I had a conversation about where I am today versus where I think I should be. It has been four years since my divorce was finalized. It has been five years since I filed for divorce and felt like my marriage was really over. It has been a year and a half since my ex-husband committed suicide. I have come a long way but I think that I should be "farther along" than I am.
The weird thing is that I am proud of how far I have come. I got through the crisis of divorce and landed firmly on my feet. I worked to re-create a healthy life for me and my son. I worked through issues in therapy and did not become bitter. Despite being lied to and manipulated by the man I loved, I did not stop trusting people. I still believe that most people are good and honest.
My conversation today was about why I still felt stuck. I was asked to consider if I had stopped moving forward. If maybe I had reclaimed my life but had not re-started it yet. That was an interesting perspective. I do feel like I am in a holding pattern. I am in the midst of a life that was supposed to be different. I thought I would have a husband to help me raise and nurture and enjoy my child. I thought I would have a second baby. I thought I would have been out of my "starter" house by now. I thought I would be working part-time enabling me to have a better balance of work and family. I thought I would have more money coming into the household.
But that is not my reality. I work full time in a job that requires some evenings and weekends. I manage a household by myself. I do not have as much money saved as I should. I do not have a significant other. Most of my life revolves around my son. I do not have a lot of time for me.
But when I talk about it like that it sounds all pity-party-ish. Other than the fact that I am a single parent, don't most of those statements apply to every parent I know? And I berate myself for not appreciating all I have...all the positives in my life. For not saying it like this: I have a job that is more than work - it is a calling that has great meaning for me. I have a job that requires flexibility but also gives me flexibility to meet some of the demands of raising my son. I live within my means. I am as financially secure as I think I can be at this point in my life. I own my home and live in a safe neighborhood. I have a son who I love and who loves me. I have a wonderful network of friends and family.
So - does it all depend on your point of view? Does it come down to looking at the glass as half full versus half empty?
I think it comes down to the fact that we as humans can have conflicting feelings at the same time. I can be thankful to have a wonderful son, but still be stressed about raising him by myself. I can be grateful for owning my home but still overwhelmed by all of the work that comes with it. I can enjoy my job, but still wish I had more time at home. I can be a strong, self-sufficient woman but still wish I had a significant other to share my life with.
I think there is some validity to the fact that I have not re-started my life. I have continued the life I started with my husband. Am I gaining something by staying in this spot - some secondary gain as us social workers like to say?
So the question that looms is HOW do I "re-start" my life? Guess I have some thinking to do!