Tag Archives: time

Another Season

My youngest niece will graduate from high school tomorrow. She is the last of my siblings’ children to graduate from high school. Her graduation represents the end of an era – no more nieces or nephews in K-12 school. Earlier this month, my youngest sister’s oldest son graduated from college. My little sister doesn’t look old enough to have a son that age!

Both my niece and my nephew are moving on to another season in their lives. My niece will go to college clear across the country on a diving scholarship and my nephew will move on to get a graduate degree. I am excited for the adventures that are ahead for these two young people. I can’t wait to go watch my niece dive and hear about my nephews studies.

Getting divorced and walking forward as just me was another season in my life. It was scary and I was anxious. I had a great support system to help me along the way and I had my faith ion God. Each new phase of our lives is another season. How do we handle those seasons? Do we wither and fall or do we weather and flourish? Do we succumb or do we succeed?

This may be a time-worn cliché, but I think it’s worth repeating. The mighty oak tree grows from a single small acorn. The tiny seedling grows stronger with each passing year. Soon, it is home to birds and other animals. Oak is a tough wood that has been used for centuries to make homes, furniture, and tools. As we enter new seasons in our lives, we need to look to the oak tree as an example and stand strong. Stay tuned. . . .

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Holiday Grace

The holidays were always a crazy, chaotic time for me growing up. I am one of six children, so we always had a crowd at the dinner table. I remember going to visit my grandparents in Chicago. My mom’s parents and my dad’s parents didn’t live that far away from one another, so we had to visit both sets of grandparents.

My mom’s parents had this wonderful, magic expanding kitchen table. It was a little round thing that somehow expanded to ten times its size in order to accommodate all the relatives that were there for the holiday. My grandma, mom and aunt would be in the kitchen the day before the holiday and all day the day of the holiday, baking, cooking, tasting, basting, etc. Grandma’s house smelled sooo good! I have wonderful memories of the holidays from when I was a child (except the Christmas when I learned there was no Santa – but that’s another topic for another time).

I often tried to duplicate the same holiday traditions, smells, etc. so my children could experience the wonderful holidays I experienced. Sometimes that didn’t quite work out like I wanted it to. Ex would throw tantrums and stomp off into the bedroom. I was glad for some holiday peace and quiet after I divorced.

If this is your first holiday after a separation or divorce, take it easy on yourself. This year, my local adult children and I are combining Thanksgiving and Christmas into one holiday gathering in early December. This is the first time we’ve done this and we may be creating a new tradition. Since the divorce, my holidays have been different. For one thing, they have been more peaceful! I am not caught in the throes of burdensome holiday traditions and schedules, I am not at the mercy of someone else’s family, and I am not having to make excuses for anyone’s behavior.

My first post-divorce holiday season was a mere eight days after my divorce. I had not lived with ex for a year, so the holiday without him wasn’t much of a shock. However, I learned a few things: make time for yourself; it’s okay to decline holiday parties you don’t want to go to; if an activity is a stressor, either do less of it or don’t do it at all (example, curb your holiday baking by a good 90%); relax your holiday expectations. Give yourself grace this holiday season. Jesus wasn’t born in the midst of all the holiday hubbub. He was born on a quiet night, in a barn with the animals as His only attendants. Be at peace this holiday season. Stay tuned . . . .

 

Life Will Go On

I normally don’t post twice in one day, but I read a post from another lady who is on the healing journey from her divorce. She posted about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with her son. He asked if they were going to celebrate even if it was just the two of them.

My children are grown and married and have all moved away. I still put up my Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and have continued to do so in the years after my divorce. Ex never really enjoyed celebrating the holidays anyway. This year, there was only me and my dogs to enjoy the decorations – and Cycle Dude when he would come over. I love to sit with all the lights off and just have the Christmas tree lights on – I find that very peaceful.

Just because one is divorced doesn’t mean one shouldn’t still live life! Celebrating the holidays, any holiday, after your divorce is a chance to make even better memories and traditions. Cycle Dude and I went down to Florida in 2015 to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister and brother and their families. It was an enjoyable time. We celebrate the holidays with my grown children as well, though not on the holiday itself because they all have in-laws who want their time, too. The point is that we make the time to celebrate.

Being divorced has given me a blank slate. How do I want to celebrate the holidays and other important days in my life? How do I want to make those days special? This has become a time that I live life the way I want to – not the way some other family’s traditions force me to.

Dear one, part of the healing from your divorce is celebrating – holidays, birthdays, good grades, job promotions, etc. Celebrating is sharing the joy that others bring into your life. Don’t allow ex to ‘win’ in that you live your life is despair. There is joy in each day, each smile of your children, each tail wag from your dog or leg rub from your cat. Celebrate that you are healing and moving forward!

