The Sunshine is Back….. Divorce: Four Months On

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It’s nice to be sitting here feeling slightly better than I have felt the last week or so.  Life being life, it throws you curveballs, aaaaannnnd a curveball is what I got.

Unless you are a Zen master or the Dalai Lama, it’s to be expected that there are going to be times of intensity and disagreement in a divorce.  It would be odd to be able to get along in the months after a divorce when you couldn’t even see eye to eye in the marriage!  I’ll be the first to admit that when it’s that time, it’s a lot harder to let things slide and not delve into the whys? the hows? and the who’s?

I felt pretty rubbish and was having a pretty good crack at throwing myself the best pity party ever – sugar, self pity and blame being the 3 main guests, with a few other tag alongs… Rockin’ party!

NOT.

I did get to a point one morning (thanks goodness) where I thought to myself this is getting ridiculous.  This marriage didn’t end so you could just continue feeling dissatisfied in life.  DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT was the MUCH nicer version of what I told myself at 6 am that morning.

After a fairly direct email to my ex husband setting clear boundaries for our future, I slowly started feeling better again.  Sounds so basic right?!  But when you are led to start doubting what you are even saying is true, it’s hard to be clear sometimes.

It was really hard when after nearly 4 months, instead of being able to put my energy into living the beautiful life that was now in front of me. Instead, I found my self defending my decision and constantly questioning wether or not the two of us could make this work for the sake of Zoe.  At the end of the day we both knew the answer but I guess everyone processes things differently.

I think minimal contact is going to beneficial for us for the next how ever long.  This is all part of the process and we need to go through it all to figure out the best way to handle it.

Long story short, I am feeling more confident in my ability to choose my own direction in life.  Confident that my choices might just be ok!  I can even chose what we’ll have for dinner now! After feeling that I’d failed at one pretty big life decision, this area had taken quite a blow!

It’s been awhile since i’ve reflected on what I’ve learnt through this process, and as we are ever evolving and learning I wanted to revisit and see what came up.

Soooooo in the last couple of months I’ve learnt that:

  • Being direct and clear is always a good thing.  Not just with ex husbands.
  • You don’t feel very good after telling your 16 month old to F off.  That was a tough day.
  • Feelings do pass and the sunshine is only ever just behind the clouds.
  • Sleep is vital.  I have started going to bed earlier (minor breakthrough here) and the nights I haven’t dragged myself to bed until after 10:45 I’ve felt awful the next day.
  • I actually love mornings.  Being up at 5:30 doing something for me, before the day even starts makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.  The air is crisper, the sounds are still and the light is gentle. Even if it all falls to shit at 7 am.
  • Trying to mask a sneeze and make it quieter, often gets you the complete opposite result!
  • I need to be mindful of the expectations I have of myself.  Some days my to do list is the length of my arm and I set myself up for failure when low and behold I don’t finish the list.  I need to set limits and declare when I’m satisfied with the outcome.  Even if I’m not!
  • It’s ok to have desires, it doesn’t necessarily mean I have to act on it immediately.  Or ever. Like a holiday to Fiji perhaps.
  • Always have a bottle of coconut oil and medjool dates in the pantry.  Basis for most healthy treats.
  • Healthy treats aren’t calorie free.  Say no more.
  • It’s ALWAYS a good idea to meal plan!  I’ll do a post on that another day as I love it so much.  🙂
  • Sleep is vita…. Oh
  • Dreams are exactly that. Dreams. Most nights I wake up feeling so sad because I’ve dreamt something about my ex.  I’m slowly realising that even the emotions I have in my dreams aren’t real.  I might be sad about something in my dream but it doesn’t replicate real life!
  • Last but not least I’ve learnt that I am a better mum now I’m working.  ALL my friends have said the same and I am now a preacher too!  Our time is precious, even more so with not getting to see her every 2nd weekend, so I really do feel like I try to simply play with her more, look at her when I’m talking to her and put my phone away!  I wrote a note on the laundry door last week saying “the washing will wait”.  And wait it did.

Im due to go and have a coffee with my best friend and of course Zoe has decided to sleep like a trooper. I swear she knows.

I did some baking this morning as my beautiful neighbour provides me with an endless supply of limes from his lime tree and OMG YUM!!!  I needed to use them in something other than Gin and Tonic! Why did I capitalise those two words?  I must feel that they deserve it!

