Control+Alt+Delete


What if it really was that easy? Before it was just a joke… a funny way to say I wish I could do that again, now it’s all for real. I’ve been single… well, let me re-phrase that, I’ve been divorced for 38 days. I still carry M with me– we are still “connected” for another 22 days.

Control: The divorce decree stated that he needed to pay me what he owed me no later than 60 days after the date of the divorce. In the past 38 days, I’ve seen M three times. Each time I believed I was getting what he owed me. $170, plus some personal items. And each time, I’ve been told one thing or another: “waiting for all the final bills to arrive”, “the bank is holding the check”, “he’ll pay me next payday“. And each time, I still believe his “reasons” until I step away and say to myself…”Seriously, Z, why are you still believing those stories?!”  And those are the times I wish I could rewind the conversation and tell him to give me what he owes me and to get his priorities straight.

I was foolish to believe him and yes, I do accept that.  A wise friend kindly reminded me that I needed to manage my expectations. Going by past behavior, its not likely I’ll see anything from him and if I do, it will be icing on the cake. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting him to recognize that he “o w e s” me…. Something … Anything … Everything! But I can accept, painfully, that I will likely get Nothing. I can’t control what he will do, but I can control my own expectations.

ALT: in those 38 days, I’ve managed to remember what it was like to be “me.” My first full paycheck, I bought glasses and contacts. The glasses I was wearing had been broken for 10 months but I wore them because there was always something else that needed to be purchased. I scheduled a haircut, got my nails done and had my eyebrows waxed. I bought mascara, a very simple luxury, but when having to make the choice between bananas and mascara, i recognized that bananas were the safer choice to come home with.

I went to the Opera for the first time. I chose Hansel and Gretel because at least I knew the story line. I took myself to the town theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I’ve dined alone simply to remind myself that I can sit there and look other folks in the eye and smile. I even went to a friend’s bonfire and mingled with an entire group of people that I didn’t know.  It’s been nice remembering “me”… doing things that I used to do.

DELETE: I’m selling my wedding ring. It doesn’t mean anything to me anymore, well it doesn’t mean much. I pulled it out of the jewelry box and like an idiot, slipped it back onto my finger…. and I cried. And just as easily as I slipped it on, I slipped it off. I’m taking it to the pawn shop tomorrow. I loved my ring, it was meant to be a “starter” ring that would get enhanced with a bigger ring at 5 years … instead, M bought a big screen TV and a PS3. He had the nerve to mention this when he was telling me that he felt like I wasn’t happy, and that he wasn’t good enough for me — that he never got me my ring or took me on a honeymoon etc.   But its time to say goodbye to it. There’s no reason I need to see it each morning in the jewelry box.

As far as my marriage, if given the chance to do it all again, would I? I don’t know. it seems silly to ponder those sorts of questions. I’d much rather ask myself… given what you know now, are you willing to try it again?

I think, yes.

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Strength


It’s been a Pinterest sort of day. There are a LOT of quotes about how strength is realized after having been through something.

Some people get months and years to go from D-Day to divorce, I had 60…. days — not months, not years. Some days, I’m tired of pretending to be stronger than I really am. I’m tired of pretending that I don’t think about M, that I don’t think back to the past eleven years of my life. And some days, I’m in a good place, thankful for the strength that has shown itself in the past two months. Thankful for the strength that has been willingly given to me by my friends & family.

But now it’s a different kind of strength I seek. I seek one day for the strength to stop counting days since D-day, days since M left, days since the divorce was final. I also wish that I had the strength to stop replaying the image of M & her in my mind … images of her attending church with us, images of her having lunch with us… truth be told, I imagine it was more like me as the third wheel to them. I still have a physical reaction thinking about them “together.”

I seek the strength to admit that in the midst of my marriage, I ceased to exist and I seek the strength to forgive myself for letting that happen. Recently someone told me that I need to take care of myself like I was taking care of a child. I don’t have children, but the concept was not lost on me.  I would never let a child go to school without breakfast,  I would make sure they were bathed, and had clean clothes and that they had good, healthful food. I would make sure their physical, emotional, mental, spiritual needs were met, I would speak kindness to them, encourage them, etc.  I started crying as she was saying this because I have realized that in the midst of the past eleven years, I was so busy dealing with everyone and everything else that I forgot to think about taking care of me.

