It’s not like me to brag (oh, who am I kidding), but over the past eight months I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned a lot of things that may benefit you too.
I’m here to share the knowledge I’ve gleaned from this broken life of mine in case you suddenly find yourself in a crumpled heap in the middle of a grocery store aisle. Hypothetically. Don’t ever say I never gave you anything.
1. Get some exercise. One of the first things I did after my husband said he wanted a divorce was register for a half marathon. It gave me a goal and a purpose when everything else was falling apart and it kept me busy and active at times I would’ve otherwise been alone. Plus, my hamstrings are totally happening right now.
2. Surround yourself with the kinds of friends you can call any time and say, “Can I just come over and sit at your kitchen table for awhile?” And, then when you do, they’ll teach your kid how to create massive slingshots out of rubber-bands.
3. Surround yourself with old friends who knew you when your bangs were as big as the 80s. You’ll not only laugh about those times, but you will create new memories easily and comfortably. Anything that makes you feel safe and happy is good right now. Embrace it. Thank you, Facebook for making sure we all don’t lose touch. Now, fix your Newsfeed.
4. Let your kids decorate their rooms in their new space however they want. Though, I did draw the line at a keg. Bonus if the wall of photos includes an image of Justin Timberlake upon which you can gaze while you’re running the sweeper.
5. Buy yourself things that make you smile. No, you don’t have the money right now, but you also don’t have a lot of sanity so it only makes sense. Right? Wait.
6. Do fun things with your kids as often as possible. Because, duh.
7. Don’t buy cheap trash bags. Sure you’re trying to save money, but when you end up using two bags because the first one ALWAYS breaks, it doesn’t save you as much as you’d think. Also, let’s look at this picture and see how it relates to #5; beer, watermelon, Ramen noodles, chocolate and Target. Enough said.
8. Park in the carport even if NO ONE ELSE does. When all your neighbors are driving piles of rust, you’ll thank me. Also, you might have to park in the carport because everyone takes your spot in front of your apartment because NO ONE parks in the carport.
9. Get dressed up. Fix your hair. Put on makeup. OR, put on jeans and Converse and throw your hair in a pony tail. Whatever makes YOU feel good. But, get out of your yoga pants unless you’re going to yoga.
10. Read. A lot. Read books, newspapers, magazines, or even old emails from friends. I’ve read books on psychology, law, co-parenting, relationships and a good old-fashioned novel or two. Daily, I read a lot of blog posts and messages from a support group to which I belong full of women in all different stages of this process. Educate yourself. It’s powerful.
11. Don’t name-call. I wish I could say I’ve stuck to this, but I haven’t. There is nothing harder than trying to control your emotions when they are filled with hurt and sometimes anger just flows out. I mean, like a river. Probably the Amazon. Anger is so EASY, but try not to take the easy way out. It just makes everybody feel bad.
12. Hang in there. Life on the other side is different, but you can be happy again. I promise.
13. Try not to smack people who promise you’ll be happy again. They mean well. And, they’re actually right.