I was thinking about writing a post on ‘the Top 10 Things I’ve done since I got divorced’. But then I wondered whether I could actually muster 10 things for the list.
As I sat down and started bashing it out on the laptop, I was amazed at how quickly I reached my target! And that, in turn, made me realise quite how far I’ve come.
For those people out there (and I mean both men and women) who are going through the recovery after divorce, I would highly recommend writing a list of 10 things to do. Things you used to enjoy doing, but your other half didn’t; seeing people you liked or worked with, but your other half didn’t; stuff that reminds you of who you used to be… which is, in fact, without the influence of that ‘other person’, who you really are.
Some of these things might seem really small. But the fact you’ve even written them down, means they’re important!
So here is my list…
GET A DOG
When I told friends that I was going to get a new dog for the kids, so that they could have the experience of raising a puppy, I was amazed that a number of people told me they thought it was a bad idea!
“Are you sure this is the right time?” they said.
“Isn’t it a dreadful tie?”
“What if you go away? People don’t want a puppy chewing their furniture and peeing on the floor.”
There is never a ‘right time’. The kids were desperate for a puppy. So I got one. The kids love her, I love her, and she is the best company in the world when I’m on my own.
DO A TRIATHLON
I have always wanted to do a parachute jump or a marathon. But the fact is, my life insurance would be void if I threw myself out of a plane, and I can’t justify doing something that, if it went wrong, would leave my kids without a mother.
I’ve also tried training for a marathon. But when I’ve tried to increase the distances I’ve run, I start getting problems with my knee and Achilles tendon.
So when it was suggested that I do a low key, beginners’ triathlon, I realised that this was the answer.
I am now ‘in training’ and will be competing in my first event at the end of April!
HAVE A POKER NIGHT
I have never played poker before, but this Friday, a group of us will be sitting round my kitchen table playing Five Card Blind!
Yeah! I may not have played before, but I’ve done my research!
GET BACK IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE YOU USED TO KNOW
It’s important to remind yourself of who you were before you met your ex. People you knew before you met him, but have lost touch with, still remember and will treat you as you were. And I’ve been amazed at how kind and supportive people can be.
ENJOY BEING BY YOURSELF
When I gave up work to look after my first child, I found it very lonely being on my own at home. I missed the ‘buzz’ of the office. But as the kids grew up and became more intellectually demanding, I started to really enjoy the peace of being alone. After all, at the end of the day, I would have another adult walk in through the door.
When you’re on your own at home all day and evening, it is a different ball game… So watch all those movies you never watched because they ex didn’t like them. Enjoy cooking food that the ex didn’t like. And if you’re feeling lonely… phone a friend!
DO STUFF WITH THE KIDS THAT THE EX WASN’T INTERESTED IN
I love cooking. And now that the kids are at the age where they can weigh and measure ingredients without pouring half of them on the floor, it’s started being fun, not just a mess!
I also drag the kids out to take the dogs for a walk. It means they can’t play mindless computer games and we do that thing called: “Having a conversation.”!
GO ON A BLIND DATE
I realise that ‘going on a blind date’ hardly sounds radical. But when you’ve never done it before and you are chronically shy (as I am), it’s a big deal.
But I did it. And would I do it again….? It’s a definite possibility!
LOOK UP AN EX-BOYFRIEND
It’s covered here and I highly recommend you read it. It was a pivotal point for me!
PLAYING THE PIANO
When I was a child, I learnt to play the piano to a very high standard. When I left home, I didn’t have a piano to practice on, and I started to work, so it just fell by the wayside.
Despite the fact my fingers don’t work quite like they used to (!), in my mind, I can still play to a high standard. At the outset, it caused me a great deal of frustration. I didn’t want to play ‘easy’ pieces. I wanted to play what I was capable of when I was 18!
And now, after almost a year of daily practice and persistence, I can play two technically difficult pieces and I’m proud of myself!
So there we have it. Ten things I’ve done that I hadn’t done for almost 20 years.
I appreciate that I’m not developing a cure for cancer or brokering peace in the Middle East. But all in all, I think I’m doing OK….