Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Up until this point, my life has been shared in text bubbles, with sound bites and wry humor detailing all areas of work and home life, being married and raising children.   

Admittedly, I have judiciously chosen to shine a spotlight on the better moments and left other, less than stellar moments, silent.  I think it has something to do with the old adage, “Laugh and the world laughs with you…weep, and you weep alone.”  Timeless words written by a nineteenth century author, with enduring relevance even now, in the twenty-first century. 

Looking back over 2015, two significant milestones occurred in my life…first, I “celebrated” my 15th wedding anniversary in June, followed by the month of July, when I decided not to “celebrate” any future anniversaries in this marriage.  That’s a nice way of saying I decided to call it quits…ironically, after our annual family vacation.  And there I find the first bits of my unique sunshine emerging from a sad pile of rubble.  It’s a subtle reassurance that I can still take life as it comes and keep swinging.  And importantly, maintain the part of myself that can both laugh and cry, recognizing the need for both.

Fast forward to November 2015, we exchanged a very civilized dissolution of our marriage, with a 45 page legal document detailing every corner of our life from finances to kids.

And in the months leading up to the divorce, we fought very little.  My logic played through nearly every moment of the process.  And while I was seemingly effortlessly managing a smooth transition for the kids, life dealt a different curve ball when my youngest faced a myriad of health issues, ultimately resulting in a need for me to take a leave from work to care for him. 

Generally speaking, dealing with issues and crises has always kind of been my thing. Having been raised in an alcoholic family, I often served as chief peacemaker and caretaker.  It is a role that has been a double-edged sword during my life, at times serving me well and still other times, cutting me to the quick when I stepped in to try to control and care for everything in my purview…instead of acknowledging and accepting accountability for the only part of life any of us can control…our own actions.  Ultimately, having a knack for what I used to perceive as “controlling or containing a problem,” I finally realized my sense of “control” was artificial.  Trying to sweep everything under the rug proved futile over time.  When I finally pulled it up for a good cleaning, all the unresolved problems escaped; it was time to let the dust settle and start fresh. 

My very first lesson: I am only responsible for my own dirt; it’s not my job to clean up after anyone else.  I specifically chose to use a cleaning analogy because one of our biggest differences was in what constituted a clean house…any other inference to “dirt” as having any other meaning is unintentional and inconsequential.

And so we decided to tear up our manuscript on life after having finished many chapters, with the assumption that we would end the final chapter together.  For those who know me well, know that at any moment there can be a plot twist. If I don’t feel it down to my bones, I’m going to look at it and figure out what’s wrong…and if I can’t fix it, I focus on what I can…and move on.  A little late, albeit.

There were plenty of text bubbles and sound bites over the past few months…but sometimes the need to protect the real lives within the text bubbles outweighs the desire to share for entertainment value in the world of personal blogging.  I’ll just leave it at that. 

And now, let the humor begin in earnest where one journey has ended and a new one has begun…life after divorce in the 21st century!

To be continued… Join me and #followthedinopath

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