Some of the best lessons in life are the hardest to learn. Getting a divorce has taught me many a lesson that I wish I didn’t have to learn, but maybe it’s for the best that I learned these things. As hard as some life lessons are, once you’ve mastered the lesson, you can move on to a more fulfilling life and a better one–in my opinion.
Each person’s experience of divorce is unique, and can’t really be compared, but here are some of the life lessons I learned from divorce:
Have Your Own Money
It’s not good to be financially dependent on someone because nothing is guaranteed for forever. As women, we are more apt to stay home with children than men are, (more men are indeed, staying home) but it is good to always have at least some part-time income and skills to expand on. Relying on a man? Or anyone? Not what I recommend personally, unless you have no choice. I know each person’s experience is different, but this is just my two cents. Thankfully for me, I had been working somewhat kinda part-time, and so while I am still relatively new in my industry…at least it’s not brand-spanking new. Still, had I been established though, like my ex, it would have been 1,000x easier for me and I am sure, him when we were married. I don’t regret the wonderful time I had raising my child at home though. I would relive each day–even the bad ones– over again, just to be with her. I really cherished my time with her.
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
As much as I want to trust everyone, be mindful and ask if what someone is telling you he/she is telling you for your own good or to be hurtful or bring you down. I take things to heart way too often, and I have learned that when someone is saying something, I need to consider a few things:
-the source. Is this someone who matters to me?? Does he/she add to my life?
-the message: is this constructive criticism, or words meant to hurt? Are these words just said to put you in a bad mood, position etc?
-timing: sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment. Shake them off, as long as it doesn’t happen often.
Things are not guaranteed to last. Forever. Eternity. These are very grandiose words. Things change. Jobs change. Homes change. Health changes. Nothing is static. I have learned to be more flexible and to shake stuff off more easily. A morning may be a bad morning, but it doesn’t have to mean a bad day or bad evening. Sometimes the happy ending is not how you pictured it, but it doesn’t mean that one day down the line there’s another happy story or ending for you. Plots change, characters leave and enter…be willing to go for the ride.
One Thing At A Time
AAA and NA have it right: one day at a time. If I considered everything right now that is on my plate, I would puke. One thing at a time, and one day at a time. Sometimes I try to do too much at once, and it doesn’t necessarily make the stress go away.
Take one project at a time, one issue at a time, and then put the rest on the back burner for a bit. It will get worked out, somehow.
Don’t Have Regrets
Sitting around wishing you hadn’t done X or Y or Z, doesn’t help. Even if things did not work out with my marriage, much was gained in the process. I can’t redo the previous 8 years of my life and nor could he, and still…I think that this was how it was meant to end, and I know we will both be happier in the long run even if it is hard today. And wishing that things were different won’t move me forward. Another thing? Make very deliberate and meaningful choices. Consider who you have and what you want in your life and make deliberate choices to make that happen. I have done that with work and writing, and have found it to really be working to my advantage.
I don’t always have the help that I need. Okay, I rarely have the help that I need, but I have a good group of friends around me and anyone who doesn’t add to my life in a positive and meaningful way, I just let go. I find that I am less tolerant of BS as my time is precious and few. Everyone who becomes a part of my life is crucial. I don’t need to be Miss Popular. I only need to be true to myself.
Be Yourself-Be Take Criticism
Some of my close friends have offered me feedback that has been precious to my growth and happiness. Remember–it’s about deciding if whomever is delivering the message is : A- on your side and B: telling you to help you grow, not hold you down.
Decide if someone is trying to help you and listen, even if the message isn’t particular sunshiney and bright.
You choose if someone else “wins.” You choose if someone brings you down, makes you upset, or causes you anxiety.
Choose to limit or not deal with someone who impacts you negatively if possible. Choose to not listen to the negativity. Choose to not let things bother you when it’s coming from someone who doesn’t really care about you.
The Moments Are Ripe
The moments are ripe and few. I don’t see my kid as much as I used to, and so each moment matters to me. It doesn’t have to be a bunch of busy moments, but moments in which I just savor life, my child, my loved ones, and appreciate all that I have, even if sometimes it feels like I have little. The fact is, there is always someone who wants what you have. Cherish what you’ve got.
With jellybeans and hot tea,