Thriving through separation and divorce. WTF?

75 DAYS SINCE… You know.

*I am kind of shocked at how well I’m doing and how good I’m feeling and I have a suspicion that separation and divorce is not this pleasant for people who have not been living with abuse. So take this with a grain of salt, anyone reading who has lost their best friend through a broken marriage. I did not really lost my best friend…. but I did lose my worst enemy. 

Right now I’m eating a juicy giant yellow heirloom tomato and enjoying every bite. More than I’ve enjoyed food in years.

Today I built a bird house with my daughter. 

Last week I baked my first pie (it was pretty darn good!) 

Also had a huge milestone at work with an eight month long project coming to fruition, and achieving buy-in from all the very-high-ups.

To top it all off, I’m running and losing a lot of weight. I run minimum twice a week, religiously, for at least 30 minutes, and I’ve entered into a race for charity next Saturday!!

I could tell you about the hard times, the relapses in emotion, the morning anxiety (it’s much better now) — but all that is par for the courses. What’s remarkable is how freakin’ good I”m feeling.

I hope all you fellow bloggers are feeling good too. Even though I’m not writing much these days, I am still so grateful for your support and encouragement through this process. I don’t think I would have been this brave without you. HUGS to you and our virtual friendships!

Here is a list of things that have helped me not just survive but Thrive during this time:

  1. I MOW THE LAWN WITH A SELF-HELP BOOK ON THE iPOD First of all, who knew that a lady could mow a lawn? As you may recall from my former state of dependency, I wasn’t always so self-reliant. But nowadays, every Sunday I take the ol’ mower out of the garage and let ‘er rip. I put my headphones in and let sun beat down on me while I trod along, mow, mow, mow. And since we have a pretty big backyard, by the end of this process I feel nicely tired out, refreshed mentally because of what I’ve been listening to, and generally much better than however I did before. Highly recommend!
  2. I RUN, AND ADD ONE NEW SONG TO MY RUN PLAYLIST EVERY TIME The drastic changes in me from June until now have meant that my playlist is everything from Rage against the Machine to Olivia Newton John to Sia! With some Led Zep mixed in there. And some weird 80’s anthems in there too. HA! But this playlist has come to be a living songbook for my process of grieving, growing, and giving life my all again. I look forward to every run.
  3. I’M LEARNING HOW TO STAY IN THE MOMENT I read (actually listened to) a great book called 10% Happier (a funny skeptical take on meditation and self help) and have also been listening to Pema Chodron’s talk called Getting Unstuck and both of these books have helped me gently resist my own temptation to think about the terror and catastrophe side of what I have been through and could go through. It’s not naive, it’s just practical – to focus on today. Not the terrifying future. Not the unchangeable past. I guess it’s a part of surrender, and a part of trusting. Let Go and Let God. It feels so much better.
  4. I”M MAKING ACQUAINTANCES If I had been through this a few years ago, or any other time in my life, I would have been crying on shoulders, and drowning my sorrows on my next victim, I guarantee it. I have been a serial monogamist. Even in school when I wasn’t with a guy, my best girl friend and I were completely and monogamously joined at the hip. I have never been one to stand on my own two feet – until now. This fall, I am looking forward to making casual friends with the moms at my daughters dance classes or the people who I run alongside in my race. I want to make new friends the old fashion way. Instead of having one person in my life who I am completely ‘one’ with – I want to be one with ME!!! And have lots of people around who know and like me for me. Sounds pretty normal, probably, but it’s new for me.
  5. I’M TRYING NEW THINGS, AND SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! Where have I been all my life, seriously? This marriage, and life on the other side of it has been the biggest wake up call. I want to ski and swim and play guitar and sail and bake more pies and take road trips and learn to salsa and do 10,000 other things that I couldn’t have cared less about before. Because I was an addict. A trapped, programmed, miserable human, looking for happiness in wine glasses, packs of cigarettes and handsome blue eyes. Fuck that. Know what? Life is so many million times better after smoking, drinking and boys. And I am so grateful that I am young enough to still build a wonderful life. Yes ME.

LA VIE EST BELLE. LIFE IS FOR THE LIVING. LOVE TO ALL.

13 ways to manage the emotional wake you leave (the feeling you leave with others)

Rather than focusing on the roughness of right now, or what hurts, I’m going to try a better use of my energy.

….the courage to change the things I can……

Water wake of cruise liner

Recently I attended a seminar through work that focused on how to confront others about difficult topics, and one of the things that was mentioned was that everyone leaves ‘an emotional wake.’ It really struck a chord with me, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper and seek some good practical ways to manage my own — maybe you will find these helpful for managing yours too.

I think each of us probably knows a lot more about the emotional wake’s we’ve experienced through the actions, overt and covert, of others we interact with. I don’t know about you but I’ve never really paid much attention to my own, and that’s probably a big miss! I think there is great benefit to be had in growing an awareness of one’s own sphere of influence.

So here’s my big ‘note to self’ : )

  1. Consider the continuum of emotional set points — from the lows of fear, anger, sadness) to the higher ends of love, joy, and hope– and make a conscious effort to move yours up, up, up from fear to love. 
  2. Practice self awareness. Acknowledge when you’re feeling grumpy, cranky, or boundaries have been crossed. Then, decide if it needs to be addressed or just processed – promptly. Address bigger accountability issues with the chronic offenders …. (we all have ’em. They usually go by the name of ‘mom’ hahahaha… or just me?)
  3. Stop focussing on the sadness, anger and fear! Focus your attention on moving forward. 
  4. Be deliberate about the impact you want to have on others. Focus on the feeling in the room when the interaction concludes. How do you feel? Uplifted? Inspired? Content? And How do they feel? Make it great!
  5. Ask questions about other people’s lives.  Remember their answers. Follow up next time. Use their names… Show you care. 
  6. Inspire yourself! Find our how to bring motivation and inspiration into your life daily and pump yourself up!
  7. Realign when out of line; take a breath, refocus, and course correct.   
  8. Pay attention. A wandering, disorganized, pre-occupied mind isn’t going to make anybody involved feel good about anything. Whole focus and mindful attention is a gift you can give – and are blessed to receive.
  9. Put the smart phone down. Put it down! There’s nothing important on it. What’s important is deep inside of us. Leave it for moments when relationships won’t be impacted. Because that stuff really takes one out of the moment and creates a pretty negative wake! 
  10. Commit time every day to adding love, joy, and hope to the live’s of those you interact with. be proactive and curious.
  11. Today is the day! Reduce negative emotions, and the amount of time they’re allowed to take up on this, your special day called TODAY! Period! 
  12. Focus on joy, trusting each day’s gifts, and the importance of creativity, inspiration, and imagination. Create, Inspire, Imagine. Create, Inspire, Imagine!
  13. Try lots of things, and don’t be afraid to fail! Fail lots! Fall down lots! In different languages, at different altitudes, on different instruments! Taste Life! Take risks! It will create a wake of inspired living! Who can resist passion? Nobody. Why be ‘liked’ and ‘nice’ when you could be freakin’ magnetic? 

*First 3 are excerpted from Leadership and the Impact of Emotional Wake. Great Piece, worth reading!

Today-Is-Your-Day