Something Lovely at #Starbucks…and it wasn’t just the #chai!

If you follow me at all, you know that I prefer Starbucks chai…but I also enjoy the environment/ambiance at Starbucks locations. Regularly, I start up conversations with others about nothing in particular, but it’s still nice. I wanted to share a lovely experience my best friend and I had on the weekend, where we saw someone….

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Most Important #Relationship – Shoes or Self?

I was in a waiting room earlier this week and someone complimented my shoes (they are my newest fabulous purchase if I may say so…and even better they were only $5!). The conversation ensued:

Me:     I’m taking advantage of not being with the kids

Her:    My kids are full grown but I can’t wear heels anyway.  Besides, I have no one to impress.

Me:     I don’t either. My man lives an hour and a half away. I wear them for me. They make me happy.

After thinking for a moment, she said:      “I’m happy too, but that’s because I’m not in a relationship.”

We both laughed, and my name got called for my appointment.

 

Her comment has been nagging at me since. I’m not sure how being or not being in a relationship should determine someone’s happiness. If my marriage taught me anything, it taught me that you can’t look towards and rely on someone else to make you happy because, if you do, your happiness is only short-lived.

 

I recognized her disheveled physical state from the first 6 months after my marriage split up. I was so task-oriented with my kids that I just threw on whatever clothing was clean-ish and none of it fit because, as I came to realize, there’s this thing referred to as the “divorce diet”: magically 20lbs falls off you even when you’re eating nothing but pizza and chips.  Stress is a great diet but NOT healthy so I don’t recommend it.

 

I was scared to spend time alone during the times the kids were at their dad’s. I made sure my “free time” was scheduled for weeks in advance so I wouldn’t have to be alone. Quickly, I burnt out. Being a fulltime mom for the first time in my kids’ lives, managing my son’s behaviours and therapies, and going through the emotional turmoil at that the end of a marriage, I was completely spent…and it showed. 

 

Our apartment was completely cluttered, laundry was never folded, dishes were everywhere, things still weren’t unpacked 6 months after our move, no space in the kitchen to cook, etc.  So, I scheduled a day with a girlfriend to help me declutter. I was thankful to not be “alone” since the kids were at their dad’s, we got rid of tons of stuff (donating most of it, some of it just had to be thrown out or recycled), and she determined what was “acceptable” and “presentable” in my wardrobe.

 

After this, I started to slowly feel better and tried spending time out of the house…on my own, doing things other than running errands.  Around this time, I had an epiphany. I had been looking to others to determine my happiness: my husband, my friends, my kids, etc. It hadn’t/wasn’t/wouldn’t work. I had been trying to be the wife and mother that my husband expected of me (his frequent snide comments like “A 30 year old mom of twins should or shouldn’t…” sure didn’t help). Ever notice how much guilt comes along with the words “should” or “shouldn’t”? I digress…

 

That same girlfriend came back a few weeks later to do another purge with me and we decided it was time to get rid of all my flat shoes (except for the slip-on sneakers, black sandals and brown sandals I needed to chase after the kids). My ex-husband was shorter than me by 2” so I always felt self conscious wearing heels with him. I reinstigated my minimum 6’ rule for dating (I’m 5’10”) and said goodbye to my flats.  The only thing left were at least 3” heels…and it felt fantastic! After I learned it was “ok” to wear my heels when there wasn’t a reason, or as my waiting room friend said “to impress someone”. The fact that my man loves them and encourages me to wear them is just icing on the cake. At the end of the day though, I wear them for me.

#Moms Groups Rock!

It’s taken me a while to find moms groups that don’t kick us out suggest that another group might be “more appropriate for our needs” (welcome to what we sometime face because we have Autism in our family).  I’m still a member of the Facebook groups for the two groups we were part of in Big City, Ontario, and am a member of the one here in Small Town, Ontario.  Each group has a different chemistry, and I love all three of them.

Something happened last week within my local Small Town, Ontario moms group.  We have an amazing chemistry online through our Facebook group, and by the time we all meet in person, it’s as if we’ve known eachother forever. We already know about eachother’s ups and downs, our kids, our relationships, etc.

Last week, one of the babies of the group was admitted to hospital. Next thing I knew, we were all banding together, trying to figure out what we could do for this fellow mom, who was at the hospital for a total of a week and a half. Someone suggested a care-package of sorts to help her through this hard time, and give her something to do other than nurse her baby and worry. Within a day and a half, we had all bought/pulled together items for the care-package, one of the moms picked everything up from people’s homes, packaged it all together and dropped it off at the hospital in the nearby city: 

 Everything happened so quickly that, being offline for only one morning meant that I missed the pick up so I took my own contributions directly to the hospital the following day: 

I have never been so proud to be part of a community, especially an online community. The majority of us (myself included) had never met this mom, but we all felt “responsible” for helping her in whatever way we could. Moms groups rock!

 

#Divorce to #Wedding, Within 24 Hours

My former neighbour called me a couple weeks ago to let me know I had mail at my old apartment (how wonderful is he?). Finally had a chance to pick it up Friday night and was shocked to find a letter from my lawyer. Enclosed was my Divorce Order, dated March 21st, and that I could contest it within 31 days.

How excited was I to find out that not only my ex had filed for divorce (after bugging me for the last 2 years to file but I didn’t have the extra money to do it), but that the 31 days was up and I was legally divorced??!!!!!  My man has never seen me so excited! There may have been jumping around, screaming with glee, giddiness, laughing, hugging, and just plain going crazy. There may have been a few phone calls to some girlfriends. It may have also taken me 2 hours to calm down enough to actually sit down and eat dinner. But again, all of this may have happened. 😉

The small print I feel I should add here is that I don’t regret marrying my ex-husband because, without him, I wouldn’t have my wonderful children. I do regret how we treated eachother for the last 3 years of being together, and especially how the marriage ended, but all that is in the past now. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option for “Divorced and damn proud of it” on Facebook as a relationship status. I’ve never had so many “Likes” on a personal Facebook status. But I digress…

On Saturday, my man and I went to friends’ of his wedding. He was working (he’s a professional photographer) and also a guest; an interesting combination, but it was fun. I sat in the “audience” during the vows by myself as he was busy taking photos. It was a very surreal experience, watching two people declare their undying love, until the end of their days, while I was so excited to find out the day before that I was finally divorced (the first words out of my mouth that morning to my man may have been “I’m divorced!” instead of “good morning”, but again, that’s another may…).

I was and am happy for the couple, and hope that it will work out for them, but I’ll admit that I was watching their exchange of vows with a little bit of cynicism. I remember how I fully believed my ex-husband and I would be together forever, and I even proudly declared to my girlfriends in the beginning that I was so glad to have “gotten it right the first time”, especially since I was lucky wife number 3 for him (one of those was common-law, but it’s easier to describe as 3 wives).  Fast forward about 3 years into our marriage and things started falling apart, on a slow decline with some happy “blips” along the way for the next 2 years.

I’m sure there will be paperwork I have to sign as I haven’t signed anything yet but, at the end of the day, I’m finally divorced and celebration may be occurring soon…  🙂