With that in mind, I’m going to resolve to let go of the thoughts that rob me of my strength and to be Ok with the fact that I can’t do anything to change the past but I can control today.  And I’m going to “act” as if I’ve got the strength I seek is already in me so that one day I will wake up and realize I haven’t added just one more day to my countdown calendar but that I’ve added one more day to MY life.

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Everything Old is New Again


Never look back. If Cinderella went back to pick up her shoe, she never would have become a princess.

With all due respect to Cinderella, I’m looking back, not forever, just for awhile. Just to find where I left myself.

I used to bowl. Truth be told there are a lot of things I used to do and its been fun thinking about them again. But yup, bowling was definitely one of them. I spent some time on a co-ed league, had my own ball with my name engraved on it and was a sucker for those clown shoes.

So when the urge to go bowling hit, I called my friend C just out of the blue and told her my plan. She wasted no time telling me that she was going to go look for her bowling shoes in storage and I knew I had asked the right person to come with me. I just cant believe that I got rid of my own bowling ball 3 weeks prior to D-Day. Hind sight is 20/20 and breaking in a new bowling ball is agony! Now, was it smart given that I just had knee surgery 3 weeks ago… probably not, but did I do it anyway… heck yeah!

I really did forget how much I missed it. I had not bowled the whole eleven years I was married. So the plan for the day was one game to honor my past life and one game to honor my new one. In the end, my fingers were sore, my knee was raging but my spirit was happy.

For the record…. game to honor the old: 92 pts, game to honor the new: 134. YAY new life wins!!

Once Upon a Time…. nah~


Alot of people don’t know (and now they will) how much I love the story of Cinderella.  Always have, always will. We never see her grumbling about her lot in life, she did what needed to be done and in the end no matter how badly her stepmom and stepsisters tried to ruin her chance at that glass slipper, they couldn’t change her destiny. She was meant to marry her prince.

I went to Target last week after signing the papers and found a new journal with Cinderella’s profile on it. It’s been waiting on my dresser patiently…. just waiting for the day I’d hear from the lawyer that the paperwork was final. That text came this morning. In just 67 days my life has been completely turned upside down and no matter how badly M tried to hurt me, he can’t control or change my destiny. I’m meant for better things.

And so, today is the start of a new story— no, not one that starts with Once Upon a Time… heck, even I’m not that sentimental. My story starts with “A funny thing happened to me on my way to living.”  And sure, I’ll have my fair share of ogres & dragons, and invites to parties, and struggles to find the perfect dress and then of course the shoes. And while there may or may not be a prince, there will most certainly be a happily ever after…. because after all, this is MY story and his story is exactly that — HISTORY!

Unanswered Prayers


….just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care. Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.         Garth Brooks

This is one of two posts that I have struggled with posting. Not because I don’t believe in it but because it was so tough for me to actually accept. Truth is God answers all prayers, sometimes just not in the way we want to hear them.  Its easier to say that the prayer was unanswered than to admit that the answer was No.

In packing up and moving my stuff from the rental to my new place, I found some of my old journals. I scanned through them and was actually surprised by some of what I had written. There were numerous pages where I had written prayers to God begging him to take your anger, take your depression, your foul language… begging Him to help control your frustration towards me and thus the anger that I was on the receiving end of, and then the prayers for strengthened love between us and for the pressure of finances to be eased. One of the first entries that caught my eye was me recording a meltdown you had one of the first night we moved into our rental. You were angry at me because you had to make the mac & cheese with margarine instead of butter. It wasn’t a good night.

I struggled with the fact that you got this great job at the U. We (I) had prayed for this job for years. Lord, please bless M with a job at the U so that he will have benefits, retirement, we can have holidays off together, we can start to look at owning our own place, and Lord, please let it be a position that we might be able to still work with one car so as not to have to add an additional burden to our budget right away.  BAM-answered. You started your new job 13 days after D-day. And I carried the burden of not understanding how God would answer that prayer but not the ones that I had prayed for so many years. I struggled because if God is omnipotent and nothing takes Him by surprise, then why would he choose to bless you knowing that you were going to do such a horrible thing. Why were you getting to benefit from the prayers of not only me, but my friends and my family? Why would He not want you to have to struggle with where to live and where to work and what to do?   Why? Why?

