Lately, there have been several dads who’ve contacted me about this topic. So, if you’re in this boat - first off, it’s more common that you might think – and there’s comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this, right?
Secondly, wholly crap. This is a huge pill to swallow. Brutal.
It would have definitely been nice to have an old friend be an ear for you, as you go through all the shit that goes on as your marriage ends and as you move on with your life. What fuckin' jerks. To put it mildly.
Needless to say, please cut yourself some slack. Walking through this pile of shit will take time. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself time to process it all. This will require a lot of patience and time. You don't want to get stuck in the rabbit hole forever.
Processing it all could mean...
1) taking time off work on sick leave or vacation to straighten...
How have your past several weeks been? They’ve been intense for me.
It feels like a time for integrating a new way of living into my day to day life.
The universe has my attention on health and where I find joy and love.
I’ve had, what seems like, a lot of friends and loved ones have serious health threats or crisis’s this year. Near death emergencies, serious surgeries, minor surgical interventions, all mixed in with some of the absolute best times of my life. The contrast is stark.
It also has me appreciating and savoring the highs in life even more than I ever have.
This has all got me pondering that quote in the photo above.
Every day is a choice isn’t it? You’re either busy living or busy dying.
And we all know that life is unbelievably short sometimes.
So, let’s agree to find as many bits of joy and love and fun as we can in a day, in a week, in a year.
In a life.
Promise me, that...
So, a few weekends ago the kids and I went to Montreal to visit with my sister – who is currently living up North – so the kids are hungry for more time with her! We’ve been doing an annual visit with her in Montreal for quite a few years now, I’m not sure how many off hand, but the kids look forward to it and love the whole experience! Montreal is awesome isn’t it?? Endless adventures to get yourself into :) Even for kids!
Anyways, we were having a great time, and found ourselves in the Botanical Gardens in Montreal after a late breakfast on Sunday. This had been something that was discussed with the kids and everyone seemed good to go!
However, the minute we had got past the ticket counter and started walking around, one of my daughter’s says ‘when are we having lunch, I’m hungry’ and my son says ‘I’m too tired to walk, let’s go back to the hotel’…
I just had the worst Christmas of my life!!
But wow, am I ever brimming with gratitude for my community in a much deeper way than I’ve ever felt it before! And I thought I was a pretty grateful and appreciative person before.
To back up a bit, my boyfriend got a sudden and life threatening illness just days before Christmas, while I was out of town visiting with my family on the East Coast. So, I flew back for several days, until I knew for sure he wasn’t going to die or need to be amputated, and then flew back out East to spend a few days with my kids and get a bit of a ‘normal’ Christmas in. And then we drove back to Ottawa early, so I could get back to ensuring my boyfriend would make a full recovery.
What a nightmare.
He was coming down with a bit of a flu or something seemingly typical before Christmas, but wow. He ended up spending just over a week in the ICU and then another 2 weeks in the hospital recovering, and now he’s...
Loneliness is a funny thing – I know that sounds weird but for me it is true.
Like a lot of people, I have the tendency to become a bit of a hermit when I’m hurting and upset and generally don't know what to do next.
In retrospect, I can see how becoming a temporary hermit helps me quiet down my life, so that I can hear my inner voice, or inner knowing, that silent sureness – whatever you want to call it doesn’t much matter :) That inner voice always seems to need to be more desperately heard in times of great turmoil.
So, I figure that’s why I hermit when life gets too impossible.
Which is great. For awhile. Except a hermit is a lonely existence overall.
But please - don't rush this phase. It is the magic of the universe dressed as loneliness. Just be lonely for awhile. Try and become comfortable with loneliness. Trust that it'll pass, but let it serve you while it's around.
Get to know yourself...
Below is an article I wrote for Elephant Journal - I hope you enjoy it! Within it, I discuss four key ways to ensure you move on in a healthy way. If you have anything else you want to see added to the list, leave me a comment below or send me an email - I'd love to hear from you!
Let's be honest, parenting is a hard gig. Thank-goodness, it takes a community to raise a child :) I have found such comfort in this idea and since my Separation have come to see that this is the only possible way to raise children while keeping your own sanity and personal interests.
Juggling children on your own (even if you are a part of an amazing co-parenting team, you still have the children on your own for large chunks of time) is exhausting and awesome and so many things in between. And the pressure to do it all as parents is SO HUGE, it’s absolutely crushing at times.
Now, before my Separation, I was never one to ask for help. I’m sure I’m not the only one here :)
However, once I was Separated, there was no way I could handle everything on my own, which forced my hand: I had to be open to help that was offered and to even (terrifyingly) admit I needed some.
My kids are also getting older and with each year that passes, the world...
How far out of your comfort zone will you go for your kids?
This question came to mind last week as we were celebrating our twin girls' birthday! Holy Smokes does time go by so quickly! In another decade they’ll be 20 and off figuring out a life of their own, which makes me so proud and so sad all at the same time.
Anyways, this got me thinking about how well or smoothly my ex and I have celebrated their birthdays since we've been separated.
For the majority of birthday parties we’ve celebrated since separation, the kids have wanted their birthday party at a place – like an indoor rock climbing park, a trampoline place, an indoor amusement park, an indoor jungle gym place, etc. All of these have one huge benefit – they are on neutral ground.
This year was different though.
One of the girls wanted an ‘at home’ birthday party, and since her birthday party fell on a weekend the kids were at their dad’s house, the party was...
I remember it very clearly. I had been a zombie since my separation and felt like everything was unravelling in my life. I had no idea where anything was headed and I was just trying to keep my day to day basics together (ie. drag myself to work, keep my job :), be as attentive to the kids as possible, eat, fall to bed exhausted, repeat). I realized later on during a routine physical exam that I was also iron deficient for the first time in my life, which made everything feel more exhausting and my body more like molasses.
My life plan for one long marriage was gone. What wrench did that throw into all my other plans for life? Where was my life heading now? I was coming up with nothing, as far as new life plans go..so I was just putting one foot in front of another until (hopefully sooner than later) purpose and/or passion returned to my life.
So, through all that fogginness, one summer's day, I found myself sitting on the front porch and the kids...
I had the opportunity to visit Halifax a few weekends ago - it’s a city I love and I have great history there! I also have a 98 year old step-Nana who lives there and so I made sure to take the time to pop in and visit her.
And am I ever glad I did.
It had been two years since we last connected, and she continues to be so positive and upbeat about life – it’s amazing! Obviously, at 98 years of age, one can’t help but have a unique perspective on life. And by now, she’s clearly learnt how to roll with the ebb and flow of life, complete with all it’s struggles and all it’s miracles. And she’s chosen to walk through it, with her head up and with a deep knowing that the tough times will pass and she’ll get through it all. And she truly has! It’s so inspiring to me!
So, I’ve taken up the habit of asking myself, when any problem or irritation arises – ‘what would by 98 year...