I’m back in my old neighborhood, after 4.5 years of divorce. I’ve been traveling through some rough places. I’ve had some wins and more losses than I care to recount here. But over the course of the last 6 weeks, I’ve landed a new job, rented a house (since my credit and cash are lacking) and returned to my old neighborhood. And for the first time, yesterday, I hit a moment of sadness.
I don’t know exactly what it was. I’m certain my body and spirit is still adjusting to the full-time corporate job again. I’m no longer able to nap and play tennis during the day. I’ve got new bills and new expenses and my ex has begun the cash-rattling dance that she has become known for.
And this morning, I’m sitting in my new place, dog and cat back in my care, girlfriend off to work, waiting for the plumber to come fix an anemic shower. It’s been a while since I wrote. The hyper-angst of the ex’s continuing actions against me while a week or two back, are just part of the landscape now.
And my reset, collapse, rebuild is complete. So why am I not bullet proof?
As much as I craved alone time in my temporary digs I might be better at being alone while together. Maybe someone to push back against is part of what gives me my drive to be alone. I don’t think that’s it, but I’m voicing the meandering thoughts, rather than the resolution.
So I’ve returned to full-time work. It’s what we’re supposed to do. My ex and thus my kids are already feeling the relaxing of austerity brought on by the failure of my business dreams. And maybe I was postponing this inevitable requirement. Maybe a full-time job was really the only solution. IF I wanted to get a place of my own to live. IF I wanted to have a relationship. IF I wanted my kids to be proud of me and their time with me, rather than something to be endured.
Or maybe it’s all me. Maybe the change in venue and responsibility will just take a little of time to get used to. Maybe the exercise that was such a big part of my recovery and rebuilding needs to be reinjected into this new place.
And in my personal life I have a new relationship. A rich and exciting connection. Maybe the connection and relationship I’ve been hunting, praying, and writing about. But again, that’s an unknown and a new variable that I have only limited control over.
This morning, in my new place, I give back the confusion and worry, and return to the beginner’s mind. I’ve never been right here before. I’ve got a lot of things in motion. A ton of changes. Sure there are going to be moments of “wtf” but that’s expected. It’s not the WTF that takes me down, it’s the paying too much attention to the fears and not enough attention to the details of my own journey.
- Good food
- Exploring this new relationship – kissing a lot
- Giving myself time to adjust without criticism
And the kids return tomorrow, so this moment of reflection will quickly be consumed with errands, breakfasts, logistics, and love.
I like myself in relationship. I like myself with a job and position and a house. I like myself alone. I can ease up and give myself a moment to catch up with all the changes and just enjoy the moment.
Now, more coffee.
The Off Parent
back to The Hard Stuff
The 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.
The Off Parent
- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
- Facebook (follow us on Facebook and keep up with all the conversations)