I’ve spent a lot of time in recent weeks concerned that I’m slipping. Not in any one particular aspect of my life, but in attempting to maintain the life I had before my divorce, I’m finding myself working feverishly without a sense of getting ahead. What’s odd is, my level of productivity is at record levels, and yet I still have a sense at times that I’ll never get it all done. I have become incredibly efficient with my time, mastering the art of doing laundry while editing a television series as the dishwasher enters another cycle. I’ve been told men are horrible at multi-tasking, but divorce is like a crash course for those who have any hope of moving forward. And yet, despite my ability to accomplish so much in any 24 hour period, whether it be domestic or professional, I’m having a difficult time establishing a sense of progress. Instead I feel as though I’m stuck in an endless state of purgatory.
When I got divorced I took on a lot and was determined to hold it together. It was important to me to do everything I could to maintain what my wife and I had worked so hard to build. At the same time I was building a business, which can be equally consuming both in terms of time and emotion. It’s been a lot to juggle and for the most part I’ve managed to keep it all above water.
But a year of this pace will no doubt take its toll. As a person with high expectations, I anticipated that by this point I’d have it all together and be settled into a new routine, or if nothing else, a new ‘norm.’ And yet, despite my best efforts, I still feel myself transitioning. And as accustomed as I’ve become to transitioning, quite honestly I’m ready for this one to end. I’m ready to find a new groove. And yet instead, at times I feel drained with a lack of direction; afraid that if I stop it will all come crashing down around me.
During the past year, I’ve made a distinct point of changing the way I approach just about every aspect of my life. My goal was to surround myself with positive people, positive experiences and force myself to approach life calmer and with a sense of openness. I wanted to become more open to trusting the universe and accepting in life what I felt I truly deserved. It was through that, that the universe brought many new people into my life with one or two of them being distinct spiritual guides of sorts.
And so it would happen that I would express to one of my new gurus my sense of slipping and lack of progress. I explained how this feeling continually got me down and had me questioning so much of what I was doing and my abilities to keep going. And then I heard a word that I wasn’t expecting. I was told I’m not slipping, I’m simply going through a metamorphosis. It was explained to me that by changing my way of thinking; by eliminating old habits and attempting to establish new ones; by adjusting the very core of how I viewed life; that which was my old life would naturally begin to crumble as room was made for a new world.
That’s some scary stuff right there. The word crumble had me in the fetal position within seconds. As elated as I’ve been with my new mentality and outlook, the thought of my old life crumbling before my eyes was not something I had been hoping to see happen. Letting go of it wasn’t something I had prepared to do either. But could there be freedom in letting go? Could there be rebirth?
When we’re married we establish a lifestyle. We build a world that suits us and with our spouse we create a universe together. Once that co-management team is gone, attempting to maintain that universe can be quite a struggle for one individual. In many ways it no longer fits. And yet the fear of the unknown, the fear of what will happen if we let what we’ve worked so hard to build up fall to the waste side can be overwhelming and at times crippling.
And yet, somewhere in the back corners of my imagination, I’m beginning to see what may be possible. As I open my heart and my soul to new possibilities, I begin to get glimpses of what’s possible and begin to accept that perhaps it’s time to let go of the world I’d come so accustomed to.
Knowing that there are three other little minds that will need to take this journey with me, adds an entirely new level of concern to the mix. But perhaps the positive approach I’ve taken with their mom may help. Maybe, just maybe there can be a team effort to get to that next plateau.
I remember when the kids were a little younger and the joy I experienced attempting to get them to transition from the house to the car; from the car to the store; from the store back to the car etc. When a 3 year old is comfortable and content, getting them to change their environment was perhaps one of the most excruciating experiences of my parenting life. I’d look at them and be like, just get up and go already. How difficult can this be? What’s the problem? Don’t you see we’re going some place better? And yet here I am; needing to transition, but oh so comfortable in my old environment, afraid to transition to the next phase.
The next few months should be very telling. Am I slipping or indeed in mid metamorphosis? Will I come out of the cocoon a butterfly ready to spread my wings and soar? One can only hope. It’s scary to think about change. But sometimes life forces us into it whether we like it or not. Perhaps the trick is embracing it and recognizing that there’s a greater good on the other side.
As I’ve said many times, this is indeed a journey. And I’m told it’s one not to go on alone. And so I invite you to continue on with me. I’ll do my best to be honest with you about my experience and would love to hear from those of you who are going through similar changes. Perhaps together we can help see each other through this metamorphosis.