sparklybecky

adjusting to what life has sent my way, while rediscovering who i am

Loneliness

Divorce can be so lonely and it’s only the beginning of my new life.  Maybe I would have been better staying with the marital problems.  I’ve started working on making new connections.  It just takes time.  It’s the evenings that are hard.  I miss having a husband to hang out with.  I miss looking forward to seeing him after work.  I miss him.

And what’s sad is we haven’t even moved into separate homes yet.  I move out in two weeks.  What’s it going to be like then?

I just want to be happy again.

I know, I know…..I’m in charge of my own happiness.  Sometimes it’s just hard to stay upbeat.

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Where to Live???

We sold our house.  Sold in about two weeks to the second person who looked at it.  Talk about an answer to prayer!!  I had planned on buying a house and looked at about two dozen.  I picked one out, made an offer, and got cold feet.  Was I deciding to fast?  What about all the fix ups I want to do  to it?  Will I ever be able to afford that?  It didn’t look like the house was going to go through so I started looking into renting.  At this point, I only have three weeks left in my house, and I’m stating to feel a little concerned as to where the kids and I are going to live, along with our dog and cat.   On top of that, my teaching job starts this week, my son doesn’t have a job and we are pressuring him a little hard to get one as he is 18 years old and not going to college.  All this on top of all the emotions of a divorce and I am just a little bit overwhelmed!!

Then it looks like it might work out again to get the house.  So I have two paths to follow, buy or rent.  I decided to keep following both paths until one stopped and one kept going.  I looked at an apartment about 7 miles from my current home.  It is a beautiful area along the river with lots of mature trees.  There are ponds throughout the apartment complex and walking paths.  They have a three bedroom on the ground floor and the deck isn’t enclosed and it opens up to trees and a grassy area, so it makes it feel a little more spacious on the outside.  There will be four of us, but we can manage a 3 bedroom.

I started feeling positive about the apartment.  Then I thought about the pets.  They love our current backyard, and would the dog bark at every movement from people next door or above us?  I also talked to my 14 year old who has been very open about living anywhere, but now sounded a little bit unsure.  At least that’s what I got from  his 14 year old grunting sounds.  So now I’m leaning toward the house.  Back and forth my mind goes all afternoon.  But my cold feet toward the house comes again.  I start thinking about what I really want in a house – granite counter tops, nice cabinets, stainless steel appliances.  I start to worry I’m settling.  I start realizing maybe a transition period would be good.  Rent a place for 6-9 months, adjust to being divorced, then start looking for a home.  That felt like the path to follow.  So I let my realtor know that I was no longer interested in the house.  I had placed an offer but the time passed for the owner to respond because they were out of town.  They were taking their time getting back to me and now it didn’t matter.

So rent it is.  But should it be the three bedroom I found?  Wouldn’t it be better to find an apartment closer to my sons school and friends so this divorce/moving situation wouldn’t be so hard?  This morning I get up and go look at some very nice apartments about a mile away.  I love this place too.  But there is a problem.  They only have one and two bedroom apartments.  I look at the model and love it.  I try to picture four of us in it.  I start to think older kids can spend more time at their dad’s house, not just with me.  After all, it would be perfect for the younger one.  Luckily I have a counseling appointment on this same day and I can discuss it with her.  I putter around, crying off and on while in this overwhelmed state of not knowing what to do…….thinking, thinking, thinking of all the different scenarios…..at the same time reliving different parts of my marriage and divorce in my mind.  My mind is overloaded, but when I begin to settle it down, I realize what I must do before I even walk into counseling.  The three bedroom apartment.  It has the most space, is on the ground floor, and has beautiful ambiance.  It’s not for ever.  Less than a year.

Then I walk into counseling and lay it all out for her.  I tell her all about the apartment, my 18 year old’s lack of motivation to get a job, my fears, my thoughts….everything you tell a counselor.  You know what I mean if you’ve been.  And I cry.  I can’t help but let it out.

But, I walk out feeling a little bit better.  I go to the apartment complex and pay my deposit.  As I leave, I drive around the whole place again and soak it in, realizing within two weeks I will call this home.  My counselor told me I should do something symbolic as we leave our old home and move to our new home to start our new life.  (They will see their dad, and can stay with their dad, but this is for their new life with me at our home that I am providing).  So I am thinking about what this might be.

Driving home, I can feel my eyes and head start to hurt after releasing all these emotions I’ve held onto all day.  I was planning on going to my classroom to work, but ended up going home and vegging in front of the television and falling asleep.  Just what I needed.

