Life after separation is proving a strange beast, as it turns out. Surreal and kind of lonely and full of slippery footing. Of course, this is as it should be, one surmises, when trying to figure out what the world looks like after 13 years of marriage (which was immediately preceded by another long-term relationship). So - alone-ness is very, very new. And challenging. And there is so much grief over failing at marriage, feeling like I've failed someone that of course I will always love in many ways, and at the realization that those many ways of love are not enough. There is intense guilt over the impact of my choices on my children, who are also struggling, and my own battle to remain focussed on them while attempting to sort my shit out. And let's be frank: flux and uncertainty are hard. Really fucking hard.
But - I also think - despite this being a time of great flux and uncertainty - this time has also been one of gifts and possibility. So this blog is about gratitude; something I am perhaps guilty of not acknowledging enough.
So here goes my list of gratitudes:
1. I've been trying really hard to make new friends, which I find hugely difficult. And many of these people are proving to be most lovely additions to my life.
2. Discovering new ways of being with old friends, who seem to love me still.
3. Paying attention to reconnecting with friends from other provinces, who've been all kinds of lovely and supportive. Rediscovering the art of the phone date.
4. Spending time with on-line friends, many of whom I've never met in person, who have rallied around me in ways that I find so bloody amazing and wonderful. Pooh pooh internet connections all you want, but these folks are solid and loving and really helping to sustain me,
5. Concentrating on trying to let go of some of my own (possibly slightly unreasonable) expectations of myself.
6. Finding moments of reflection.
7. Re-evaluating what my life could look like, and reacquainting with the idea of possibility instead of feeling mired by impossibility.
8. Book club. So awesome. Reading and having an excuse to 'have to' read feels decadent. Meeting with swell people to talk about the books once a month - super fabulous.
9. Thrift shopping. Holy fuck I love finding pretty bargains. Makes me stupid happy.
10. Finding new musical crushes with which to dance alone in my living room. FUN!
11. Re-committing to myself, and figuring out how to reconcile who I feel like I've become with who I'd like to be. This one is big. Super-hella-freaking big.
12. My therapist. Seriously folks - this woman is fantastic.
13. Rediscovering my inner flirt.
14. Making an effort to be more playful and less serious.
15. Trusting that the universe - and my own instincts - will get me/us through this transition.
16. Finding hidden wells of inner resilience that I had no idea existed.
17. Becoming more assertive.
18. Nightly piles of purring warm cat cuddles.
19. Morning piles of giggling kid cuddles.
20. Wishing stars. And glimmers of hope.
Many, many things to be grateful for already. And with any luck - many more to uncover.