I foolishly told a friend that the divorce process wasn’t the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through, when I was at the very beginning of the process (and let’s face it: I’m still at the beginning). What I’ve discovered is that I was totally and completely wrong. This is so complicated, involving so many different people, with the potential to hurt each and every one of those people, and a veritable roller coaster of emotions. So yes, this is the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with. Other experiences have been hurtful in different ways and some of them had consequences that could never be undone, but this process wins the awful award based on the fact that it is like trying to climb a monstrous mountain with no equipment or training. Daunting, to say the least.
I have days when I feel okay, like I will probably be alright and things will turn out okay in the end. Then there are other days where I’m wracked by fear, anger, hurt, annoyance, impatience, doubt, sadness, lethargy, depression, or apathy. It seems like this will be a never-ending process and it’s easy to feel bogged down, sometimes so much so that it’s difficult to even focus on the tasks and routines that need doing each day.
I’m *trying* to focus on the positive and not go through each day with a defeated attitude. That won’t be helpful to me, my family, my career, my mental well-being or getting to the end of the divorce process. I am my own best cheerleader and it’s up to me to rally myself when I sense that I’m headed towards shaky ground.
I’ve found that the best way to keep myself positive is by focusing on my kids and spending time with them. Just because my marriage is ending, that doesn’t mean that my relationship with my kids needs to go downhill, too. I’ve been thinking about what kind of experiences I want to share with my kids, even looking at possible new activities and traditions we can share. Two of the kids and I went strawberry picking recently, something we had never done before. All it took was a half hour car ride, $30 to pay for the strawberries and treats from their food truck, and about 20 minutes picking berries in the field. When we got home my oldest son and I made fresh strawberry pies that the whole family could enjoy. It was a shared experience that we all enjoyed and will become a new family tradition.
Just because one phase of life is coming to a close, it doesn’t mean that everything will be dark and dreary going forward. I want to challenge those of you who are going through a divorce to focus on the positive and intentionally seek out fulfilling and positive experiences that you can engage in by yourself and with your children. This is a time when you need to focus on nourishing your soul and your relationship with your children. I think it will go a long way in helping to mend the inevitable wounds that develop during this difficult process.
Wishing you a sunshine-filled day,