Before we told the kids about the divorce, I was terrified of both their reaction and my reaction.
I couldn’t fathom not being with them. Not even for one night.
Which is kind of funny.
Because there have been many, many, many nights where I would have loved a break.
And now I have that opportunity.
We so often fail to make decisions that are in our best interest due to fear.
We can’t imagine it any other way.
We can’t bear the thought of missing out.
We don’t know if we can endure the pain of the whole process.
Sometimes the thought of living with a dull, constant pain indefinitely is more tolerable than going through an intense period of agony that leads to happier places for everyone involved.
When you are going through a divorce and you have to be away from your kids, whether it’s for one night or eleven nights, you are in the same circumstance.
You are away from your kids.
It’s how you respond to the being away that makes all the difference in the world.
You can obsess over not being physically with them.
You can binge eat or drink or smoke. You can curl up in a ball in your bed and let it consume you.
Or you can do all the stuff you wished you could do if you had some time alone.
Especially all the stuff you’ve had trouble doing in the past five months.
I haven’t been with the kids for two days now.
And you know what?
This first time away that I was dreading has been…
And I feel kind of guilty saying that.
I haven’t felt sad.
I’ve felt like I can breathe.
I’ve felt like I can actually think coherently.
I’ve felt simply an absence of stress and pressure.
I think what I feel is peace.
Yes, I do miss the kids. A lot.
But for the first time in a LONG LONG time I did stuff just for me today.
I did whatever the heck I wanted whenever the heck I wanted.
I’ve been moving my body a lot.
The more my body moves, the clearer my head stays.
I’ve already run 43 miles in August, and that’s pretty good for me.
I worked alone and uninterrupted on my parents’ screened in porch while listening to the birds chirp and the wind chimes making music.
I went to the beach!
Connecticut beaches aren’t the best.
They’re on Long Island Sound so there aren’t any waves.
And there are tons of rocks and shells and seaweed.
But a beach is a beach!
I only went for two hours.
But to be at the beach again, alone, well…
It was really awesome.
You can pass the time by focusing on what you can’t control and go insane.
Or you can focus on something you probably haven’t really focused on for a while.
Let me tell you, I chose the yourself option the last couple days.
And it was a great two days.
You always have a choice.
It’s not cliché.
You can make the worst of it, or you can make the best of it.
Whatever it is. It doesn’t just apply to divorce. It applies to pandemics and fucking hurricanes and distance learning and your boss and whatever hard thing you are currently going through.
But one of those ways sucks all the time.
The other way might have a few sucky moments, but it’s way more fun than sucking all the time.
So I’m done projecting shit that may or may not happen.
No more doomsday thinking.
No more catastrophizing.
It’s kind of like those choose-your-ending books.
You have options.
You can make different decisions and choices.
There is no rule that says, THIS IS HARD AND YOU MUST CONSTANTLY SUFFER.
I’m not choosing constantly suffering ever again.
Time is too short.
I’ve wasted enough of it already blaming other people for things and waiting for other people to do things differently so my life will change.
That strategy did not work.
I’m no longer expecting my life to change through other people.
It’s changing through me.
Divorce isn’t the ending I was hoping for.
But my life isn’t over.
Just my marriage.
And lucky for me (and all of us), I have a chance to make any decision I want tonight.
So I’m choosing to decide that being away from my kids whenever they are with their dad will definitely not be the end of the world.
In fact for me, it might just be the beginning.