I’ll share what I made because each recipe has no more than 5 ingredients and are so good!

A beautiful quote that I read this morning:

All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.

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Happy planting…

Jen xo

 

 

Life As We Know It

Until I became a Mum back in September of 2014, I never fully appreciated how good it felt to get things done!  Not only that, but to get things done when it was convenient to ME.  It’s been a pretty big adjustment and I’ve had to loosen the reigns a bit when it came to routine.  I still have a routine and couldn’t live any other way, however it’s when this routine turns to shit for all the reasons routines do with kids, that I had to learn to be adaptable!

So that’s why today, when my shift got cancelled at work due to a delayed flight,  that a part of me, actually every part of me got really excited to have a whole day to myself without any other agenda but my own!  After dropping Miss Z at daycare, and recovering from the tears that she goes through at every drop off, I walked through the front door and thought right…… BED, COME AT ME!

Through sheer determination, I pushed through the pull towards my freshly made bed, because I knew I would be so annoyed if I slept the day away.

Instead, I thought to myself, what is one of my favourite things to do?

TO ORGANISE AND TO CLEAN.  I know there are others out there…. totally normal! 😉

So like a duck to water I had my daughters’ room looking fresh and beautiful in no time, as well as the toy corner, not so conveniently located in the lounge room, right near the entry to the house.  Sucked up some spiders with the Dyson, moved on some pre loved toys, moved some furniture around, and voila, I felt like the most together person that ever did live.

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Fake it till you make it, right?

It has been a pretty big week this week.  I started a new job – still in aviation but on the ground this time,  Miss Z increased her days at daycare from 1 to 2 and I started realising that when my bestie told me she starts cooking dinner at 9 am……she wasn’t kidding!  I’m finding my feet, and I know it’s going to be a great thing for Zoe and me, like always I just need more sleep.

Already since starting my new job, I have remembered what it was like to be really passionate about what you do.  I am so grateful for being able to get back into the aviation industry.  It never leaves your blood and it has helped to take my focus away from areas that it doesn’t require it!  I’m really hoping that one day in the near future co parenting becomes easier.  Optimism my friends, my word for 2016  .

A friend of mine bought me a gorgeous book this week.

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It is small, straight to the point and full of dot points which I love.  It is packed with gentle ideas and suggestions to simplify your life!

I came across a page on how to be grounded.  Considering its the title of my blog, and a word that has always resonated with me, I was pretty interested to know how the Author, Kate James described such a word.  She described it in a way that I had always imagined it to be in my head.

Thank God, otherwise my blog title may have needed a revamp!

Being grounded means, basically, being connected to what’s real, as opposed to spinning out over what’s happening in your head.  It’s about bringing your awareness back to your body so that you can be more emotionally and physically present. 

She goes on to describe ways in which you can feel grounded in difficult situations.  Feeling the grass directly under your feet and imagining the earth’s natural energy coming up through the soles of your feet.  This strong connection with the earth can immediately take you back to the present moment.

I get this.

With this in mind, I have a weekend ahead of me with my gorgeous little bff, a birthday party with friends, sunny blue skies and a weekend full of more opportunities to make good decisions.  Starting with an early night tonight!

Jen xo

 

 

 

 

Divorce: What I’ve learnt so far

So here I am, another non Miss Z weekend is drawing to an end, and I’m sitting on the couch eating weetbix for dinner! Only the best for this Mumma, don’t you worry.

I couldn’t quite find the wine to match such a dinner, so iced water it is!

As some of you might know, since separating I’ve found a new love.

Yoga.

It’s the only relationship I’m ready for at the moment – about as costly as a relationship with an actual person, but worth every cent.

I did a 2 hour detox class on Saturday morning and boy oh boy did that open some trapped emotions!

I got home from the class and  after some much needed time with my gorgeous girlfriends I got stuck into some writing.

BIG things were uncovered.

24 hours later and I’m still amazed by everything that has come out of this class.  It’s been pretty confronting but I can hear the words turning point being softly spoken in the back of my mind. Not sure if im ready to admit it yet, but something special happened on the mat yesterday.

