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Happy Face, Sad Face

I'm really struggling to write lately. Not that I don't enjoy it; I do. It's just that so much is too personal to put out on a public site.

There are so many thoughts swirling up in my head, and I don't feel quite free to let them all out.

Guess what? Post-divorce life isn't easy! I have no doubt divorce was right to do in my case, but there's so much healing that needs to take place since the finalization.

I have to work constantly at trying to scour off the abusive words that were seared into my head. Fighting those thoughts all the time is exhausting, yetI have to do it because I know they're not true.

My body reacts involuntarily when I get triggered by a reminder of the darkest times of my marriage. My heart will sink, my stomach turn into knots, my fight-or-flight instinct kick in, my guards flash up in a split second. I don't know how long it will be before my body feels normal again and doesn't react reflexively to those triggers.

Parenting is an exaggerated challenge. Take the normal challenges and multiply that by 2 or 3. They have been through a very hard year, and I'm trying to learn how to connect with them the way they need.

Loneliness is real. I have so many wonderful family and friends, but for all my adult life, I've desperately wanted a partner/companion/best friend to journey with through this life. Marriage doesn't automatically provide that.

Dating? That's like being dropped into a jungle with only a butter knife for survival purposes.

While I have these struggles, there is so much more to life that fills me with joy:

  • Trying out for a musical! I've never performed in a musical before. Who knows if I'll get a part? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • Summer plans with the kids beyond circus performances. Camping, trips to South Carolina and Florida; plus the less expensive fun of hiking, days at the lake, and just being out in the sun!

  • Laughing with my children. I love hearing them enjoy life!

  • Family and friend time. I love people--mostly (there are a few who have earned the distinction of being on my do-not-like list). Time with my family and friends matters to my mental well-being, so days such as the gathering on Mother's Day at my parents' house are part of what fills my soul back up.

  • Getting rid of junk. Yay! What fun it is to see something leave my house--whether by trash pickup, donation, or a good bonfire--and know it is gone forever and ever!

  • Flowers. Most of my flowers are cut off with the grass in my yard. I simply need neat and tidy right now while I figure out what to do with my yard. But so many other people have beautiful flowers, and those I am enjoying immensely.

  • Walking and hiking. Okay, I haven't done the hiking part yet this year, but I will. Walking is nice along the river in our town. It goes right by the fish pond next to the fire department. There are huge goldfish swimming in the murky water. Fun to see. The fish, that is, not the murky water.

  • Black coffee. And the best there is can be found right here in Peru, Indiana, at 6th Street Coffee Company. It is located on... (surprise) 6th Street.

  • Having AC again. I bought this house last Fall. We didn't need air conditioning when I finally moved in at the end of November, so I had no idea it didn't work--that is until we were blasted with desert heat a week ago. Did you know your AC is on a breaker all by itself? I didn't. That's all it was, and it cost $55 for the AC tech to flip that switch. We both had a good laugh, and I had a good lesson. Now I know.

  • Having AC in my car again, plus having my car fixed. I drive all over God's Creation as part of my living. And a reluctant start in my car is a huge problem. I don't want to be stuck an hour away from home with a beached whale. (If you know me, you know my car is like Moby Dick--big white whale.) Anyway, wonderful Mr. Bart at Precision AutoTech fixed all the list of things that were wrong. It was like a Christmas wish list, just in reverse that I got to fund.

  • My work family. Our office truly feels like a second family. It's a happy place to be.

  • Dance fitness class at the Y. It takes torture and makes it fun. And yet we all keep coming back to feel like we're dying on those polished maple floors.

And there's so much more, but I'm going to sleep now. That also fills me with joy.


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