I bring you a fantastic guest blog from my BDFF – a co-worker (and now one of my closest friends, truly!) today, while I bask in the glow of Maine – and her take on the post-divorce “life” that is, once the dust settles, and the moments of anxiety that somehow do just feel more amplified than you’d like. I completely “get” that – I get tired, too, but at the end of the day, life is worth living, despite wanting to kick someone’s ass at the bank 😉

Enjoy!

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When I was asked to be a guest blogger, I was of course at first really excited….and then as I sat back and thought about what I wanted to write about I felt overwhelmed.  I mean she inks very interesting things each day and is always coming up with cool content to blast out to her community of bloggers and friends that follow tbdetermined (well, you guys!).

Then I thought about the word ‘overwhelmed’ in general.  It’s something I feel each day – more so since my divorce.  After all I am the “head of the household” now and I am responsible for things I was never really responsible for before – like finances.  Ahhhhh, the dreaded word – finances.  I never was a math person…hell no!  I was a Fine Arts major and focused on theater and performance arts at University and in fact, really dreaded math….always had since I can remember….maybe it started back in like the third grade when we had to dissect an apple to learn about fractions and all I wanted to do was look at how shiny it was or how it had multiple colors or the shape was off and not a perfect “apple” shape.

Anyhow, getting back to the topic at hand….oh yes – I hate finances. But alas I had to figure out a way to embrace them if I was going to survive.  I began this by launching into an excel sheet (oh how gross…excel, but it actually comes in quite handy) and starting mapping out my fixed monthly bills and my estimated monthly expenses like food, gas, extras.

Don’t you love that word….?  Extras?? I mean what does it mean really?

I’ll tell you what “extras” means.  It means if I happen to come across a really cute outfit for either of my daughters or a pair of shoes on sale, or if I look in the mirror one day and GASP with horror because I haven’t had my hair colored in moons and the grays are slowly taking over root territory – THEN I look to the “extras” fund.

But in doing all this stuff – mapping out monthly expenses, using auto sum (a lot!) on excel, figuring out ways to cut corners with the roots of my hair – it basically got me to thinking – the lifestyle I once knew and grew accustomed to is really gone…it’s dust in the wind….it  IS without a doubt – an overwhelming thought.

I’ll admit, even though I know that getting divorced was the single best thing I could have done, I have moments of anxiety.  Moments where I think to myself, will I make it through?

Moments when I feel trapped….trapped in my career because of the paycheck.  Moments when I want to scream.  Moments when I look at my happily married/stay at home mom friends with their little lives all wrapped up in happy fancy wrapping paper with a perfect little silk bow on top and think – will I ever get there? Do I even want to get there?  Moments when I can’t buy the juice I like because it’s not on sale and I never had to deny myself that before…..I have these little life changing moments that shake me all day long.

Then I think about love. Love I found since my divorce.  True, uncompromising, 1940’s love-story movie kind of love and it replaces some of those anxious moments with perfect ones.  ****Insert happy sigh here**** (note from Jolene – SHE has captured LOVE – and she is an inspiration! she has met her LOML – love of my life – how amazing!)

So we all can’t be happy in everything all the time.  Happy in love, happy with money, happy with our jobs, family, friends….we all have overwhelming moments – OK, I will accept that.  I will accept mine, at least for now I will.

I will accept that my life from here on out will have the ‘overwhelmed” factor in it…and in it A LOT – and quite frankly I will find a way to own it….I will become friends with it if I have to….I will do what it takes to not let it own me because I am worth it and my decision to get divorced was at the end of the day, completely worth it…each passing day tells me that in so many ways.  So this is me…screaming at the top of the Prudential Center building saying – I am OVERWHELMED…..I AM TIRED….I WANT TO OCCASIONALLY KICK SOMEONE’S ASS AT THE BANK…..and oh yeah….I STILL HATE MATH!!!! 🙂

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Sometimes…I wish…

…I was in love.

…my kitties were both healthy (well, this is all the time, right now, anyway)

…I would come home to a not-empty house.

…to be thinner.

…to have perfect abs.

…to not question myself

…to love myself truly for who I am and not look in the mirror and see flaws (don’t we all…).

…that I never had to go through divorce. (though I still wouldn’t have changed it for the world, despite it all).

…that I’m thankful to have my ex-husband (still) as my best friend.

…that I had more money, and didn’t feel broke 90% of the time (again, don’t we all…).

…that I knew what love felt like again.

…that I didn’t have to travel this weekend, so I could watch my Nals.

…that my faith didn’t waver so much these days.

…that I had the guts to drop everything and live on a deserted island with nothing but chapstick, wine, coffee and my family. (and my cats).

…that I had the guts to move across the country and never look back.

…that I didn’t wish so much and could enjoy all that I have…because I do, but sometimes it’s hard not to wish away life…

I wish. That is all.

What do you wish?