I keep thinking I’m doing better.  But now that the house is sold and we are getting closer to moving, it is all becoming so real.  I relive the pain the divorce has on the kids and I am having a hard time letting it go.  My older two (20,18) will be pretty good.  They don’t have the best relationship with their dad right now and I’m hoping the divorce will actually eventually bring them closer together.  It’s our 14 year old I’m worried about.  During a camping trip, he told his dad that he gets sad when he thinks about it, so he just doesn’t think about it.  And I’m sure it helps that nothing looks different at home.  But now we are moving.  This will bring it all fresh to his mind.  It hurts so hard to know that he will be sad and we are tearing his life apart.

It has always been my personality to want everyone to be happy, even at the expense of my own happiness.  I considered staying in the marriage, just so the kids would have an intact family.  But then I wouldn’t be happy and neither would my ex.  He was initially thinking of waiting until our youngest graduated from high school.  That’s four years.  That’s four years for me to not be loved by my husband.  To basically be a mom and maid.  I realized I wanted more than that.  In a relationship, I want to be loved romantically,I want to be wanted,  I want to be needed.  Not only do I want these things, I need these things.  And even though it’s hard on my kids to have their parents divorced, I figured it was a better lesson for them to see me seek happiness, rather than stay in a marriage that wasn’t happy.  I hope we made the right decision.

Why blog all this?  Well, it helps to get it off my chest.  It’s like writing in a journal.  And if someone reads it and gets a little help with their own situation, than I’m glad I could help.

I know life is hard right now and could get harder, but I do hope there is a happier time in the future.  And from what I’ve read about happiness lately, it’s one’s choice to be happy.  I try hard to choose happiness, but sometimes things just bring you down and you find it hard to dig your way to happiness.  I guess the key is to not stop digging.

And by the way, my son applied for several jobs tonight.  Maybe he is starting to see the light.

 

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Letting Go

How can you be with someone for over 20 years, amicably go your separate ways, and let go?  It hasn’t been easy for me, particularly while we are still living in the same house, and being such good friends.  How can two divorced people be such good friends?  We both admit that we  have gotten along better once we knew we would be divorcing  then we we did when we were married.

The good news is we sold the house.  In fact it sold two weeks after it was listed – to the second person that looked at it!!  That’s pretty hard to believe the way real estate is these days. See my post called The Power of Prayer.  I know that is why our house sold so fast.  A lot of prayer and a lot of faith in God for his help.  So now I can do some serious house hunting.  I’ve been out with my realtor twice and am going back out again this Friday.  Hopefully that is the day I find my new home.  And hopefully that will be a huge leap in the process of letting go.

During the divorce process I learned about the five stages of grief:  denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If you’re interested, google “5 stages of grief” and something will come up that will define them in great detail.  These stages don’t move in any particular order, and you aren’t necessarily through one before another.  Sometimes I find I travel through them several times in any one day.

My morning can start great.  I’m feeling good.  I’m in acceptance.  I head to hot yoga for a sweaty workout and during a slow, resting period, instead of breathing problems and issues outside the door like the instructor says to do, they all come to the front of my mind and my eyes fill with tears.  By the time I get to the car, I’m mad as a hornet.  Mad at myself, my ex, God…….  Other mornings that start out great I will find my mind wandering to all that’s happened, and I’ll feel that gray cloud of depression make a home over my head.  Tears will come to my eyes but not always run down my face.  I have been on an anti-depressant for almost a year.  I hope some day to be off, but for now, it helps keep me sane as I weave through these grief stages.

I must confess.  Things are better than they were.  Several months ago I cried off and on for what seemed like forever.  My days teaching kindergarten last spring are all a blur.  Somehow I managed to get those kids ready for first grade.  Talk about having no clue what was going on and being in total denial.  Slowly the time between cry sessions lengthened as I began to understand the truth behind our relationship and why we were having the problems we were having.  Well at first I denied the problems, but now I understand.  I have let myself see that they were there.  I’m working on accepting that we let them happen and forgiving myself for not making changes sooner.  Changes that we can’t make now and stay together.  If we had made changes much earlier just maybe we wouldn’t’ be going down this path.  I have to accept and forgive that as well.

I think acceptance is a big part of letting go.  And when I find my new house, I think acceptance will help me make that house my home.  And just maybe, I’ll be able to finally get a good nights sleep, in my new bed, in my new room.  These sleepless nights are getting a little old…….but that’s a story for another day.

