“Easter week I’m coming out to visit you. I already put in my vacation request.”
Husband #2 stated his intentions as we ate lunch together on December 13th, 2014. I remember the date because we were in the Atlanta airport, flying back from a week spent together on the Consolation Cruise. 12/13/14.
No request. No question. Just a statement. I’m coming. You have no choice or input into the matter.
What about my plans? My life?
The sentence kicked off my “You’re not the one for me” declaration. I didn’t want to pull up my boundary in the middle of Buffalo Wild Wings. I didn’t want to cry in public. But there he was, making plans for the two of us without my input, way beyond my “decision” date for our future together.
This was no surprise bombshell. Up to that point, I’d been completely transparent about what I expected in order to stay in contact:
Either we start the process of coming together or I will no longer participate in this pseudo-relationship
As you know, he wasn’t interested in coming together (whatever the reasons, it really doesn’t matter) and I decided to drop my end of the rope.
Now, 3½ months after that conversation, I’m at the prodigal week.
Leading up to this Easter Sunday is the period known as Lent. For Christians, it’s a time to think about our personal habits and give up something enjoyable as a way to emulate a greater sacrifice that was made for us.
Husband #2 and I usually gave up going out to eat for Lent. As someone who enjoyed her Wednesday morning diner French toast and weekend pizza, nixing all restaurants for 40 days is a big deal.
But since Husband #2’s departure, my eating out days have dwindled down to levels where it’s not really a sacrifice to give it up. What else was on the chopping block?
Alcohol consumption? Nope. I think I’ve had 10 glasses of wine at home since Husband #2’s departure.
Manicures? Pedicures? Not an issue since I purchased my Red Carpet gel kit and do these myself.
Shopping? Not really. My focus has been to clean out the house, not add to the clutter. Plus I’ve got kids in college and a desire to retire at a young-ish age. My money is tucked away for future pleasures.
Smoking? Never have, never will. I’m starting to sound like Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes”.
Traveling? The first quarter of the year had only one trip (see reasons for not shopping above)… Now if Lent occurred in the summer months… THAT would be a sacrifice!
Exercising? We’re supposed to give up something pleasurable. No matter how much I try to convince myself that exercise is great and get that endorphin high, it’s just not coming. Exercise is a torture I slog through twice a day because it’s good for my health, not a candidate for Lent. (Personal note: Still down 55lbs and the other day I dropped to a new low weight… and I still don’t like exercising).
No worthy habit to give up this year… So instead of denial, I went with reward.
I decided to save 10% more than my monthly goal. I decluttered by tackling two tough house areas: the basement and the outbuilding. I practiced patience with everyone I came in contact with and took the time to share knowledge even when it took me off of my main task. I cooked and baked for other people, which rewarded me in the areas of kindness and adventure and experimentation.
And I worked my way through a towering stack of books on my nightstand, which fed my thirst for knowledge and helped me to learn a little more about the great wide world and the people on it.