Woman on a Journey

Everything I Know, I Learned During Divorce

Hmmm… I’ve listed my losses, now what about gains? The word “gains” itself doesn’t seem quite right. How can divorce bring about anything that could be considered a gain? A list of “Things That Don’t Suck” might be more appropriate, but I’m having trouble with that too. Reaching deep for this one.

  • I can write as much as I want to now. Plenty of time. Only, I can’t seem to get started beyond writing this blog.
  • I’ve taken up cross-country skiing and skijoring. That is a real plus and has been loads of fun.
  • I’ve renewed some friendships and made new friends.
  • I can trail ride as much as I want to once the weather permits again.
  • I can travel wherever I want to once the house is sold, my horse is boarded somewhere, and I have some money. There do seem to be an awful lot of contingencies on this one.
  • I can start dating again and have all that excitement, romance, and variety. Woo! Hoo! Dating is like a box of chocolates, you never know quite what you’re getting into until it’s too late and you discover you’ve ended up with a lousy vanilla cream. Sorry, just a little sarcasm there.
  • I can get a much smaller house that doesn’t take me four hours to clean which translates into about three days because I can’t stand spending four straight hours on it. A smaller house also hopefully means I can heat the thing and still have money left over for groceries.

Ummm, gee… Uh, hmmm… There must be more than that. I mean there have been discoveries that have changed me and the way I plan to live my life.

For example,

  • I’ve figured out that there’s really nothing wrong with me. I mean, we all have things we want to improve on, but the only thing wrong with me is that I like horses, dogs, and outdoor activities. That’s not really WRONG, it’s just not everyone’s cup of tea.
  • I also discovered that when someone treats me badly and becomes an ice cube, I react badly to that. It depletes my energy, makes me withdraw, causes depression, and basically makes me cranky and unpleasant to be around. A better reaction is to find out why I’m being treated like dirt and see if I can get it to stop. 
  • I’ve discovered there’s no such thing as “arriving”. 

There are destinations and you might get there, like I did with marrying the man of my dreams and buying a hobby farm, but that doesn’t mean the bad stuff and the disappointments of life are over. It appears to be a continual cycle of arriving and being stupendously happy, followed by another crisis – a health problem, a death, losing a job, an affair, a divorce, a child in trouble, a rejection and so on – and the resulting fear and pain.

I think I finally get it and don’t expect anything to last forever. If it does, great, but I’m learning not to take it personally as some judgement and punishment solely aimed at me when something ends or a new crisis begins. I no longer expect that there is one thing out there that if I have it, I will have arrived and my life will be complete and only filled with good stuff. I’m sure you’ve heard it before and don’t need to read it here too, but it’s true — it’s the journey that counts.

And my journey is now aimed at giving, with no expectation of getting anything in return, trying to find my happiness by using whatever there is within me that can comfort, encourage, ease the pain or loneliness, and bring laughter to others. Expecting anything from anyone else has generally brought frustration and sadness. Not that I don’t receive good things from people, but I often don’t get what I’m hoping for. Concentrating on giving works out better as I usually do get something in return – a laugh, a thank you, a hug, sometimes something as big as a new friend – but without the expectation, it’s just a pleasant surprise.

And my goal is to do some outdoor activity with my animals every day possible, because I feel so much better physically and emotionally when I do.

Also, to keep trying new things and learning about the world along the way. I want to go camping, visit places I’ve never been to before, maybe try agility with Java and learn more about training dogs in general – I’m especially interested in how service animals are trained, go trail riding at parks I’ve never been to before and take on more challenging rides, hopefully do some horse camping too.

I want to live more simply. Less stuff – more living.

And I want to fill my life with people. I recently took a test on what energizes me, people or tasks. The results of the questionnaire came out as “people”. That hasn’t always been the case with me. Maybe the change has come about because of my age, or that life experiences have changed what I consider to be important in my life, or that I’m no longer trying to claw my way to some pie-in-the-sky, money-making career. Whatever the reasons, I definitely am no longer a loner.

I still do a lot of things on my own because I’m not going to sit around and wait for someone to come along with me. And I’m still an introvert and do need my alone times to relax and refresh, but I would now rather work as part of team than as an individual, and I would rather spend time with friends or groups focused around one of my interests than all by myself.

So whether these changes in my life and my outlook are gains or simply changes, life is different now and I plan on making the best of it.

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7 Comments

  1. My dear Maery Rose! You have got your sh_t together today! I hope it made you feel good to write this…
    Seems to me that you have your priorities straight. Outstanding!

  2. I like reading your thoughts… and there’s a fair bit of optimism hidden in them.

    I agree about not expecting things from people. I don’t. I got burned badly when I was young. Stalked by a neighbor, had my dog shot by a lunatic, and I gave up on counting on people.

    But, in learning to make myself happy, I also discovered that people come through for me in the most surprising and uplifting ways. I’m still surprised almost every time. Simple little things, like coming over to go for a hike with me while I’m recovering from surgery still surprise me.

    I agree – it’s the journey that counts and making the best of whatever we’re given.

    Be kind to yourself – you’ve done some cool things in the past 6 months that you should be proud that you tried and enjoyed. Despite tough circumstances, you’re still growing and changing in good ways.

  3. Woohoo girlfriend, your pushin’ forward. I’m so glad you have a great weekend and also that your trying to spend some time outside each day. I’m lovin’ this positive outlook dear Maery!

    Ya’ll have a greatly blessed day filled with joy!!!

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