A part of me feels scared to even write about it.  I still feel fragile at times and doubt myself every day.  Not necessarily about the decision to end our marriage, but my ability to be strong and happy without my ex.

I feel as though I’m standing in the middle of a see-saw.  One small step back and I’m back to what I still partly see as comfort.  I know it is anything but comfort, but it’s the only family dynamic I’ve known in my adult life.

One small step forward, and the see-saw edges further towards freedom. A life where I have peace about my past, where the knot in my stomach continues to loosen its grip, where I am ok when my ex moves on and where there is a life full of self acceptance and love.

In previous breakups with my ex husband, we have never got past this stage.  The false idea of comfort and love would get the better of us and we go back to each other, causing more damage in the process.

I’m stronger this time.  I can feel it and the people around me can see it.

Something shifted in this class yesterday.  May’ve been all the shoulder stands and the loud wide open mouthed exhales we had to do!

Just to stick with the see saw analogy, I actually believe I’ve stepped forward enough for the see-saw to ever so slightly tip.

A tip towards a new way of life and away from the hurt of my marriage, and man it feels good.  I think some call this progress.

So here is what I’ve learnt over the past 24 hours in an extremely condensed version;

  • My heart was further along on this journey than my mind. My heart knew where it wanted to be, my mind however, hadn’t got the memo.  It wasn’t letting go.  I was holding onto the past and all the anger as a security blanket.                   As my yoga teacher would say, my mind was constipated.
  • To let go of the anger and the past, ultimately meant I had to face the next phase of this journey.  Subconsciously I was putting this off.  I didn’t know if I was ready to see if I could get through this separation.  If I was ready to see if there was healing in my future.
  • Someone can hurt you so much but still represent  stability, reliance, companionship and security. After 5 years, this isn’t something than can be turned off easily.  At least I now know that I need to look within for the security, the love and the resilience.
  • You are the Captain of your soul and we actually do have a say in our future. To a point anyway.  I do have the strength to make those hard decisions and to voice them to my ex, to ensure I stay true to what I really want.
  • That I’m allowed to feel alone at times.  I’m realising that I can be the strength that I saw in my ex husband. On my own! 
  • Everyone deserves to be happy.  I need to start believing that I am included in this.  At some point I need to stop punishing myself for the mistakes I’ve made.  The life sentence can go and get stuffed.  I think once I truly believe this, things will get easier!
  • And finally, possibly the biggest step towards freedom…. The belief that when my ex husband does move on, and love someone else, I am still;

-Worthy of love (from myself included),

-I am enough, and;

-Capable of so much happiness.

With a huge chunk of the anger gone, and with some more understanding of healing as a process, I’m starting to build up my self trust.  Trust in myself and trust in my future.  No more stories that my pain in the backside mind conjures up – that this is punishment for making the same mistake 3 times over and that I need to do my time feeling hurt and sad.

No more!

I’m finally ready to start believing that this journey really might have a happy ending.

Jen xx

 

 

2016 in 3 words

I was sitting on the couch today at my Grandparents house, with my Grandma beside me, both watching Miss Z parading in front of us.  She was walking around in circles and then backwards (her latest trick), snuggling and patting her precious (very ugly) dolly, babbling, singing, dancing and basically anything else that seemed fit at the time.

She saw some pillows resting on an arm chair and decided she wanted to pull them off the chair and onto the floor.  We sat and watched her struggle as she couldn’t quite get there.  They were heavy and it was all a bit awkward but she was getting so close.  Just one more BIG pull was all she needed to do.

As a 15 month old, she obviously couldn’t see the progress she was making or how close she was and eventually stomped off in a huff.  My Grandma and I were sitting there saying ‘you are so so close, just one more pull and they will be down, KEEP GOING’.

She had given up and that was that.

I thought to myself, wow, if only she knew how close she was and how far she’d come.  She would’ve literally been only seconds away from marvelling at her own accomplishments.  Instead she gave up too soon and was left feeling defeated.

Now because of the girl I am, and possibly because I am looking for anything to help spur me on through these days post separation, my brain started ticking.    To think how often we may have been so close to achieving something, only to quit because we thought it was impossible or too hard.

It is all too easy to question the progress you are making when you can’t physically see it.  It makes it doubly hard when you have NO idea how far you’ve got to go, like 99.9 % of the time!

