Monday, February 28, 2011

Divorce: Finding my Worth

There’s a saying that families only get together for weddings and funerals but that’s not true – there are other times and reasons like special birthdays and graduations, especially of grandkids. It can be really hard if there is a divorce in the mix – you want to have it special and wonderful for the happy celebrations but if the wound never fully healed, each event kind of tears it open a bit so you get to dreading something you should be happily looking forward to. As my ex has chosen to share his ongoing life with 3 other women since the initial devastation that was the end of my time with him, our sons have had to accept each new person in their father’s life and learn to move on when each one no longer was what he wanted. They have done so admirably, determined to keep their connection with their dad and with me, putting up with all the difficulties that go with all this. While I can look at each change as further proof it is my ex with the problem of not being able to sustain a relationship, it has been hard to override my own throw-away status and replacement. The following poem summed it up at one time:

Trade In

He won't lift a finger
To mend a relationship,
Although he'll patch,
nurture and repair
His "$200 special" cars -
While the wrecker
Hauls his wife away,
Replaced by a newer model.

(He used to find cars with 90,000 miles on them which the former owner would part with for only $200. Being skilled and handy, he could usually repair them and thus we had several of these $200 specials at different times but when it came to our marriage, he refused to do any counseling or therapy - no repairs and definitely no nurture.)

So my own struggle has been to find my worth for I felt like a throw-away which, despite much therapy and work and courses and interests, has been a hard feeling to counter.

I finally realized that there is one way in which I matter through it all that no other woman can and that is I am the mother of two wonderful sons and while the other women could bear him additional sons or daughters; our two exist only because of me. All these other women could not be the mother of these two fine men and now the grandmother of 2 fine young grandsons. In terms of worth – this is priceless!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

Go forth and try to start and/or end each day finding something to be grateful for. There are so many – there’s the moment when I uncover my 3 birds and they greet me with birdie chatter – they start each day happy and singing.

Then the fun time of checking e-mails and sites on the computer – finding family and friends there because they are too far away to be here.

Finishing the work I do on time, knowing maybe 20-30 people with health problems now have timely and accurate records in the (ready for this – drum roll please) Electronic Medical Record system, henceforth to be called the EMR.

Delivering the work and picking up more, with brief encounters with other employees of each practice and occasionally a chance to say “hi” to the doctor.

Passing through the medical office building careful to not have doors close on someone coming up or down the stairs behind me or the occasional small child dancing down the hall freely and delightfully – alive – happily alive. And crossing the highway to one more office where there are several crows standing on a snow bank – letting me approach fairly close without fear – how I wished I had some bread with me – maybe next time I’ll think of it – but then maybe it’s not good for them to learn to not fear me.

The drive home – yes – not having to park my butt in someone else’s office for an 8 hour day or whatever the shift – and working at home with my 3 little tiels hanging out in my home office with me. Love it when Ginger chooses to sit on my head and Tori gets on my shoulder singing in my ear – Tori – I can’t hear the dictation when you are loud!!

Meeting a neighbor in the park I live in – a smile, short chit chat – knowing we are all there and all care. And the neighbors – what special people – one across the street using his mighty snow blower to help many of us clear our drives – another who helps pull the snow off her neighbors’ roofs – next door who helps me clear some snow from my roof on his side of my house – it’s a real neighborhood.

And gratitude for the amazing and phenomenal luck that brought 2 young men down my street just when I was out in the yard and they were looking for roofs to shovel before we had damage – at a price I could say yes to – and they did an amazing job – shoveling the roof, the porch roof and then cutting about in half the huge piles of snow previously raked off the roof by me – that stuff was heavy and they finished in an hour.

Actually the list is endless – I suppose in some way even this snow, as endless as it all was and threatening as it was has a gift within it in some way – replenishing aquifers – work for all the plowers and sanders – work for roof shovelers – and even the chance to play for the skiers, snowboarders, tubers, and snowshoers.

And then – tomorrow is another day – and there is sure to be more. But I also know one can get into a dark hole where gratitude is hard to find or see – a friend who is very ill and may not make it – if only we truly believed that there was life in some way after our body dies – and death was not an ending but a beginning – like a graduation into another level of being – then such illness and sadness would be about the loss and the missing of these wonderful special people in our lives but also gratitude that they had moved on to whatever comes next. Some believe there is something, some do not – and mostly we don’t know until it is our turn. Can’t help but think that being born must not feel very good to the baby being born – to go from the lovely comforting womb filled with fluid to being pushed out and then into a world where that fluid is gone, wrapped into a receiving blanket – and all that takes place with a birth – no wonder crying is one of the first utterances we can make. Thus we enter this life. Maybe dying is another kind of birth.