**my rambling stream of conscious post tonight…don’t mind me, really, I am just bound by my thoughts tonight and the easiest way for me to sort through them, is to write them down. **

Lauren, over at My Life, Complete “dedicated” this song to me on Twitter (so cute!) after we’d discussed Leona Lewis’ “Happy” and how inspiring those lyrics are, and I have to say, Toby Mac’s words in “Get Back Up” are amazing and spoke even more volumes to me that while it may be okay to fall down, it’s ‘never too late to get back up again.’

It also sprung to mind a timeless quote from one of my favorite movies (don’t laugh!) – Van Wilder:

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

As simplistic as that sounds, it couldn’t be more true and it just comes to mind as part of my own struggles with the daily stresses of life (money, or lack thereof, Group Kick, work, and yes, dating) and how sometimes, you just gotta let it go and realize that worrying, stressing and agonizing about things – especially those out of your control – get you nowhere, and they just add more stress to life, and completely engulf your mind and psyche to the point where you lose sight of what’s important, and lose sight of living life…it’s meant to be lived, and not stressed over/through, bottom line, right?

So, give this song a listen, and maybe take to heart some of the words here, and the notion of worrying for worry’s sake, stress for stress’s sake and agonizing for agony’s sake just aren’t worth it, in many cases, because it usually doesn’t even change or affect the outcome of whatever it is you are stressing about in the first place.

(and, quick shout-out to a fellow Kick-er who has started her own blog – she’s awesome, give her a read!)

**Annoyed – this was supposed to post yesterday!**

Last night’s Joel Osteen minstry was superb, and I was watching it and trying to get my mindset straight for the week (knowing this week is going to be pretty insane at work, and also on the home front), and as usual, the content hit straight home. 

Here’s an excerpt:

Too many people go around negative and discouraged. They focus on their problems, what they can’t do, and how they’ll never accomplish their dreams. If we’re not careful, that same spirit can rub off on us.

God wants us to have a different kind of spirit, a spirit of faith. When everyone else is complaining and shrinking back in fear, you move forward in faith. Instead of talking defeat, you talk victory. When others are complaining, discouraged and overwhelmed by their problems, you are at peace and full of joy. You have a spring in your step because you know God is in complete control. Even when the giants in our lives look big, we have a different perspective; we know our God is bigger. It may look impossible, but we know God is able.

This was exactly what I needed to hear then, and even more so today, when it feels like all the sh%&t is hitting the fan at work and I just can’t keep up, and feel a bit defeated and ready to just give up. It’s SO unbelievably hard not to let work stresses and aggravation and anxiety get you down, make you want to throw in the towel and not care anymore, but that’s being defeated and not being victorious against these challenges. Why it feels like it was “easier” to get through “the situation” and much more difficult to get through a challenging period of work utterly shocks me, becuase it should be the other way around (or not at all!), and I shouldn’t let it literally ruin my mood, outlook or work quality.

So, instead of truly worrying myself into a hole of futility and paralysis, I’m in desperate need of refocusing, and honing in on just getting through the tough spots, doing my job, and putting my faith and trust in God that I’ll pass this test and move forward in victory, NOT defeat. Care to join me?

different things to a lot of people. I’ve been ruminating on this topic in my mind for  a little while now and just so happened to come across a cluster of blogs on this very topic so I thought it’d be a fitting post for this fine Sunday evening. Wrapping up yet another great weekend and looking forward to the week ahead (hi – date on Tuesday – eek!!) and weekend (trip to NJ – for this wonderful event – separate blog on this later!).

So, what is happiness? A few different items I read capture it nicely:

From aDivorcedWoman: I’m most happy when I know I can tackle anything life has to deal me. When I’m not judging a life situation as good or bad but doable.

From MyRamblings: Happiness is a choice. I firmly believe this, however, there IS a catch. Choosing happiness does not mean you will suddenly and miraculously be happy, always and forever. Once I make the CHOICE to be happy, I must then gather the resources, tools and experience necessary to be happy. When storms come along (i.e. loss of job, death, divorce or perhaps just a really crappy day), I must decide how to weather them. Will I plug along through the storm, will I find shelter and wait for the storm to pass, try to find a way around it or will I give up and make the choice to be unhappy.

For me? Happiness means feeling content with your situation – no matter what. It’s realizing that being unhappy or anxious or stressed out, or any of those feelings that make you UNhappy aren’t really worth it – because where do they get you? A whole lot of nowhere, just um, unhappy! So, I am happy…life has it’s ups and downs and bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s what makes it life and what makes us each stronger. For me, I’d rather find any piece of happiness I can in a crappy day, or when I’m in a bad mood, to give me that kick in the pants of perspective that it could ALWAYS be worse. Always.

So, with that said, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my weekend, not stress about the work-week ahead (or my date! lol!) and be happy. Try it sometime, why don’t ya? It works!