My Life After Divorce: The Unexpected Gifts
For me, life after divorce is when time shifted. In fact, I measure things now in terms of “A.D.” (after divorce) as opposed to “W.H.” ( — while I was “with him”). And A.D.? It’s my current epoch, and let me reassure you, A.D. is good.
But, you might be in another place right now, and you are not buying it. You wonder how YOU would cope and what your life after divorce would even look like. Understood. I remember all too vividly my imaginings, my fear of aloneness. It was dark. So dark it stopped me in my tracks for a long time. So maybe if I share a glimpse of reality, a few hours in the life of this graying divorceé, you might dare to imagine something else that is possible … for you.
My day begins, whenever I want. This morning it began with the light first filtering through my shade. I roll over. I remember it’s Sunday … also, I’ve peeked at the clock and seen it’s a double-win. It’s only 7:10 am. Not 8:10 am, because I have not adjusted the clock on the bureau since Day Light Savings Time came, and went.
When I do get up I am reminded my space is mine, and that even my bathroom gives me a charge. Not for its plunge pool tub, (there ain’t one) but because I find this room ALWAYS as I have left it. Immaculate (okay, so I am a bit of a neat freak … ). The towels are hung and dry from yesterday’s use. My worn clothes are in the hamper. The sink is clean. The toilet seat is down. My day seems expansive.
Then I look in the mirror. Oh, how easily I forget. I see myself, my age, and the traces of a story I can’t erase. But it was going to be so much worse, I remind myself, and even laugh. I have very much myself to thank for doing the greatest thing I feared and stepping away before I lost more. I pause. I am always pausing to take stock. It is part of my grieving process, my divorce recovery, my ongoing inventory of what has been lost, and what I have won.
Later, after breakfast, I tell myself I will not be married … to my computer today. That it’s all about managing relationships, and my relationships begin with me!! I will not spend my entire day with my computer, sitting, and not living. So I walk over to my computer and (…okay, I digress to boast more: the computer is my new baby. Though I’ve bought it used, I’ve installed it, connected it to the internet, and sunk it to my printer. And by God, the whole system works! Indeed, my entire tech-system (– inside this sweeping apartment of 600 feet) is managed and trouble-shot by me, and it all works. Today!
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES! I never thought I’d be my own Tech Troubleshooter! But like so many things that came my way After Divorce, becoming more tech savvy, more adaptable to what life threw my way, was something I have become very good at precisely because I didn’t have a man around.
These little and sometimes BIG victories make me wonder: if can do all that stuff I loathed and feared in the past, what else is possible?
I unplug my computer — is the point.
For possibility fills me with possibility, which reminds me of the audio course I bought,“An Introduction to Meditation,” and it’s been waiting for me, collecting dust for a good eight months. I wipe the dust from the audio jacket now and without overthinking, head to my stereo (the stereo that, you got it, was installed by me! Are they even called “stereos” anymore?) and I load the stereo pockets with 5 of the 12 disks. I think about when I might play these disks. When can I dedicate the time to really listen? I mean, this is meditation, do I even want to get real right now? It’s kind of early on a Sunday. Maybe I’ll go for a walk? When another button clicks in my head. I must stop over-thinking. Just push play.
I step back. And I am so glad I’ve begun.
What does a divorcée do with the rest of her life?
Whatever she chooses.
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A best friend of mine got divorced and was absolutely exhausted and broken. But life went on and she discovered to her own surprise that divorce just presented her chance to be happy. She tried online dating and believe it or not found her Mr.Right. Her ex-husband kicks himself as he had been sure she was deemed to be alone after their divorce.
THANK YOU! What does a divorcée do with the rest of her life?
Whatever she chooses. What an empowering read this was. I wish you nothing but the best in your new life chapter. I have realized that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was…. This really reminded me of a book that was recommended to me called, “The Accidental Divorcee” by Laura Scott (http://theaccidentaldivorcee.com/). It is a fast read full of stories, advice, and lessons on how to heal and then “begin again.” I also thought it was particularly unique because it is written from both the perspective from the leaver and the person who was left. After reading this I felt recharged and I have been telling everyone about it. I really hope you and your readers will check it out. Stay strong
Dear Claudia, thank you for writing. It’s always so good to hear from women who have arrived “on the other side.” So often they say things like you do, “I have realized that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was ….”
That’s what happens, right? If only we give ourselves a chance! Great things we never could have predicted. Happy New Year!