Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “homeless

Going for Gratitude No Matter What

Every morning I wake up and contemplate my gratitudes. Often it is in contradiction to how I feel and I use the first moments of the day to reorient my attitude. It would be much easier to wallow in the negative, the losses, the current crappy situation I have landed in. But I know the negative can rule my life. I can live in the down and depressed. Anger on the other hand is an emotion that I have a hard time accessing. So if I can even be grateful for the anger in my life, perhaps I can harness some of the energy that’s caught up within that emotion.

This morning’s meditation came back with plenty of the negative aspects of my current situation, as it does many mornings.

  • I’m homeless (my last relationship included her house)
  • I’m alone (as it should be, I’m refinding my solo-self)
  • I’m working a shit job (it’s the most fun I’ve had at work, but it won’t pay my car payment)
  • My ex-wife gets half of everything I earn, after taxes, so my effective hourly rate is somewhere in the $5 – $6 hr range.
  • I feel the frustration of the pennilessness every day.
  • I no longer see my kids every other weekend, I don’t have rooms for them, so I see them “as I can make dates with them” and with teenagers that’s a challenging goal

And somehow I feel entitled to more. I should have a job that utilizes my 15 year career and college degree. I should have rooms for my kids, though things are a lot easier on all of us now that we’re not switching every other weekend. I would love a relationship, an opportunity to be building again towards the future. And I’d really be happy to reach some arrangement with my ex-wife that takes the impossible financial burden off my daily life and ties the payoff to the sale of a piece of property that I inherited. But that’s not how things work. We go through hard times, we survive, and we come out the other side changed. And I think we either come out smarter, leaner, and more optimistic, or we break and become bitter. It is through the active reframing of my life, with positive affirmations and prayers, that I am changing my attitude about my situation.

  • I am grateful that my kids are healthy and doing well in school and life.
  • I am grateful that my ex-wife has maintained gainful employment since the divorce.
  • I am grateful that my mom (humbling disclosure) still has an extra room that I inhabit.
  • I am grateful that I am able to maintain joy in my current job.
  • I am grateful that I have the financial help of my mom, as strained and emasculating as that is.
  • I’m grateful that I am super healthy and getting plenty of sleep.
  • I’m grateful that my creative energy is strong and my inspiration is growing.

Today, I have everything I need. I may not be close to having everything I want. But my basics (food, shelter, safety, community) are pretty well covered. If I can keep my attitude at the proper trajectory I can see that my current state is temporary and my prospects are ever-growing and improving. I have to believe that. I have to believe that I can find a high-tech marketing job as an “older worker.” I have to believe that I will grow out of this phase of my life back into the self-sufficient adult that I thought I was, that I have been, that I will be again. It’s like a prayer, really, these affirmations. I keep repeating my thankfulness. I keep appreciating what I have. I keep letting go of my expectations and immediate gratifications. And I am learning, everyday, to be closer to living in the moment. I am appreciating my current life, my current job, my current loneliness. And sitting in this place, I am also learning to become more conscious, more compassionate, and more humble about what I have vs. what I want.

Just for today, I will rise above it.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

@theoffparent

image: man in stress, creative commons usage


A Once and Future King

a king's crown, losing the divorceThe loss of my kingdom. I don’t think it’s a particularly man thing, imagining your house and neighborhood as a kingdom. I think we all feel a sense of protection and pride around our homesteads. We invest a lot of time and energy in providing a comfortable existence for ourselves and our families.

It is not a happy thing to be exiled from your kingdom. Everything that goes with it. Kids, pets, comfortable bed, study areas, entertainment, warmth, yards, play. Everything comes to an end.

What once was a WE provide is now a ME provide. And I have not been so lucky in terms of the next chapter in my working life. I’ve made money. I’ve worked. But I am essentially homeless at the moment. Being shut out of my house meant that I could either afford a completely new residence in our neighborhood, OR… leave.

The blessing is that I have a sister in the city who has a mother-in-law plan that was available. And I even had built in kids, with her twin boy and girl who are 12 years old. And for that I am glad.

But I have no privacy. The TV is a constant irritation, as the largest one sits directly on the other side of my bedroom door. And of course, 90% of my stuff is still in my ex-wife’s house. I don’t have a place to put it. And I get to be thankful that she’s not insisting that I get a storage unit.

I know that I will return to a kingdom of my own. And I will make a way again in the world of empowered work, but for now it is difficult. As the Fall is now moving in and the weather is changing I long for a place to relax and be alone. And an opportunity to begin the rebuilding process.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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