This time it’s going to be different.
Early on in this separation (that hasn’t officially happened, but we made the decision 5 months ago) I decided circumstances were going to be drastically different than the last go around.
Already pretty isolated in 2012 (because we’d stopped going to church a few years before and we were no longer homeschooling) I shut out my closest support system for an unhealthy relationship, that took 6 months to break away from.
As soon as Jason and I decided this 19 year marriage was beyond repair, I reached out to multiple friends and said, “Will you be part of my tribe so when the loneliness come (because it does come and it comes with a vengeance) I don’t make bad choices?” There were multiple yeses and actually not a single no. I’m so thankful for my tribe.
I’m keeping in touch and being transparent about what I’m up to in life. Lots of checks and balances.
More Doing Things
I’m spending actual time with friends. No more isolation for this girl! I spent the last decade doing life alone and that’s no way to live. Within the last couple of months I’ve gone out to eat, to the movies, hiking, and to friends’ houses for actual old school visits and coffee. Long visits were weekly events 12 years ago. How I’ve missed those!
I’m going to counseling regularly. I KNOW I need this additional level of support. I tend to put far too much on my plate, so it’s nice having input so that I take on new ventures and major life choices at an appropriate pace.
“Put yourself in the way of beauty.”-Cheryl Strayed
I’m buying plants a little bit at a time, a candle here, a cheap set of curtains there. I don’t have extra money to spend on these little luxuries but they brighten my physical space and bring me a great deal of pleasure. The amount of debt I have compared to the amount of income I bring in is a crippling figure, so in the words of Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”
Speaking of tomorrow-
When life gets overwhelming, I’m taking a page from Glennon Doyle Melton’s book Love Warrior.
Do The Next Right Thing
Glennon wrote about making the decision to carry a baby after a lifetime of eating disorders and addiction. “What is the next right thing to do?” she asked herself, with that pregnancy test in hand. That’s how she made it during her transition, always looking for the next right thing to do.
Knowing What I Don’t Want
I’ve been given some bad advice on what I should GO OUT and do. While that might feel good in the moment, it’s not me. I have zero desire to randomly date and have casual anything… That seems like a fruitless distraction and way too much drama. And besides, last time I rushed into the first set of arms willing to embrace me and ended up with a lot of regret, not to mention guilt from hurting someone looking for love in all the wrong places, and a hip tattoo! (sad but true.)
I have BIG goals for my life and chasing temporary comfort would throw me completely off course.
Back to the NEXT RIGHT THING
My goal is to continue to put myself in the way of beauty, create a life that is filled with LOVE (not the romantic kind…not yet anyway) but to focus on my other relationships, my children, my extended family, and friendships.
I am going to live a life that is so busy and full, that even though I will naturally tend to want someone to share the journey with, I won’t be wasting away waiting for it.
I am going to live in the present as much as possible. I am going to live each day to the fullest and squeeze every drop of goodness out of it. Even on the hard days, I am going to “hunt for the good things.”
It’s true that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
The day my dad passed away, was not a day full of painful memories, but had sweet memories folded into it. My dear friends drove by the nursing home and slipped money into my hand for lunch, so we’d have one less task to take care of that day.
I was relieved to see how many nursing home staff genuinely cared about my dad as they expressed their condolences. In my mind, my poor dad laid in that bed for 2 years neglected and miserable, but the reality was that he was loved.
My mom, brother, his wife and I spent the next few hours dividing my dad’s small box of earthly belongings and just being together.
A month later, Jason and I separated. I didn’t function very well the first couple of months, but even then, I remember being thankful for my kids and for all of the laughter we shared. Bouchers are natural comedians, so there’s always always always something to laugh about, especially when others would find it inappropriate to be telling jokes and laughing.
I’m going to write and create and dream.
I’m going to take action on those dreams. I’m going to pick ONE BIG DREAM (decisions aren’t my favorite) and pursue it even if I change my mind 3 months down the road.
I’m going to be really real. I’m going to be honest. I’m not going to hide hip tattoos or feelings.
And I’m going to be honest with myself. That’s tricky because I haven’t allowed myself to feel the scope of feelings available to feel, like sadness and anger. Those “BAD emotions” have been pushed deep inside to allow only the cheery positive ones to dominate my life up until recently. Apparently when we don’t deal with our emotions, we can’t properly heal…blah blah blah.
So yeah, I’m going to allow myself to feel some crap and I’m going to acknowledge the thought or feeling for what it is and then move along to the next thought.
“Live the life you have imagined.” -Henry David Thoreau
My future will be filled with family dinners (around the table even), extended family dinners, delightful company, kids’ sleepovers, accomplishing goals -little and big, a vacation or two along the way, but also a lifestyle that gives me the feeling that my life is already a vacation-maybe not a vacation anybody else would want to go on, but my own personal vacation living.
This is my life and it’s a good one. I’ve had trouble seeing that the last few months, but I see it now.
This post is so full of I’s, me’s, and my’s that I’m a touch uncomfortable, so now it’s your turn to tell me about ways you actively take care of yourself.
Share them in the comment section here or post a comment over on Facebook.
Thank you so very much for reading, for being part of this journey, and for allowing me to be part of yours.