Sunday, April 18, 2010

Where should I be?

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!


  1. I'm glad that you're acknowledging all that you have done and are doing. I remember feeling this way; that things were good, but could be better. For me, the answer was going back to school and then good things started to unfold. I'm not saying that's what you should be doing, but the point is, you've gone from struggling to living. Now you want to go from living to thriving. You'll figure it out. Just look at what you've figured out already!

  2. Its like the peom that was sent around.
    It went something like this.
    I appreciate my mortgage payment, for this means that I own a home.
    I appreciate the the ugly drive I make to work, for this means I have my sight and a job,
    Kinda like that. There is an upside to every down!
    Good for you for looking at all of this!