Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It Could Have Been A Whole Lot Worse

I'm in a period of reflection. I've made it part of my "recovery;" that's the term AA and Al-Anon uses to describe the period after one realizes they are powerless over alcohol. It my case, it's as a person who is powerless over the alcohol use in someone else.

I've been journaling/blogging a lot (more journaling than blogging) about my experience as a single mother and what a challenge it's been. I realize that humans are born to 2 parents because parents really need to tag team one another at times. Well, I don't currently have a tag team partner. If Ex took being a parent seriously, we could still tag team one another even though we are divorced.

Things have been so hard over the last 5 years. There have been money crises, there's more than my share of physical and mental exhaustion, there have been times when all I wanted to do is curl up in a corner and cry.

When I look at Ex, I realize how much farther I could have fallen emotionally/mentally/financially if I had chosen to remain married to him. I realize that if I'd chosen to not return to the workforce, I wouldn't have had any choice but to remain married. I'm glad I finished college when I did, even though I really wanted to quit.

Honestly, things could be terrible, but they're not. I've got a decent job with security (a HUGE bonus in this economy). I've got 2 healthy parents who help with The Kid's care. I have enough money in the bank to pay my bills are have a little fun. I am about 1.5 years away from paying off the debts that have been weighing on my mind for over 6 years. I've got really smart and generous friends who love me and The Kid. The Kid has the sweetest little friends and I'm lucky enough to like and respect their parents. I still get to visit my 87 y/o grandmother whenever I want and I still get to enjoy her stories. My family is nuts, but loving and supportive. I'm healthy and I've got a healthy kid. I'm glad for the quality time I spend with The Kid and the quality time I spend with only myself.

I've been thinking that while things aren't perfect (I don't believe in perfection anyway), things could be a lot worse than they are.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Does It Matter What Other People Think?

We all know it doesn't, especially when it's about our kids. I dare anyone to tell me that I am not doing my best for The Kid. You don't want to deal with that wrath, trust me.

The point is, when it comes to kids, people need to mind their own business. Sometimes I see mothers of 4 or 5 who have their shit together in ways I only dream about. My only child is happy, whether I have my shit together or not.

I have no interest in debating divorce with someone who a) hasn't been through it, particularly with kids in tow, or b) are close minded idiots.Divorce is a simple, yet ugly word that defines the worst about human nature. It means that someone stopped loving someone else and didn't even want to try anymore. At least that's how I define it. I permanently divided a family, yet I don't feel guilty. I deserve happiness too. Ex isn't the only one who didn't get what they wanted. Actually, since he went out and got hammered quite often, the way I look at it, he got what he wanted infinitely more often. I got to do all the work, and he had all the fun...and he had his laundry done for him.

But really, it doesn't even matter what Ex thinks. I have a theory, a mantra even, that we are all responsible for our own happiness. If one isn't happy, then one can't help others achieve happiness. If one is always feeling lonely, it doesn't matter if one is alone or in a room full of people, one will still be lonely. My happiness was paid for by my marriage, but I have no regrets. While I miss being married, I don't miss being married to Ex, which was a lesson in loneliness from start to finish. I am happy now, and although I am alone, I'm not lonely.

I have one person and one divine being to whom I need to make good...The Kid and God. I thank God for The Kid and The Kid defines the ultimate goodness of God. I'm not a church-going woman, but I have much faith. Faith has carried me through the darkest times of my life and has lit the most wonderful times of my life.

So what does it matter what others think? I think we all need validation. We need to fit in somewhere: in our families or or friends or our work or our communities, but essentially, the only one you really need to be true to is yourself. It really doesn't matter what other think. I think it was Dr. Seuss who once said, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." That's the ultimate truth.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Today is Friday. A simple, summer Friday. I don't have much planned for the weekend but I'm excited nonetheless.

Just the word Friday gets me worked up. There's is so much potential in those two syllables that I get downright giddy. I call Thursday, "Pre-Friday." Anything to get an extra Friday.

Fridays normally start with me pulling on jeans instead of the dress pants or dress that I wear Monday through Thursday. I have a little extra spring in my step. I take a little extra time doing my make-up so it's Friday-worthy.

Everyone at work has a different attitude on Friday too. Although my boss is wearing a suit, I can tell he's got one foot out the door to be with his children. My work friends all talk about what they'll do over the weekend, or what they won't be doing.

Dinner on Fridays is always something fun, like tacos or pizza...never something serious, like meatloaf.

I'm not afraid to have some coffee on Friday nights. I still need to get early to walk my dog on Saturday mornings, but I can be a rebel and go back to bed if I feel like it. I usually don't, though. i usually take my coffee out on the balcony and enjoy the quiet and the solitude before the crushing pressure of the average Saturday starts.

By the end of the average Friday, I'm usually exhausted. Being a single mother and working full-time is not good for having a wickedly exciting social life, but by Friday night, although I'm really tired, I also feel almost invincible. I've reinvented the wheel and slayed dragons all week and I want to enjoy some well-deserved rest.