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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Humble Pie

So … I’m sitting here reflecting on the past year. April 1st it will officially be one year since my wife and I separated. Although our divorce wasn’t final until August, our worlds changed when we decided to go our separate ways.

If I had to sum up divorce in one word, I think it would be “humbling.” I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a period of my life that was more draining on so many levels. Emotionally, financially, mentally; it has truly pushed me to the edge on multiple occasions. While I’ve discovered new inner strengths and have grown to appreciate what I’m truly capable of, more importantly, I’ve discovered how much was wrong with my approach to life and to those around me.

It would be easy for me to sit here and point my finger at the world and those who hurt me. But looking back, I recognize that I could have approached so many things better. I could have handled so many situations better. I could have appreciated certain things and certain people so much more. The sad thing is it took my world blowing up for me to fully appreciate these truths. It took being pushed to the brink of disaster for me to take a good hard look at myself and embrace the fact that it all starts with me.

I still have a long way to go. And lord knows I’m far from being out of the woods. Yet, I can’t help but feel like I’ve reached a new level of spirituality through the process. I have so much more to learn, so much more growing up to do. But if I learned anything this past year, it’s that change can be good as long as we embrace it and accept that perhaps there is a better reality for us to engage in. All too often we know what needs to happen but stay put out of fear of what might happen. We get complacent. We get stuck. Sometimes it takes a good jolt for us to take a good hard look in the mirror every day and try to be honest with ourselves about how we ended up where we are.

Tomorrow’s coming and it’s up to me to right the ship. And I will. My goal is to not look back with regret, but to move forward and carry my baggage with pride. Because within those bags are a lifetime of lessons to pull from, not the least of which is the past year.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Faith in Spring!

I’ve heard many people talk about the depression they encounter during the winter months. I don’t think we truly appreciate the effect the weather and the seasons can have on us until the sun comes out and the first signs of spring are upon us.

Going to be honest with you. It’s bee a tough few months on many fronts. Living as a divorced dad presents so many unique and overwhelming challenges. There are days when it’s difficult to build up the muster to give it a go. Financial concerns, angst of providing enough time to the kids, deadlines, the pressure of it all being on your own shoulders; it’s a lot. And the dreary cold grays of winter only enhance the sense of gloom and doom when the perfect emotional storm hits.

That first morning of being able to sip my Tim Horton’s coffee out on the front porch with the birds singing in the background is inspiring. It lifts the soul and breathes new life into our hearts … but only if we let it. Last night I literally forced myself to run a few miles. I had no energy left, no motivation, no umph. Yet once I got going I found myself sprinting. It was as if my body was literally using stress as its fuel and believe me there was plenty. Just felt so good to suck in the smell of fresh cut grass and feel the sun on my skin; to sweat, to breathe, to “let it all out.”

Force yourself to take it in, even if for only 20 minutes. Bring your soul out of hibernation and know that you have the strength to move forward. Reenergize yourself with a brisk walk around the block or just sit on the stoop with your mug in hand but take it in. Allow your soul and mind to breathe. Give your heart a reason to beat fast other than seeing the checking account balance. Just go … you can be 30 minutes late for your next deadline.

Here’s to spring. A moment in time when we can savor for a moment new beginnings and growth. You may very well be just in time.

 

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SUCCESS!!!

Good morning! For those who read yesterday’s post about the morning’s events, a quick update for you.

Last night the four of us talked about the morning and how we could approach things better. Our goal was to get back to our normal routine. So we all agreed on making sure we got a good night’s sleep and to make sure we were prepared for the next day. Everyone made an effort to have everything they needed ready including their clothes for the next day. All got to bed at a decent hour and I’m proud to report this morning was awesome. It really was like watching a football team that made several turnovers in the first half, come back after half-time and score on their next five possessions.

The kids only needed gentle prodding to get up. But most importantly, everyone came downstairs with a smile on their face and a friendly attitude. They all knew where their socks, shoes and books were and we were ready to go on time. As for me, I made a point of being focused and did my best to stay a step ahead of them at all times gently steering them back on task when they got diverted.

