Saturday, June 12, 2021

Five Years (What a Surprise)

 This Monday marks five years since my divorce was final

And now this song will be in my head all day, of course. There are worse fates.

(It's been five years since we lost David Bowie, too. Wow, 2016 really did suck, didn't it?)

To prepare for writing about this milestone, I've spent the last hour or so re-reading old posts from the days, months, and actually years leading up to it. If you don't know or have forgotten, three and a half years elapsed between the time my ex and I separated and the day the divorce decree was signed. I'd love to say it was because our extensive empire of assets, holdings, and bank vaults filled with money took time to be equitably split. But no. It was mostly because even the smallest of worlds can become vast and treacherous when you're navigating toward the exit.

Anyway, those posts are all archived under the "Divorce" tag on the right side of the page if you want to peruse them. I get that reading about somebody else's divorce may not be the most compelling thing in the world - especially if, as in my case, there aren't a lot of publicly available juicy details - but as for me, I'm damn glad those chronicles exist. I had forgotten, deliberately or otherwise, a lot of the stuff I'd written down. Re-living some of those moments has been instructive and emotional. 

On the whole, this is a happy anniversary for me. Of all the bass-ackward things I've done in my life, the most significant was becoming an old married lady without ever having been a young single lady.

It's nearly impossible to Google "single lady"
without getting a picture of Beyonce, so here's
a random picture of a snake in a combat helmet
instead. (RIP, Gandalf the White)

Over the last five years, I've done a lot of things I feel I should have done much earlier in life, like figuring out my own taste in decorating (which turns out to involve a lot of skeletons), putting myself on a budget and learning how to save, motivating myself (and taking responsibility when I don't), and just generally being comfortable in my own skin. I'm not saying I've been wildly successful in each of  these endeavors. But as I cruise through my fifties, I've finally put in the work that I probably should have done in my twenties. 

I'm like Thornton Melon, but again, not wealthy.

Of course, my biggest and best accomplishment - and the reason I would never, ever, actually go back in time and change any of the things I think I've done wrong - is my Precocious Daughter. She'll be a senior in college this Fall, and while I worry constantly that I've screwed up her life in a thousand ways as collateral damage of my own screwups, I'm so proud of the person she's become. I'm not sure she'll ever know how much she helped me through the dark days of the divorce, by being strong and happy and inspiring but also by needing me to be there for her. Like most parents, when I stop to think of all the ways I've failed her I go a little crazy. But then I see what she's become in spite of that, which really is a mark of successful parenting that a lot of us don't embrace as much as we should. 

Any kid who never looked at their parents and thought, "Nah, I don't want to go there" probably didn't turn out as well as they might appear to be from the outside.

Never forget that in the Brady Bunch universe,
Marcia growing up to have a drinking problem
is canon.

This is not the post I meant to write today. I meant it to be funnier, and sillier, and have more advice on how to be a happily divorced person in a world that in many ways really only wants to hear about being happy in a traditional marriage. Oh, well. I'm no stranger to things not going the way I planned them to be. Obviously.

(On that note, here's a post I wrote when I was married about another writer's [ridiculous] definition of a good vs. a bad marriage. It's pretty hilarious, and I recommend all my happily married friends feel free to ignore its advice.)

Maybe I'll write the funny, silly post later. Or maybe I'll spend the rest of the day hanging out with the Siamese Kitten and looking for new skeletons to add to my decor.

Whatever you do today, Drunkards, do it happily. 

1 comment:

  1. Well, I just finished writing Chapter 5 of the new novel, bathed the children, and am going to take the rest of the day off. Was planning to call you sometime but you never seem to be at home to phone calls.


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