I’ve been absent from one of my favorite mediums- twitter! I miss the interactions and I actually miss blogging, being part of the twitter sewcialist antics, getting swept up by new patterns… but I’ve turn inward lately.
Some of you know where I’m going with this. Basically, in mid January, my husband walked out and asked for a divorce. “Asked” is used liberally here. Things have been rocky for us over the last year and he had wanted a divorce back then so once he started talking about it again, and his bag was already packed, and other things were lined up for him, I could tell he had moved on and I gave him leave.
Today is a good day. I don’t always have good days but they’re happening more and more. I hesitated blogging about this but here I am, doing it. Freeing my voice. Opening the windows and letting the fresh soon-to-be Spring breeze in, full of life and possibilities. It’s my only choice. I am not a victim. I am feeling the loss of a relationship but I also am feeling a freedom I haven’t felt in a long time. We’re talking worlds and oysters sort of thing.
So, this is what I was thinking about last night. What can I handle right now? I’ve been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom for the last 7 years. I have little earning potential and only had the beginning of a theater career that I left when I had my first child. Not a money maker.
I’m starting at the bottom and I decided I’d try waiting tables. I want to prove to myself that I can. And I’m doing it. I’ve never worked in a restaurant before and I’m doing it. You can imagine my surprise when I got the job the day I went to turn in my application! Lucky Leila! My co-workers are also incredibly nice and hard working. It really is a team effort. I’m doing that a couple of nights a week and one weekend day. I’m also finishing up some teaching (sewing) gigs I had already lined up before I had to start processing a divorce. I’m still with Lolita Patterns, as you’ve probably noticed from my few and far between tweets of late. I’m not leaving Lolita! I love working with Amity.
I get overwhelmed with everything from time to time. I mean, I have to settle papers to get my kids into school for the first time ever, figure out occasional daytime care so I can get any freelance sewing work done and somewhere in there try to find a minute or two where I get downtime. And find more work.
But then a friend of mine was telling me about this idea of thinking of a pitcher full of water and putting in tennis balls to symbolize the most important things in your life. The ones you must give attention to. Once those have settled, you can begin to think about the other things that you’d like to do and they become like small peas, easily making their way into the water, bouncing off the tennis balls.
I liked this image so much, I decided to buy a pitcher and tennis balls, label them and set the pitcher on my kitchen counter so I could remind myself of the most important things in my life right now.
But when I went to buy my pitcher I couldn’t decide if I had enough in me for a gallon pitcher or just a 2 quart pitcher. I went with the smaller one since I already have a lot on my plate and I want this to be manageable; sustainable. I can imagine that in time I’ll graduate myself to the gallon pitcher.
1. My health (emotional and physical)
2. My kids
3. My finances
When I can see the tennis balls in my pitcher, on my counter, life becomes clear and manageable. I can then deal with the pain of dividing up our assets and settling on visitation for my soon-to-be-Ex. I have three things that, should I have a bad day, are the only things that will hit the to-do list. I can handle that. I can breathe again. It feels great!
And since this is my place now. I get to do all the things I’ve wanted to do. Like…
and having fun sheets! Just two things for now but they’re reminding me that I am in charge of what’s to come. I have a lot to navigate in the coming months but if I can keep my priorities straight (the tennis balls) and look ahead at some goals that have been in the back of my mind for a long time then I will be okay.
I never thought I’d be a divorced, mother of two.
How come I’m still smiling?? Right! Well, I have the best support system. I’ve spoken to a handful of my twitter/blogger friends and have found nothing but loving, caring, compassionate people. And I’m completely moved by this. I also feel lucky to have a great in-town support system, too. Just when I start to feel overwhelmed, I’ll get a call or text from someone asking how I am and if they can come over. Between visits, txts, Skype, phone calls and emails, I’m well taken care of! And I’m reaching out to friends. I’m not ashamed of any of this and there’s no reason to isolate myself- it’s not good for my mental health. It is what it is. I need to look to the future. Chin up and all that.
I can’t imagine I’m covering everything in this post. I hope to get back to sewing but, as you can imagine, I have to wrap my head around a number of things.
I feel very lucky to have the friends I have.
I don’t feel alone.
Here’s to a new life chapter!