This has been the lesson I have had to learn in the last few years. I still don’t really like it, yet it is now part of my life. In my dreams, I have surpassed where I am, I am speaking all around the continent, my businesses are more successful, I am the mom who takes things in stride and rarely yells. My reality is different, I am speaking but not as much as I would like, my businesses are growing slow and steady, and I still yell – mind you not as much as I used to.
This morning when I woke up, I thought once I get the boys off to school, I am going to climb back into bed. Tempting yet I didn’t do it, not to say that I won’t and if I do, it is ok. For now, I am sitting at my computer, trying to find the words that will convey how I am feeling.
The battle I am fighting these days
I am good. There is nothing “wrong.” I am just in the in-between space of old and new, the place between get up and go and hell no, just staying where I am. I am sitting in this weird world of knowing that I need to do things, to put in the time and effort to move forward and just wanting to do nothing. These days it is a battle. Lately, the moving forward has been winning, but yesterday and today, not wanting to do anything is taking the lead. I am doing what needs to be done and trying to get motivated, yet that is not really working right now. I know it eventually will. However, I am just taking it as is comes and working on being ok with where I am. Yes, it is a battle.
I spend some time with how I am feeling and where it is coming from. Old habits die hard, and of course, I go to asking myself if I am lazy or am I just making excuses. This makes me look deeper at what is going on with me. Yes, I have done A LOT of this the last few years – it’s been a hell of a run.
Grief is back
My old friend is paying me a visit – I haven’t seen her in a while, yet she is here now. Grief is visiting me. It took me a bit to realize it was her and I don’t really want to admit it, why would she be visiting me now? I know that she has been hovering since the summer, since the ex-moved out, which was a significant change. Yes, I wanted it, yes I was an active participant in making it happen, however, it is still a loss. After 20 years, it is a huge change.
I would love to say once he was gone, things were great. In some ways, that is true – I am no longer responsible for him, I no longer have to take care of him. All of which has been an enormous relief, yet it has been challenging. It was a habit. 20 years is a long time. Then I had the added layer: I spent 4 years doing divorce differently, and in October, that went to hell. It was as if all the work I did to do this chapter of our lives differently for the boys and me was thrown into the garbage and I was faced with the reality that, regardless of all the work I did and all the effort and accommodating I did, we were in an ugly place. This rocked my world.
Learning do have a different role
I have had to face some hard truths. My idea of how we could be moving forward was not his, and there is nothing I can do about it. All I can do is take care of my boys and me. I had to let go of what I thought we could be, support my boys in shared custody, and be proactive with what I can do. It was the line drawn in the sand, and for me, it was hard. I was the fixer, I took care of things, and I made sure he was ok. That was my role, and even when it went to shit, I still had these thoughts. At least I knew, and I would catch myself with them.
Tied in with this is shame. I know this is not rational. The shame I have over the last few years. It doesn’t make sense, I know, I had no control over breast cancer and the surgeries, yet I did have control over the decisions I made and the things that I did to get through it all. I held onto the ex being in the house so tight because I was scared. I made so many decisions based on fear and hope. At the time, I was doing the best that I could, and now looking back, I know I would do it differently. I am working on making peace with that and letting go of the shame.
The next few weeks
Now I am facing Christmas. We do Monday switch-overs, and that means this year I have the boys Christmas week (and I was really glad of that). I was assuming (and you know what that means) that there would be times they would go with their dad to his family things (I am no longer invited to them, this also has been really hard to swallow), and we would figure out Christmas day. In the past, I had visions of all of us together – me, the boys, him and his new partner, friends, and family – and I’ve had to let that go.
The reality is he is going away, and I have the boys for seven days over Christmas. This year everything is different. When the boys told me, and we talked about it, I told them this is the year that we create new traditions (thank god I can think on my feet). This is what we are going to do yet, I will admit that I am a bit freaked out about it. My family is on the other side of the country, and my nephew, who is my support, is going to be with them. I want to make Christmas great for my boys, I don’t ever want them to look back and think – that first Christmas sucked. Thank god I have good friends that will support me in this.
Being okay where I am
I had been taking this in stride until yesterday. Christmas day is at my house, I do the cooking, and the house is full of love and laughter, it is loud and crazy – kids and dogs, everyone is welcome. This year, I knew that it would be different, no ex, no ex’s sister and her family, no ex’s mother. I was making peace with that, then I found out that one of the families that we have celebrated with for years won’t be with us either this year. That tipped me over the edge – everything is so different. Today I am grieving – full into it, and I will give myself the time and space to honor it.
Today I will be ok with where I am.
Life is not about being fine. #fuckfine
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