Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reflections on the Past Year

by Deb Baker/Hannah Reed


This week marks the one year anniversary of my divorce. One whole year has passed.

It’s had its ups and downs, that’s for sure, even though we have remained friends. It’s the adjustment that’s been difficult. From 25 years of togetherness to singlehood.

Before ‘the D’, most of my time was taken up by a big old house that needed constant repair and a gigantic yard bordered by flower beds that needed to be constantly deadheaded and weeded. My days were consumed by shopping, meals, laundry, keeping the grown kids coming back for family gatherings… until one day I noticed that my life had become filled with drudgery. I’d become a house elf!

Fast-forward to today – I live in an apartment, small and cozy. The yard work – flowers, trees, snow, mowing - is handled by management. Things that used to weigh me down are pretty much on autopilot.

The introverted side of me is basking in aloneness. Writing, reading, long walks, reflecting, planning, plotting new stories, relishing all the extra time I've found.

But a different, smaller part of me is becoming more vocal, asking tough questions.

What’s next?

Is anything next, or is this it?

What is the meaning of my life, the purpose for the rest of it?

I’ve left the "American dream" behind, heading for a new reality with a slightly hazy vision of the future. And I have to admit - it’s a little bit scary.

16 comments:

Melody Gonser said...

Wow. A lot has changed in the last year for you. I can hear the growth in your life. 25 years of togetherness is a long time. I n this day and age do you think anyone can make it? Thank you for sharing your growth. Good luck in all you do. Melody

SueAnn said...

Hi Deb- the questions you are asking yourself are the same ones you asked when you were 18, 21, 30......there was a span of time in there, when you were busy doing things....you did'nt have the time to ask yourself those questions.I think, as long as you are still thinking and talking about the D,,,your healing is not done..you ave to finish that part yet...your purpose is no different than anyone else..we all ask that question, especially as we age, and aging, life changing, has you scared, as most would be..I know I get that way at times.Being on the other side of 40, makes us think more than we should. Think back to your youth, your purpose will be shown to you, you cannot seek it, you can maybe head in a direction, but never really know. It is all one can do. If you are content to have many of the house chores done by someone else,yard, etc...then that is where you start. This past year has been one of settling in for you- you moved, boxed stuff away, gave stuff away...sold stuff....and then had to fix your nest.....now is the time to enjoy your nest, see how it fits you, maybe move some things around..get rid of a few things, get a few things....you are not "done", you are just beginning.No sense worrying for the future..it will come to you , ready or not. Let it come, be surprised, be nervous, enjoy the adventure. Your writing has taken you places, shown you people, there is a lot more of that to come..focus on that. Remember Doris Day- what will be will be. No matter what you do in the way of worry, or fear. It will come...and you will be there to greet it. It seems harder, I know, when we are older, than when we were 20 somethings.....but it is the same premis. You can do it.

Deb said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Melody. Life goes on. We might as well try to keep up:)

Deb said...

SueAnn, you always have such wise advice! It seems I've been asking these questions since the beginning of my life. And you are so right about the healing not being done. Living in the 'Now' is almost impossible, but I'm going to print out your comment and keep it close when I need a reminder. I think you have found your gift...and given it away. Thank you.

Harriette said...

You just never know what's next. Let curiosity be your guide. It'll be fun. You'll look back and say "I wouldn't have missed it for the world" ! (My invtroverted self luxuriates in the solitude - as you indicated, you do, too. Ain't it great !?)

Denise Z. said...

I got dejobbed myself, after 17 years of marriage (18.5 years of togetherness total), and was replaced with an older woman with children. I see the humor in that now. I spent the first year on the floor, in a puddle and then things gradually got better.

Like you, I'm still friends with my ex. In fact, in the beginning, he gave me dating advice. A little weird, but it was good dating advice. We still have lunch occasionally, and he complains to me about wife no. 3. That small, petty part of me thinks, "Well, I'm not looking so bad now, am I, BUCKO?"

I've moved on, my life is better, I got no complaints. You will get here too, and you don't have to go it alone. This I promise you.

PS, thanks for posting, it was very powerful.

Rachelle21 said...

It took almost 10 years after a divorce for my husband to find me again. His first marriage only lasted 9 months and we have been together since 1980. So it is 34 years in May. You never know if someone from your past will come back into your life or if you will meet someone new. You just have to be open to the possibilities.

Deb said...

We might be introverts, but that doesn't mean we aren't adventurous. Love the sound of silence!

Deb said...

I'm happy your sense of humor returned. And I bet you look at him now and say, "No way would I go there again!"

Deb said...

34 years! Wow! I have a few pasts that I wouldn't mind meeting up with again:) Although reality and my memories might be two different things. Leaving to open up again is difficult, but I'm on my way. Thanks for the happy story.

Karen in Ohio said...

Deb, as you know, I was in marital crisis mode at the same time you were, although our outcome was different. But I am still at that same point you are--trying to make sense of, and choosing a direction for, this next phase of my life. You are you, no matter who you are or are not with, and it was clearly a time for you to make changes. One of them was your marital status, one was a change of venue, and it sounds as though traveling more was another.

The point is that now you get to decide independently of anyone else. On the one hand that is scary, but it's also exciting, too. No one to shove you into any particular direction, but also no one to hold you back. Who knows where you'll end up? Someplace good, I know. Can't wait to see where!

Deb said...

Karen, hope things are working out well for you and that both of us enjoy our journeys wherever they may lead!! So many paths to choose from, so many directions to head in, you are right - scary, but exciting.

Kathleen Ernst said...

Life is always a journey, and all we can do is try to be open to whatever might be waiting just around the next bend. Take good care of you, Deb, in whatever ways feel right.

Deb said...

Thanks, Kathleen!

Aurian said...

I have already read some great comments I wholeheartedly agree with. As you continue doing the things you really want to do for your self, you will meet new friends and perhaps find new hobbies and who know, love could be around the corner again. But then you know what is important to you and what you are wiling to compromise on, so you won't end up a convenient house elf again.

Deb said...

I've already met new friends and taken up 2 new hobbies - painting and golf, even though I am the least likely to succeed in my 'club'. LOL. Yes, Aurian, I will know what to avoid in the future. That's a lesson well learned.