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It’s Official

I’ve been watching the mailbox these last few days, because I knew the paperwork would be coming any day.  Well, today was the day.  August 11, 2012.  Interesting.  I met Bruce on August 12, 1988.  Just one day shy of 24 years from the day we met, we are now officially divorced.

Another interesting fact, at least to me.  The judge signed the paperwork on August 8, 2012.  Back in 1988, I thought it would be neat to get married on 8/8/88.  (I did meet Bruce 5 days later and we were married 4 months after that.)  When I was out and about on 8/8/88, I never would have imagined that a judge would be signing my divorce paperwork on 8/8/12 – 24 years later.

When checking the mailbox these last few days, I wondered how I would feel.  Today I found out.  When I saw the two thick envelopes in the mailbox, I knew exactly what it was.  We had to provide envelopes and stamps when we filed the paperwork.  Of course we didn’t know that, so we took a walk to the corner store and purchased some.  We chuckled when putting the stamps on the envelopes.  Stamps that said things like “Liberty”, “Freedom”, “Justice”, “Equality” — perfect words for envelopes to hold divorce paperwork.

I saw those envelopes and my breathing stopped.  It’s not that I’m not for the divorce.  It’s just that when I saw those envelopes, knowing they held the official “signed by the judge” documents, what I saw was the end of what I have lived for for the past 23 1/2 years.  That time frame of 23 1/2 years will never get any bigger.  It’s done.  It’s over.  We’re over.  Bruce is now not my “soon to be” ex husband.  He is my ex-husband.  I am officially single.

Nothing has really changed.  I’m still sitting on the couch typing on the computer and working on stuff to get ready for my job as a teacher.   I don’t look different.  The world hasn’t changed around me.  The sun is still shining brightly outside, the sky is still blue, and the leaves are blowing in the breeze.  But I feel different.  I feel like I’ve lost a part of me.  My counselor would say that I have been losing that part of me for several months, even years.  That part has been slowly leaving me bit by bit as Bruce and I started having marital issues.  But that part of me will know longer leave slowly, until it’s gone.  That which remains has simply been cut off.

I have been officially single for one hour.  That time frame will continue to get larger.  This time tomorrow, I will have been single for one day.  This time next Saturday – one week.  Next August 11, 2013 – one year.  Although I have lost a part of me, I am filling up that empty part with new thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

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Diet Coke – to have or not to have

It’s time to make some healthy changes.

I am addicted to Diet Coke.  In the past 3 or 4 years I have gone off diet coke, or at least diet coke with caffeine twice.  Neither time was easy, but I was thrilled when I was able to go a day without craving it and without getting a withdrawal headache.  I drink so much now that I am afraid to go cold turkey.  But when I attempt to cut back slowly, I don’t even come close to finding success.  I drink at least a two liter bottle a day.

Why do I want to stop?

#1 – I hate to need it (the caffeine).  I hate the idea of knowing I’m going to be in, say a meeting all morning, and not be able to get through the meeting without a soda.  My soon to be ex and son are going on a backpacking trip this weekend.  Bruce was making a food supply list and I was mentioning I would need some soda.  Well, there’s no soda on this trip, because they are hiking in to the camp site and hiking out.  They want to keep the weight in their backpack to a minimum.  If I was going on this trip, I would have some serious withdrawal issues soon after the hiking began.

#2 – It probably isn’t that healthy to drink that much.  I know there’s a lot of studies about the various ingredients in diet soda.  I have chosen to ignore them.

There was a time I started drinking tea that I made at home with Lipton tea bags.  It did have caffeine, so I don’t know if that’s a cop out.  I’m thinking drinking tea is better than soda.  At least it’s a start towards getting off the soda.  And I like the taste of tea over water.

Although I want to go off caffeine and stay off it this time, I think I would like to transition slowly so I don’t experience failure again.

So, starting tomorrow SparklyBecky commits to going cold turkey off diet coke by transitioning to ice tea, water, and other drink choices that don’t include soda.  By doing so I will feel better about myself, be healthier, and have some extra $$ in my wallet because I’m not paying from $0.99 – $1.98 per bottle.  At one bottle a day that’s $30.00 – $60.00 per month.  That should be enough motivation right there, considering I’m a soon to be divorced woman who has only been working as a teacher for 6 years so the pay isn’t very good yet, particularly since the salary scale has been frozen for the last few years…..and I’m about to take on my own mortgage.

