Sunday, April 23, 2017

Reflecting (and oversharing)

These days, I'm often overwhelmed. When I study my to-do list, I hear my pulse pound in my ears. I can fall in to a temporary paralysis and succumb to distractions (like the Times online) or peruse the Internet for engaging content.  Add instagram, facebook, blogger and email- a virtual bonanza of digital absorption.

I can't say I feel abandoned by my ex. I wanted us to separate. Our limited interactions were reduced to monosyllables while talking through doors. When he backed the moving truck into the driveway, I was more than ready. Bewildered. Mind blown. And ready.

He's a lovely decent man. Everyone who knows him says the same thing.  I affirm his many good qualities, and remind myself to judge not yet ye be judged.

Yet I'm still dazed by what happened. How my ex's love for competitive sport emerged as if from nowhere and became his mission.  How I watched him train religiously, while unable to secure employment,  running through our limited retirement savings as he chased his fitness goals.

(Last summer, I attempted a Hail Mary after listening to my ex describe his training session. I mentioned that if he put 10 percent of his athletic efforts in to the marriage, we might be doing a lot better. "Not going to do that." he quickly replied. And of course, I sound so insipid in retrospect.)

He's found a new community of associates and forged new friendships, one in particular with a gifted para triathlete. They work out together and last summer, when she got some disappointing news, he organized a special dinner and invited her family to help console her. He told me later that "I couldn't leave her."

It's not like you're interested in being reminded repeatedly how important everything is that has nothing to do with you or the family. (That's when you gather attorneys' name in earnest.)

Early September, by mutual agreement, I filed. My ex even went to my lawyer's office to pick up the papers to demonstrate how civil he is.

It's kind of great, while awaiting your estranged partner to hire an attorney and respond to your divorce petition to discover what he's really doing because his special friend posts about it on Facebook and thanks him for all his thoughtfulness.  You don't need to search your heart to make sure you're doing the right thing. Gumption kicks in. (Along with more tears)

Remember you self worth. Blog about it if you need to. Take a page from all the best playbooks, scour advice columns and soak up words of wisdom. Then get going and work on letting go. Enough already. Time to be an inspiration to yourself.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Friends of the Imaginary Persuasion

I'm in an ongoing process of revision. Most everything (save for my sexual identity and love of my kids, my photography and gardening) is up for grabs, but I digress. My ex is relocated, my kids are mostly grown and flown and I find myself connecting with fictional characters on tv because after all, they cheerfully appear in my living room with no invites required.

Finding myself in this condition was far from my plan. On a regular basis I am amazed to realize where I am but choice didn't figure large in my thinking. Events forced my hand and I'm going with it. (and if you find yourself needing background read this and this.)

I take my distractions where I can. Savor the pleasures of great characters, comedic writing and excellent timing, Kind of like the next romantic figure I'm hoping finds me or vice versa, depending on luck or circumstance. Or both.

Monday, April 10, 2017

States of Mind

Desire, loss, hope and fear dominate my current routine. A milestone birthday looms and I appreciate how quickly the years rush by.  The state of our world is an unrelenting news cycle of despair that underscores the here and now. Political refugees, famine, corruption, climate change and the constant awareness that greed is good- because isn't money the best signifier of one's worth?

Or is it the amount of friends on Facebook? Or likes on Instagram? Or views on a blog? Lately I'd gladly settle for some tender intimacies exchanged one on one in the privacy of a cozy spot without the need to document and generate buzz.

Either I am showing my age or my inability to ignore the events that surround me. Pick one.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Not Mine

It's my ex's birthday and I'm feeling similar to one of his acquaintances who doesn't have friend status on Facebook. Call/write/text him Happy Birthday or let it go? Surely in the scheme of his life and his new intimate circle of friends, does it matter what I do? Not much can prepare you for the fall out from a sentimental occasion that no longer has any symbolic meaning. I survived Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day and our wedding anniversary in a mute fashion as I grew accustomed to his radio silence.

I'm not a hypocrite- don't routinely wish people the best just to appear kind (because for the most part I actually am).  It's moments like these, freighted with memory and the reality of what is no longer and why that is so, that firmly ground me in reality. I wanted my marriage over, we were unable to resolve a single conflict between us, it was all, you do your thing and I'll do mine (my ex's governing principle) so I took the high road and decided if one person isn't going to make any effort for years at a time, why would I want to take this forward another second longer than necessary?

Still birthdays, the one belonging to the father of my kids, casts a silhouette in my mind. Its significance is diminishing with time (as is to be expected).

What a strange and odd series of events when the person who once held the most meaning for me has passed in to the shadowy realm of one I once knew.