How long have all of you guys been divorced? Me? Let’s see uh officially about 13.5 years, we were separated for like 6-8 months before that, so we can call it about 14 years.
Holy crap, 14 years?! It’s been a long journey. In 14 years of divorce some people have already had a second marriage come and go. Maybe even a third too, who knows. Elizabeth Taylor had four marriages in one fourteen year period. I’d better get it in gear, eh?
A lot has changed. The first six months of being divorced, I could never ever ever see myself in the comfortable spot I am right now. Comfortable with myself that is, not like I have some cushy life or anything. The first six months to like, I don’t know like the 7th year, I was bat-shit crazy. Slightly less bat-shit with every year, but nonetheless crazy. That first 3 years I probably should have been locked up.
I think most of the craziness was having to raise three very young kids by myself and never having time to relax, or grieve, or even think. It was always worry, panic, worry, panic, worry, panic. With a couple interludes of drunk in between.
This came to light the other day when I was looking through some old stuff, my daughter instructed me how to put the “Time Hop” app on my phone. Do you know what that is? It’s an app that goes back to see what you wrote on social media on that day, 1, 2,3, 4, and 5 years ago. Yes, incredibly useful other than to show how I’ve embarrassed myself over time. But when I first started looking at the 3-5 year ago posts I realized how incredibly different my life is these days.
Different how, you might ask? Well I’m far less of a whiny pain in the ass, that’s for sure. But well for starters, my kids were younger. Now 2 out of the 3 drive, the third one has 4 months left ’til she can. One is out of the house at college, with number 2 about to leave the nest after this year. Five years ago I had one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary. All played sports, and instruments, and had doctor, orthodonist, and eye appointments all the time. I was driving morning noon and night. Always at home, unless I had a rare moment where the high schooler was home and could watch the other two. My youngest couldn’t even get off the bus if I wasn’t home, and I couldn’t go to work until she got on in the morning.
Now if I want to go to happy hour after work, I do. I can have a schedule that revolves a little more around me and my work than the kids. I mean I still have to be home to make sure people are fed and homework is done but the oldest has a car and it’s not the end of the world if I can’t get home on time. They are perfectly capable of making their own food in case I have a function. But putting dishes in the dishwasher seems to be something they just can’t do without me. One day, I can only hope.
So having all this freedom, you think I’d be coming and going and bouncing off the walls. No. Ya’ know how my kids being more independent has made me feel? Tired. Damn tired. Before I would never stop because I was like a humming bird, I wouldn’t stop moving, I couldn’t I would die, well the family would die. I had to be constantly taking care of someone and finding money to provide for us.
Now I’m just realizing how absolutely fucking tired I am. Cooking? I am so over that. I find myself bringing home take out more often. Partying? I’m tired. Cocktails until about 9:00 or 10:00 is about my speed. Although I could rally if something really interesting was going on, I can still do a 2:00am if need be. Unless there is something good on Bravo, that is. I do clean a tiny bit more just because I don’t feel so overwhelmed anymore. With little kids there was no point, the shit was just gonna’ accumulate in 15 minutes again anyway.
No, I haven’t taken up any new things that I want to do for me. I’m not re-finishing furniture, or going to yoga, or rescuing dogs or teaching immigrants English as a second language. Ya’ know what I’m doing? Oh! I know what it’s like! When Forest Gump runs for three years, two months, fourteen days and sixteen hours and then all the sudden he just stops and says “I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go home now” That’s it! That’s what it’s like! All of a sudden, I’m tired. I’m done. I’m sitting, that’s what I’m doing. I’ve known a few people in my life who have been primary care takers around the clock for someone who was terminally ill. Soon after each person passed and all the dust settled, that person went to sleep. And slept and slept and slept. After my Father died, my Mother would sleep like 16 hours a day for months, she was also 86 at the time. Then she passed. She was really really tired.
No, I haven’t given up being a good parent… well except maybe for that making wonderful home-cooked meals thing. I just kind of feel like I’m “feeling” for the first time in many years. I didn’t have time to process for so long because I was too busy, so here I am… now. And one of the things I feel most is… tired. Night night.