Recently a friend and I were talking about what it's like to maintain this blog while I'm going through such a tough stretch. I talked about how I am always inclined to look on the bright side or paint a rosy picture. It's my nature to be glass-half-full and to focus on the positive. I hate complaining. But frankly, this is tough. It's not always sunny over here. Most days are hard.
My friend very lovingly said, basically, that she just didn't want me to feel pressure to put a positive spin on everything. She was giving me permission to record all the hard parts, too.
But I'm sure you can understand that I can't write about the many layers of feelings that I have in this public space, that there are other people's feelings to consider, and that you're going to have to assume that it's a lot more complicated than I present it here. You get that, right?
On days when I'm just not feeling especially positive or good about things, I don't post anything. In my life and on this blog, I strive for forward progress, positive thinking, optimism, and counting my many blessings. I don't want to wallow in my own miseries, so I don't. (My best friends are reading that thinking: "you don't?" Okay, sometimes I do.)
I'm operating with the belief that you choose to be happy, no matter what your circumstances are. Sometimes easier said than done, but still a worthy goal.
This weekend I just really missed my kids. It was Skyler's 8th birthday on Friday and I didn't have her. I did go with her Brownie Troop on the apple-picking field trip so I could spend some time with her.
I brought cupcakes for her birthday and got to see the troop sing to her. I didn't get the whole day, but I did get these moments...
I was telling my sister that when I lived with my kids 100% of the time, I would pine for a day all to myself. And whenever I got one, I cherished each minute. Now it's a little different. I have every-other weekend on my own, and I spend a lot of that time just missing them.
Thank god for my friends who have been through divorce who swear to me that this gets better. They are beacons of hope and strength for me and have totally taken me under their wings. (Love you J an B).
I had plans to go to Southern Maine to go surfing this weekend but there were no waves so my plans were canceled. I was then faced with a whole lot of time by myself.
I did a good job making a full and productive weekend out of it. But it takes a lot of effort to stay positive. Even though it does cross my mind to crawl into my bed with movies and not talk to anyone, I know better than to do that. I know that I need exercise and fresh air and productivity.
I need to sweat and I need to bake. I need to put one foot in front of the other.
Saturday morning I ran "6 at 6" (6 miles at 6 am) with a great crew of women. It was just what I needed, and so fun to run in a pack again. I then baked and worked on my graduate class. I graded papers. And I ended the day with great conversation on my friend Jess's couch with wine in hand.
Sunday I wanted to do even better. I consulted my old beat-up copy of my favorite Mollie Katzen cookbook:
I got up early and started a batch of bread, drank coffee, and got ready for a bike ride. I left a mound of dough to rise while I was gone, and met up with my friend Robin for 30 miles of fall splendor.
Side story: You know how Robin and I reconnected and made plans to go biking? Oh, because I backed into her car last week. A book I'm reading about divorce says that during the early stage of separation you may become "distracted and accident prone." Yeah, that.But speaking of looking on the bright side, while exchanging insurance information so that Robin could get her car fixed, we made plans to go on a ride together. So I guess it was lucky? I was certainly lucky that it was Robin I hit because she was so incredibly kind and gracious about it.
And then after folding laundry, grocery shopping, and more paper grading, it was time to get my kids.
And a birthday dinner for Skyler. And presents!
Tonight with my house still smelling like bread and my children asleep in their beds upstairs, I feel a total sense of calm and peace, a deep knowing (which is rare these days) that everything is going to be okay. I don't get to feel this good and relaxed all the time, but when these moments come, I hang onto them.
And tomorrow is a holiday which means a bonus day with my kids. We'll head somewhere pretty wearing fleece and scarves because fall is totally here.
"These are the soul's changes. I don't believe in aging. I believe in forever altering one's aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism." -- Virginia Woolf.