This good decision makes me feel all the more sparklier!!

 

 

 

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Power of Prayer

Since my husband and I decided to divorce, well, actually, since I knew we were having problems and there might be a divorce, I have leaped into my spiritual side of focusing on God, prayer, faith, Bible reading, and anything else I can hold onto that has a spiritual element.  Even though my husband and I believe in God, it wasn’t an area we focused on as much as we should have.  If we had, just maybe our marriage would have taken a different path.

Quick side note that I may expound on in another post, we are not divorcing because of any immoral acts, infidelity, or adultery.  Believe it or not, but after 23 years of marriage and three kids, we just didn’t know each other well enough.  You would have thought we would have figured that out a long time ago, or at least knew each other well enough by now.  But like I said, I’ll save that story for another day.

I have never felt I was good at prayer.  I wasn’t confident in how to pray.  The main problem was I just didn’t do it enough.  Prayer is like anything, you have to practice it.  There don’t have to be any rules or formality.  What I discovered in this whole mess of a life I found myself in, was that all God wanted was for me to talk to him, just like I would talk to a friend.

The biggest impact on my faith was when I started having prayers answered.  I have never not  believed in prayer, but I had an Aha moment this past June that has strengthened my belief and made me much more conscious of daily (or I should be honest and say, almost daily)  prayer for myself and others.

The Aha Moment:  I have been taking Hot Yoga classes this summer.  During class the instructor always talks about breathing your problems out past the edges of your mat, even breathing them outside the door.  I haven’t mastered this yet.  As soon as she brings up problems to breathe away, all of my problems come to mind.  One day, towards the end of class, I started thinking about all the crap my husband and I were going through.  Tears came to my eyes, mixing in with the sweat dripping down my face.   By the time I was in the car to drive home, I had an enormous amount of anger in my heart toward my husband.  I felt so weighted down with anger, I didn’t know what to do.   I cried my eyes out, and then somehow I just started praying, practically screaming to the Lord ,and I begged Him to take my anger away.  The most amazing thing happened.  Within nanoseconds I had no anger.  In fact, I had such peace within, I almost wondered why I was wiping tears from my eyes.  God not only answered my prayer, He did it practically while I was praying.

Now, I have never doubted there was a  God, but at that moment, my belief was confirmed.  Since then, I have experienced other answers to prayer.  The Lord has been quick to answer, and I know that won’t always be the case.  I am currently in a Bible study, studying Nehemiah.   During his life, he once had to wait four months for a prayer to be answered.  Now, I am one who likes quick responses, but I know I must be faithful in prayer and God will answer when His time is right.  I am so thankful for all He has answered so far, and I will continue to pray steadfastly and earnestly in all things.

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Is it a Cookie?? No, it’s a Chocolate Chip S’morkie!!

I found this recipe online and I didn’t just want to make it, I wanted to take a bite out of it and experience all the sweetness it had to offer!!  Who ever thought of this was a Sweet Genius!!  Who would have thought of making a s’more and encasing it with chocolate chip cookie dough?   Most delicious after a few minutes of cooling.  The chocolate just melts in your mouth while at the same time you enjoy a bit of crunch within the cookie.  I started thinking about how many regular sized cookies are within a S’morkie, and I am guessing between 5 or 6, along with a s’more.  I don’t even want to think about the calorie count!!  I would say this is a special treat to share with friends.

I can’t take credit for the recipe.  Credit must be given where credit is due.  I found this at:

http://picky-palate.com/2011/02/21/smores-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies/

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The start of the S’morkie.

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Layer a graham cracker quarter with 3 hershey squares and 2 marshmallow halves. Close with another graham cracker. Top s’more with a large scoop of cookie dough and spread across graham cracker. Repeat on the bottom graham cracker.

 

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Continue placing dough around the sides…all around the s’more.
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Place large cookies onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes (it took mine around 20-22), at 350 degrees or until edges are golden and centers are cooked through.
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Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack or serving plate.

 

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Word of the Day – Frustration

Frustration

Just spent the last hour or so pouring my heart into a post about my divorce and who I am and what I’m trying to be, and lost it.  No, I’m not that technically inept, but it did happen.  It will take some time to get it written again.  Ugh!!  Guess this blog thing is a learning process.  Looking at the positive side, it did give me a word for the day.  No, it’s not necessarily a new word to anybody, and it may not even be new to my kindergarten students.  It will be a good conversation to have with them, however, as they learn about themselves and discuss what makes them frustrated.

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