just like her!
  5. Then this…….yesterday, I spent some time on that spiritual side of my life that I am working to grow and understand. Yes, also very new for me. These words here, I read them yesterday and they all came full circle for me this morning.  “God wouldn’t have given you the dream unless He already had a way to bring it to pass. You have to be ready to receive. God has a Barn Load of blessings stored up for you.”

So here I am, tying it all together and just going for it! The dreams, the vision board, the fear of writing because it won’t be good enough, my daughter speaking to EXACTLY what I posted about last night and my plans tonight to spend time with someones writing skills I so admire. There are NO coincidences. God, The Universe, our thoughts, our words, our actions……they create our world. I for one am ready to receive. And here I am. That 1st blog, its in the books. For better or worse(no pun intended) its here and done. No I don’t have a plan, a schedule, a platform and yes I will likely be all over the board. But I did it. For me. I let go of that FEAR and did it. Push fear to the side and go get what you want. Love to you all!