You can talk yourself out of anything if you let yourself.  Sometimes you can actually convince yourself that it is easier to give up.

You may have been one more step away from making that break at work;

One more step away from finally cutting yourself off from your ex in a way that meant your FREEDOM;

One more step away from the workout that makes you love exercise again;

And only one more message away from your ex actually listening to your pleas at leaving you alone.  Messages that test every part of your being, when all you want is a big hug telling you that everything will be ok.

Giving up crosses my mind often and the concept of just being miserable forever almost seems inviting in a f%^*ed up way!

But seeing my little girl trying so hard today, to then just give up so easily, so close to succeeding, has lit that flame within me again.  By no means is it burning enough to give off any heat, but still enough to keep me getting out of bed each morning and remaining optimistic.  Optimistic about my future as a single mum, about my future with any relationships and the future as me!

Although I can’t see the progress and sometimes I actually feel I am going backwards, the wonderful thing is that I could be so close!  Close to start feeling the rewards of walking away from a marriage that was slowly soul destroying….   The hardest thing I hope I’ll ever have to face in this lifetime.

Some may call this clutching at straws!  Some may even call it simply being hopeful and yes, I’m with you on both there.  I’m liking the word optimism because it leaves everything open!

Instead of looking forward into 2016 and making resolutions and putting any big plans in place, I’d like to just add two more words to my ‘word’ of the year (currently freedom thanks to our home made Christmas bon bons)…..

And add optimism and perseverance!  I’m sure there are no rules for having 3 words for the year?!

I will try my very best at remaining optimistic that I will gain a sense of freedom and space in my mind for new wonderful things, through sheer perseverance!

Jen xx

 

 

The gift of a marriage separation this Christmas!

It is almost Christmas and I can feel myself getting more anxious as the days tick over. My first Christmas without Zoes’ dad, without the family I thought I’d have. Yet another reminder of my reality.

Since the separation there is a feeling that seems to creep into the pit of my stomach. I normally notice it building. Sometimes I push it away and instead deny its even brewing.  This normally ends badly!

Too much chocolate.

Incessantly checking Facebook like the internet will be  switched  off at any moment.

Or maybe, god forbid bringing up the past and feeling like it would be therapeutic and healing to have a fight about it! 10 times out of 10, it is anything but healing!

It is such a strong feeling which consumes me.  I keep functioning, attending to my little girl, answering my phone etc but I am the furthest away from being present and in my body.  Anything but grounded. Rationality goes out the window and I’m left feeling a bit pathetic really! Sometimes I can’t even pin point what it is that I’m feeling.  Sadness, loneliness, fear, defeat, shame, vulnerability or anger.  Maybe all of them! What a concoction. A vodka lime soda is more the concoction i’m after.

As Christmas is getting closer I could feel the anxiety starting to creep in.  I was starting to get scared that maybe I’m was going to have a complete meltdown and feel those heavy tears roll down my cheeks? Again.

Maybe I wouldn’t cry, I would just feel numb all day?

Maybe it would be fantastic and I would feel all warm and fuzzy being surrounded by my family?

The truth is, and this isn’t earth shattering stuff, but no-one knows.  I do know there is no point getting sucked into the stories that my mind conjures up, Oh this is going to be so hard, it’s going to be this, it’s going to be that, poor me! Pour me a glass of wine!

I do know that dealing with heart break is savage.

The aftermath of a broken heart and broken dreams are still raw. Some days, actually lets start with parts of certain days, I feel so strong, almost to the point where I feel guilty for feeing so good. (Guilty for feeling good, gosh I’ve never written that down before, it’s almost laughable.)

Then in the same breathe, Hellooooooo separation, helloooooo teething, craft mess, sickness, early rising, poo explosions, tantrums, food refusal, tears, dinner, bath, bed times, bill paying, christmas cards, financial woes, day after day with no-one to bounce it off with, or have help with!

I know what things can help! I even wrote a post about it, but there is no amount of yoga, green smoothies or sleep that is as gentle on the soul as interacting with my sweet, intuitive and loving little girl that I helped create.

Truth is, I need her as much as she does me.

The sound of her feet, that she has only recently discovered how to use, pitter pattering on the floor boards as she totters around, instantly brings a warm feeling to my heart.

