Marriage Defined Life
I was married for 18 years. Sometimes it was good. Sometimes it wasn’t. But it defined life.
He often made bad decisions and I had to deal with the consequences. This stressed me out. But…
I never had to stress about who I was spending the holidays with.
I Like Being Alone
I am happier without him. I thought of sending him a thank you card for divorcing me. But that would be a mean, petty thing to do. And we’re still sort of friends. Why rock the boat?
These days, I only have to deal with my own bad choices. I make mistakes but I feel confident that I’ll handle whatever happens.
I enjoy my freedom and my friendships. I’ve got more friends now and I relate to them in deeper ways. I am seldom alone unless I want to be. I often do. I cherish my alone time. I’m not sure if that makes me an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert. But I love the balance my life has found.
The Holidays are Different
Thanksgiving and Christmas are about family.
When I was married, there were three of us — Mom, him and me. That was enough. Now it’s just the two of us…
My ex and I still talk. We shared a lot over 18 years. It’s good to laugh together over old memories. But we’re not family anymore. We can’t spend the holidays together. So what fills the vacuum he’s left behind?
Should I join friends? But I don’t want to be the awkward third wheel at their family event.
I do have a friends who are like family. Unfortunately, they live across the country. I would need to fly to visit them, and Mom won’t fly.
I Have to Leave the Past Behind
My ex and I had traditions. We made an organic turkey for Thanksgiving and hung up stockings for Christmas. My Mom doesn’t eat turkey, though, and two stockings don’t fill the space the way three did.
I need to move on but figuring out how is tough.
I’ve thought about scheduling special “me” time, but it seems contrived. I could volunteer, but what about Mom?
She is turning 80 soon. Maybe she should be my focus.
Can I replace my anger at my ex with gratitude for my mother? I don’t know if I can manage it. But I will try. I want to experience joy for the holidays. I deserve it.