Archive | July, 2013

What I Like About Me

31 Jul

Last week our homework assignment for the divorce recovery class was to write down 20 things we like about ourselves. There was some hemming and hawing, and even this week we joked that it would be easier to write 20 things we did not like about ourselves. I said I could do 20 in 5 minutes and keep going. 

After we discussed why it’s so hard for us like ourselves, we read our lists in front of the class. I have to admit, I had a huge grin on my face while everyone read his/her list. I even found myself identifying with other items people read. It was such a confidence-building exercise. I highly encourage you to write your own list because it is such a good tool for making you realize that you are awesome.

Here’s my list of stuff I like about myself:

  1. I’m quite driven.
  2. I’m a good writer.
  3. My relationship with my family.
  4. I’m a good problem solver.
  5. My lips and my smile.
  6. I’m a pretty great friend.
  7. That I’m trying to turn this divorce into a new beginning.
  8. I’m very open and accepting.
  9. My sense of humor.
  10. I’m an excellent editor.
  11. My newfound sense of adventure.
  12. My belief that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally.
  13. My shoe size.
  14. I’m very tactful.
  15. That I don’t freak out about everything anymore.
  16. My love of travel.
  17. My compassion for others.
  18. I’m a good cook.
  19. My imagination.
  20. My practicality.

Some of the other stuff I copied when others were reading:

I’m grateful, loyal, creative and crafty, positive, and reliable; I can take care of myself; my positivity and humility; and I’m willing to learn from my mistakes.

It was such a good night in class. I am amazed at how we — folks who were strangers just 5 or 6 weeks ago — are taking this journey together and how we are really moving forward together. I’ve seen such wonderful changes in my classmates. One man who rarely spoke smiles now. He has a beautiful smile, and it’s awesome to see it. Another woman who could barely speak above a whisper is now showing her fun and sassy side. She is so hilarious; I love seeing this side of her personality. 

Our facilitator reminded us to be kind to ourselves. She reminded us of a quote we learned on the first day: “You don’t have to believe everything you think.”

Taking a Chill Pill

30 Jul

Talking to the people in my divorce group has been eye-opening. The stuff we struggle with and things that have changed within us is so similar. I like knowing that I’m not abnormal.

Tonight I was talking to one of my classmates about things that have changed since our divorces. I’m finding that there are things I do like more about myself and my life. One of the biggest things is not freaking out about every little thing. I’m so much more relaxed now. It used to be that I would obsess over everything.

– For example, for every 5K I ran, I would memorize the logistics info, where did I have to be, where did I need to park, what time did I need to be there, what was the course like. Now, I look up directions to the course on my way out the door.

– Travel. Oh man. This was a big one. I had spreadsheets and documents and bookmarks and books detailing my research. I knew my flight number and what time each leg of my flight departed and arrived and in what city my layovers were. I would look at maps of the layover airport, figure out any transportation needed to get between gates. Now, I am lucky if I remember the date I’m flying.

– Driving. I had major road rage. And major anxiety about being late to wherever I was going. I would spend my entire drive looking at the clock and telling myself, if I can get to x road by x time, I should be there in time. The entire drive I would do this. Do you have any idea how nerve-wracking that is??? Because I was such a basketcase about being late, I berated every driver on the road. It is so different now. In fact, a coworker was asking me what names I call people when I’m driving. I had to stop and think about it. I don’t get angry, I said to him. I don’t call people anything. But letting go of the driving anxiety is so freeing. So wonderfully freeing. When I do get into the car late, I do think, dang, I’m going to be late. There’s no obsessing, though. I think about something else and by the time I arrive, I realize I have minutes to spare.

Is it because the worst has happened and we know that we are getting through it? Or was there really something in our marriages that was causing this uptightness? For me I think it’s a combination of those two things along with the help I’m getting now.

Video

Keep Your Head Up by Ben Howard

26 Jul

I love the lyrics to this song. My favorite parts:
“All I was searchin’ for was me.”
and
“It felt so good to see his face, or the comfort invested in my soul.
Oh to feel the warmth of a smile,
When he said ‘I’m happy to have you home.
Ooh I’m happy to have you home.'”

Success

13 Jul

Each week in my divorce recovery class, we have to do address 1 of 5 domains. Here’s what I decided to do a few weeks ago:

  • I would spend the 4th of July alone and be OK
  • For my family trip to Las Vegas, I would not dwell on the fact that he wasn’t there and that the last 4th of July trip was the last one he was there for

Holy crap. I completed my tasks with flying colors. The 4th was just another day. My dog and I went hiking and then I took a long nap, ran some errands, and just hung around my house. I wasn’t sad in the least that entire day. I surprised myself by how OK I was.

Then our family trip to Vegas was super fun. Again, there wasn’t any dwelling on him at all. I got to Las Vegas before the rest of my family and had a few hours by myself; same thing with the day we all flew out. I was fine.

I’m so proud of myself.

Crazy, Made-Up Stuff in Your Head

2 Jul

When I first started running, one of my friends mentioned that I should try a running class. I told her that she was insane, that there was no way I could keep up with real runners. In response, she said (and I’m paraphrasing because this was several years ago): If you would go to a class, you would see that there are people of every level and you wouldn’t be comparing yourself to the freaking crazy, made-up shit in your head.

Though I didn’t take a class at that point in time, I kept thinking back to what she said about all of the things I concoct for myself in my brain. It’s hard to stay out of one’s own head. It’s been doubly hard since the divorce. I need to let go of the things I’m worried about that most likely will not be an issue. When this first happened, I was deathly terrified of being a pauper. Reason would have told me that it was going to be extremely difficult for me to be homeless and penniless, but reason wasn’t prevailing at that point. He had handled all of the finances, and I was so afraid that I would not be able to. Fast forward 8 months: money and bills have been a non-issue. Paying bills is easy. I’m still saving the same amount that I used to save. I even refinanced my house by myself.

My biggest fear is never finding anyone. Or that I end up with some giant loser because all of the men who have a stable income and good job and all of their teeth are taken. I have no idea how to let that fear go. When I was married, I would think, if only I could go back to my teenage self and tell her how happy she was going to be and how amazing her husband would be. I want to believe that in a few years I can look back and say, that was difficult, but look at who you are now and look at this amazing partner and family you have. It all led to this. (I’m also deathly afraid of losing my income, so I’m not completely shallow.)

I’m trying to think about it with my friend’s words in mind.

Here’s some more inspiration I’m using to try to not focus on the worst:

  • “I’ve got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I’m stressing about for absolutely no logical reason.” (https://twitter.com/ZachGalifinak/status/340545817612021760)
  • “To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life.”- The Map of Life, William Edward Hartpole Lecky