I’ll note that I know they have a similar routine at their mom’s which helps. A little communication between the two of us and knowing that there are some consistencies in approaches can really benefit everyone. It just makes it that much easier to get back on track when there’s re-enforcement on the other end. Sometimes this means adjusting things on my end just a bit to better emulate what they’re used to at their mom’s. That’s not always easy, but when possible I think it just helps the kids to have that constant in their lives. I know that can’t be the case for everyone reading this, but just know that making the effort to work and communicate with your ex really can reap a lot of benefits. Even if you’re not on the same page parenting wise, just knowing what page they’re on can make it easier to adjust.

So … a nice way to enter the weekend.

Thanks as always for checking in. I know that great things await you in the days to come.

 

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The Mad Rush! (sleep update #2)

Well … yes I was up until after midnight. But I was being very productive and would have stayed up later, but forced myself to get some sleep.

However my eldest came in at 11:17 to tell me her foot itched. This was a foreshadowing of what was to come:

Let me state for the record that 9 out of 10 mornings run very smoothly without incident. Everyone normally has their clothes pulled out for the morning and we have a pretty good routine worked out. Because of that, even when they’re tired, they typically just blindly follow the norm and we’re good to go. And this particular morning started off very calm with hugs and kisses to wake everyone up and plenty of time to get ready. But for whatever reason, (I’m personally blaming the time change as I believe I am allowed to do so for up to 5 days) … this particular morning our machine was short on oil and within 10 minutes:
7:01:
– DAAADDDDDD … I don’t have anything TO WEAR!!!
– Get out of my room!
– She’s is a jerk! I HATE HER!
– Can I play hooky today?
– I don’t want a peanut butter sandwich in my lunch today I HATE peanut butter!
– All of my shirts are too small!
– Stop touching me!
– “Daaaadddd … Where are my pink sandals that I wore last year?”
– LEAVE ME ALONE!
– DAAAADDDDD!!!!
– These pants don’t fit me!
– Daaaaddd!!!
– I wanna be a car rider.
– I can’t find socks!
– STOP BANGING ON THE DOOR!
– But I need to brush my teeth!
– Get OUT of the BATHROOM!
– I NEED TO BRUSH MY TEETH STUPID HEAD!
– I HATE these jeans!
– Daaaaddd!!!
– @ 7:51: “where’s my other pink sandal?”
– @ 7:52: “Dad I can only find one shoe!!!”
– @ 7:53: “seriously I can only find one pink sandal! UURRRGGGG!!!!”
– @ 7:54: “PLEASE … can I play hooky today?”
– @ 7:55: FOUND IT!
– You sit in the middle
– I sat in the middle last time
– Stop bumping me!!!
– I CAN’T BUCKLE!!!

I of course, being so well rested, was calm as a cucumber the entire time .

At 7:58 we pulled up to the bus stop as the bus was pulling up. We stopped for a moment and though having spoken in tongues the previous 50 minutes, we all managed to apologize for how badly the morning went in a calm rational manner at which point my list maker decided we would gather after school and revisit our plan to make sure we got back on track tomorrow. And then somehow, by the grace of God and all that’s good … somewhere through divine intervention, as they were running to the bus, all three stopped to run back and give me a hug and kiss before they got on.

And I … slowly slid back in my car and headed for my day.

It’s easy to blame the kids for a rough morning like that. But the truth is it’s up to us to guide them. Make sure they have what they need and that everything is together and as ready as we can make it. If I was digging in the dryer for matching socks for 15 minutes … I had no one to blame but myself. So I take my share of the burden for this morning. Life was a little too full and I let some things lax and suffered the consequences. How I react to the kids is also my choice. Their mom and I tell them all the time, “how you react is YOUR choice.” I told them before they got on the bus that if I raised my voice or got annoyed, that wasn’t their fault. How I chose to react is my choice just like how they react is theirs. We can’t blame each other for how we respond to a circumstance. That’s up to us.

SO … I’ll take this morning as a learning and teaching opportunity and will let you know what adjustments we make at half time and how tomorrow goes.

 

SLEEP! (update)

So … after two more nights of getting to bed much too late, last night I went to bed at 10 p.m. sharp. 

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Good thing too because the dog woke me up at 5 a.m. 🙂

Honestly, I woke up grumpier than I do when I don’t get sleep. Is this normal? Could have used another 4 hours.

We’ll see how tonight goes.

Have a great day!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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