But it doesn’t matter why. The answer to my prayers for peace in my marriage all those years was “no” and the answer to you getting the job was “yes.” And the reason it doesn’t matter is because I don’t know what the road ahead holds, but I do know who holds the road. Years ago, I couldn’t see that years later the Lord would say Yes to peace, just not in the way that I expected. I do have peace now and while its not within my marriage, it is within me and it wasn’t an unanswered prayer but rather a prayer to yet be answered.

PS… if you are struggling with the whys in life, talk to a Pastor. Mine has been an invaluable resource in helping me get through this and if you don’t have a Pastor, Dr. Charles Stanley has a short article that might help– How will I know God’s answer to my prayer? 

Wonderland


“Only a few find the way, some don’t recognize it when they do – some… don’t ever want to.” ― The Cheshire Cat 

The nights are still incredibly quiet but somehow they don’t seem as lonely. Don’t misunderstand–my thoughts still keep me awake and when I do fall asleep its just for a few hours and them I’m once again awake for the rest of the night. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to be able to fall back asleep with enough time to actually rest before the alarm goes off. Most mornings however, I turn off the alarm before it even goes off.

It’s been 48 hours since I signed the papers.Time used to be so fleeting to me and now I’m so annoyingly, conscientiously aware of it. I still measure time by D-Day; I don’t mean to, it just happens. I still don’t hate you but I sure hate what you did. I hate that your selfishness has ruined four significant dates for me: the anniversary of your father’s passing, my brother’s birthday, my birthday and our anniversary …… in one fell swoop, every single one of those significant and special days is forever marred by the memory of your infidelity and your indifference.

My consolation is that my “new” birthday will be in February. Yup, that’s right… at least for awhile I will celebrate my half-birthday 🙂 I can thank L for that suggestion. And our anniversary will now be my “antiversary.”  It’s all sort of fitting as I have felt a bit like Alice navigating the twists and turns in Wonderland so these un-celebrations would be perfectly at home with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare and the White Rabbit. And like Alice,  I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

But I’m Ok. Actually, a lot more Ok than I thought I would be. After signing the papers, I had a mini-meltdown that lasted about 5 minutes and was solved with hugs from Ms. E and Mr. R and then later hugs from my parents who stopped what they were doing and just listened to me as I likely shared the same stories and frustrations they’ve heard for the past 2 months.

Aside from that, its been pretty non-eventful. Although, I will admit that I have been in a constant state of checking my email to see if there is word from the lawyer that the judge has signed off on our divorce paperwork.  In that respect, I feel like the white rabbit always checking his pocket watch. Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.” 

I’m honestly not sure how I will react when I see those words and see the documents showing the finality of it all, but one things for sure I’m willing to take the road less travelled.

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

45-Minute Procedure


“God only gives us what we can handle. He must think I’m a bad ass!” pinterest pin

I had knee surgery yesterday. I think back to a conversation we had just a week ago when we were talking about you and your plans for moving your stuff out of the rental and I had mentioned I was at the orthopedic surgeon’s office. You never asked me why and I know its because you don’t care. Just like the night I injured my knee, exactly one week prior to D-day. I hobbled into the bedroom, you were already asleep but woke up to my crying and limping around. You asked me if I was Ok. I said no. You prayed for the pain, offered to get me an ice pack and then went back to sleep, never bringing it up again.

I lived with the pain from that day through now but little did I know that the pain of two tears in my meniscus was nothing compared to the pain I was going to begin to have to deal with just one week later. If only it would be as easy as a quick 45-minute procedure to repair the tears in my heart as it is to repair the tears in my knee.

So while I’m layed up over the next few days, I am soaking up plenty of Pinterest.  Often I would look to fellow pinners to post words of encouragement that I needed to hear/see. Many were things I wanted to hear from you but I had to seek out myself. Today, I spent 45 pinterest minutes on a procedure I like to call “Me.” Here are some of my favorite pick me ups today.

 

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