Divorce Lesson 6

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December has been a ridiculously busy month. I worked hard on finishing a children’s nonfiction book on Russia that I was hired to write. We had a holiday arts & craft sale at our art gallery that took a lot of work. Bob and I took a 2-night trip out of town for R&R. Someone in the family had surgery, requiring days of recovery and care-taking. Plenty of social events too. Also gearing up for big changes in our living situations (hard). And oh yeah, all that getting-ready-for-Christmas business.

It’s still an emotional time around here, too. While my feelings aren’t as raw as the first month, I still feel the roller-coaster effect of riding high for a while and then plummeting down, and increasing calm spells. I’m learning to allow ALL the feelings to flow in a way I never have before– sadness, anger, grief, fear, and yes, even joy. The mask that I wore for so much of my life, the one that covered all my feelings so I could keep up a pleasing façade—that mask has fallen to the ground and shattered. I’m feeling rather oddly new…

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Divorce Lesson #5

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Technically, this Thanksgiving was the dreaded First Holiday. Maybe next year will be more drastically different since our living situation will have changed and we’ll be further down this road, but this year, with all the divorce-talk, the holiday has certainly had a different feel.

I’m a planner, a list-maker, a researcher. I like to figure things out, sometimes to my detriment, but often it is a strength. So weeks ago, as I saw Thanksgiving looming, I knew it would in some ways *be* different, and I wanted to make it even *more* different. Which brings me to lessons I learned this year as I did so…

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Divorce Lesson #4

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The last several days have felt like something is calming down inside me. After many weeks of only a few days between waves of utter despair, this has been a nice, unexpected turn for me. Some of you may know from my Facebook post that I had a really rough day last Monday. Through all the support I received, more discussions with Bob, and my own journaling/processing, it all helped me to crawl up on another shore. I can’t predict where I’ll be next week, but for now, there is a softness and a relief.

One theme has been emerging for me, first poking its head up tentatively, and now becoming stronger as the weeks go by. When thinking about what I might write about next, this topic stood up, waving its hand wildly, and as I jotted down some notes, it practically wrote itself. So this brings me to the next lesson I’ve been learning…

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And Now for Something Completely Different

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Today I’m taking a break from the Subject of the Month to write about something new. Just shortly after My Life Changed Big-Time, I threw caution to the wind and decided to sign up for an improv class. Improv comedy has always intrigued me– I’ve gone to many performances over the years, I know a lot of people who do it, AND it scares the sh*% out of me. I’m not a person who feels comfortable doing public speaking. Even speaking one-on-one with a person who is a little bit intimidating can make my mind blank out, and I’ll have no idea what I was going to say.

I’m a writer, so communicating on paper comes completely naturally to me. The words flow, and I can free-write a la Natalie Goldberg til the cows come home (which is actually a bit improvisational, writing whatever comes to mind with no editing, and my mind and pen have no trouble with that). But I still remember the complete and utter panic I felt the night before teaching classes on National Novel Writing Month with my friend Sherri at The Loft. I knew my subject matter really well, but I was practically paralyzed and adrenalized with fear before and during the class.

So, when the Community Ed catalog showed up in my mail box…

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