It’s in these exact moments, in the very next breathe, that I’m back, back with all the strength in the world to remind myself everything that I’ve learnt and soaked up over the past few months and everything that I strive to be in this new stage of my life.

I remember that as long as we have now, nothing else matters.

What we feel like on Christmas Day, how we felt 2 days ago, or last Christmas for that matter, is irrelevant. The consuming feeling I get is healing, the tears are healing, the fights… no, the fights are not healing Jen! My point though, It’s nothing to be fearful of.

This Christmas there is a bitter sweet sense of relief and sadness, gratitude and despair and joy and pain. It’s in these peaceful moments of relief, gratitude and joy that you can give yourself a gentle reminder that you CAN deal with anything, not always well, but you will cope, what ever form coping comes in.

To anyone out there that is feeling sad, or apprehensive this christmas, I want to give you a little box of courage. It is what I have given myself this year (great for the budget conscious). It can be opened anywhere and as often as you like. I’m visualising long deep breaths to fill my lungs with all that I know and need.

Courage, patience and acceptance of the present moment.

Sending love and peace your way this Christmas!

Jen xx

5 tips to survive those first couple of months

The clock reads well after 10 pm and I’m still awake! This is becoming a bit too common, but the likelihood of that changing is low.

We had a 40 degree day today. You know the type, when the aircon struggles to keep going. Actually, when anything alive struggles to retain momentum. I swear the minutes were taking hours to tick over.

Anyway, I’m Jen, a mum to my beautiful daughter Zoe who is now 15 months old.  

8 weeks ago I moved out from the home that I lived in with my husband (now ex), Zoe and my ex’s 3 children from his first marriage.  We separated after a period of 4 on and off years together and after a mere 18 months married. The lead up before the separation was probably harder than the ‘clean up’ after the separation.  It was tough. So much paperwork, visits to Centrelink, hours on hold to Centrelink, tension, fighting, confusion, sadness, gosh you name it.  However, here I am. I’m In my new place, creating new memories, having good days and bad days, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes (after the umpteenth time), learning how to best co parent with my ex and most importantly looking after Zoe and me (I’m sure that’s the correct grammar)!

This space that I have created will be home to photos, videos, posts on coping with separating and the hardships that come with being a single parent, as well as the positives – the amazing things that come with being a single parent and whatever else is happening in my life that would be fun to write about.

Over the past 4 years I have kept journals so I have a looooooot of content about what I was going through. It has been great to read over them post separating, as I am able to be reminded how much I did work on our relationship and how hard it was at times.  Every now and then I get an urge to burn them in case I die.  I’ve told my best friend where they are so she can get rid of them in a hurry if need be! I’m sure some of the writing will come out in future posts….

I wanted to share my ‘Top Five Tips’ on how to survive the first 8 weeks post separation.  Every case is so uniquely different but these are what have worked for me.

Tip 1 – Keep up some form of regular exercise.  It is important not to lose self respect.  For me when Zoe slept I would go outside and do this 30 minute workout 2-3 times a week. I LOVE it and it’s free!

Tip 2 – See a counsellor, hire a life coach or find an online course that will keep your mindset in check. It is so very easy to get petrified thinking too far ahead, or getting furious thinking too far back, which affects everything. I started a Life Navigation Course by the beautiful Jennifer Louden which is giving me something to look forward to doing each week.  I am able to set goals, identify what could be tough for the week and is helping me at least try to remain the person I want to be.  This tip alone has been my life saver.

Tip 3 – Dont beat yourself up when you make mistakes, like loosing your cool, slipping into bad habits or reacting to something without even thinking and giving yourself a chance to breath. You have an unlimited amount of passes to begin again.

Tip 4 – Try and do some writing each week.  Literally pen to paper non stop for 10 minutes. It’s amazing what comes out. Tension, sadness or fear that you’d been holding onto.  It is extremely therapeutic.

Tip 5 – Last but not least, CONGRATULATE yourself for progress. Like seriously, acknowledge out loud (or when you’re writing) for all the things that you have got through or completed. I’ve found that the firsts are the hardest.  First birthdays separated, first long car trips, first weekend alone and I’m sure first Christmas….but once you’ve done it once, the second time is easier!

So nice to have you here! Feel free to comment if you can add what may have worked for you.

Until next week, Jen xx