The lady I mentioned at the beginning of this post told her son that yes, they were going to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, even though it was just the two of them, because they are a family and that’s what they do.  Kudos! Life will go on. Stay tuned. . . .

Divorce and Love

(Let me begin this post by saying it’s not about what you think it’s about.)

When I was younger, we often spent time at my Grandmother’s house in Chicago, IL. In fact, when my family returned from three months in Brazil, we lived with my mom’s parents in Chicago for about 6 months. I remember my Grandmother doing her laundry in the basement every Saturday. Even though my uncle had bought her a washer and dryer, she insisted on doing laundry the old-fashioned way – drum washer and wringer, line dry. The basement was always steamy and smelled of bleach. I was fascinated by the wringer and how flat and nearly dry the clothes were when they came out of the wringer. Grandma would then take the clothes and hang them on the line in her backyard. In the winter, she’d hang the clothes on lines stretched across her basement.

Let’s go back to the wringer for a moment. After being beat up in the drum washer, the clothes were put through the wringer. Divorce is like that – you feel as if you’ve been beaten up and put through the wringer. You may even feel as if you’ve been put out to dry on a line in someone’s backyard – exposed and wind-whipped. You committed your life to someone you professed to love and now all that has come crashing down.

We just celebrated Valentine’s Day, or, as many unattached folks refer to it, Singles Awareness Day. The day was all about love, flowers, chocolate, gifts, and love. If you are not in a relationship, did you take the time to love yourself? What??!! Love myself??

After being put through the wringer of a divorce, we need to take the time to love ourselves. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of loss, take time to be silent and reflect on your experience, seek out professional help if you need it, give yourself grace, and be selfish. Yes, be selfish – with your time, money, etc. Give yourself time to heal – don’t jump back into a relationship, say “No” to requested commitments, don’t extend yourself or your money until you are more stable, seek out help to get your financial house in order. Allow yourself time for recovery. You alone know how long it will take you to heal from your divorce. You will know when you’re ready to jump back into life.

As we reflect on the loves in our lives, let us add ourselves to the mix. Learn to love that lady who looks back at you from your mirror. Let her know she is special and powerful. Giver her the grace to move forward. Stay tuned . . .

There is a Time for Everything

In 1965, The Byrds released Pete Seeger’s “Turn, Turn, Turn” based on the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses one through eight. I still love hearing that song – The Byrds’ arrangement and mellow vocals remind me that there is a time for everything.

When I was newly separated (my second time from ex), I wanted things to go quickly. I wanted the divorce to be over with and I wanted to start my journey of healing. Little did I know that my journey of healing would take several years. And why was that? I was told most women take 2-1/2 to 3 years to get over a divorce. Not me! It took me the better part if four years. Why? Stubbornness, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger. It took time – to grow up, to forgive, to get used to myself, to realize this was my life now and I had to move on. After all, I was the one who sought divorce from ex, not the other way around. I was the one who was not willing to put up with any more of his crap.

There is a time for everything. There is a time to mourn the loss of the marriage. There is a time to rejoice in your new-found freedom. There is a time to be angry with ex for not abiding by the court orders. There is a time to be relieved when he moves to another state. There is a time for healing from the pain of the divorce. Will you allow yourself the time – for healing, for anger, for grief, for happiness, for sadness, for moving on and starting over?

Be patient with yourself and with God. Give yourself the grace to accept that there is time for everything. Now may be the time to focus on forgiveness and healing. Or it may be the time to be strong and unyielding. It may be the time for compassion and love. Know that it takes time to recover from such a life altering event as divorce. Give yourself that time. Give yourself a big hug! Stay tuned . . . .

Does Time Really Heal All Wounds?

When I first got divorced, my counselor told me that it takes two-and-a-half to three years for the average women to get over a divorce. I arrogantly told her it would take me less than that because my marriage had been deteriorating for quite some time and I was sure I was past all that. To be honest, it took me almost five years to get past the divorce.

We may believe that time is the healer of all wounds, yet God is the real Healer. Some days I find myself going back to the early days of my divorce, to the pain I felt and the resentment I had towards ex. I have to tell myself, “Stop that! God has it all in His hands!”

Several other things have helped me in my process of healing: talking to good friends, journaling, talking to my pastor or another counselor, remembering the good things I have in my life and how peaceful my life has been since my divorce.

God is the Maker of time and He is the Healer of wounds. Trust His grace and love for you. Give yourself a big hug and tell yourself, “It’s ok!” Stay tuned . . . .