If you’ve read any of my posts prior to this new me blog, then you know that this is not where I expected to be. I never expected to be a divorcee. I never thought that I would be restarting my life at age 40. This is not what I planned.
But I’ve learned something in the past couple of years:
Life doesn’t give a shit what you planned. At all.
I think John Lennon said it best:
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
I had a plan. I knew that I was going to be married to the same man (not happily, but still), and we were going to see it through to his retirement. We were going to buy a house and settle into a neighborhood and make friends and be happy. Life was going to take us to where we were planning on going. I was going to teach and he was going to do something with his degree (that was vague because he didn’t even know what he wanted to do) and we were going to see our kids off to college and live there the rest of our lives.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, life got in the way.
Life is rarely, if ever, smooth or nice or predictable. Things happen. People happen. People change and make your life different because of it.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. He is a perfect example of being somewhere he never expected to be, ever. A good man, he is, one of the best. He made a mistake and now he’s sitting in jail because of it. He made a mistake and he’s paying the piper for what he did.
Some time before he got into trouble, his marriage fell apart. He likes to take most of the blame, but I told him that it takes two to work at a marriage and neither of them were willing to work hard enough. As his marriage was falling apart, he was sent to Afghanistan for a tour of duty there. While he was there, he met a woman.I asked him if it was love at first sight. He said, completely without irony, that it was. He stated that they tried to ignore it, that he was going to try to fix what was going wrong at home. But then his ex-wife left, taking the kids and most of their possessions, and there was nothing left to save.
He decided to give it a go with this “once-in-a-lifetime” woman that he had chanced to meet while at war.
Fast forward and he’s in jail and she’s retired from the military. She moved to a town to be closer to where he is incarcerated and has been having a hard time of it for the past year or so. Things haven’t worked out the way that she expected and it’s harder on her to have him where he can’t physically support her while she’s out there.
He told me that he spoke to her the other day and she said, “If things don’t change soon, we’re going to be homeless!”
Now, this upset me on a couple of levels. First, your love is in jail. This is a shitty place to be. He doesn’t need the extra stress that your whining creates. Also, delivering that last line with a good dose of, “It’s your fault that I’m here!” really sucks. I mean, seriously? Secondly, I asked if she was working. He stated, “No, she’s not. She expected to be with me at my next duty station and be a stay-at-home-mom.”
Seriously? I didn’t expect to be a 40-year-old divorcee living in a damn trailer in the northeast with frozen pipes and no money in my bank account.
But what you expect and what you get are very often two different things.
I’m not ragging on stay-at-home mom’s at all. Don’t get me wrong. But what the hell is wrong with this woman that she has decided that she would rather lament what should have been rather than rolling with the punches and standing up on her own two feet? This woman retired as a senior enlisted from the military. She’s obviously a capable person, who commanded troops. Get off your damn ass and get a job!
And, honestly, making the man that you proclaim to love feel even more guilty about where he is is not fair to him in the least. Stop whining and be a capable woman and take care of yourself.
I just don’t understand that at all. I mean, my situation right now is pretty crappy. Hell, it’s been a pretty cruddy couple of years.
But I don’t have the luxury to sit around and lament my situation. I have to get up and change it. I have to keep soldiering on. If for no other reason than my kids.
The choice is always up to you. Always.
Sometimes, moving upwind is a lot harder than sitting there in the stench. But if life were easy, it wouldn’t really belife, would it? It would be some kind of game where you could call “Mulligan!” whenever you screwed up.
But life isn’t a golf game. You can’t sit there and play, “What if?” with you life. Correction: you could. But what would it gain you? How is that moving your life forward?
How is that making you a better, stronger person than the one you are today?
You have a choice. You can sit there in the stench or you can pick yourself up and chose to move forward. Away from that which is toxic, away from things and people that do nothing to help you become a better person.
Remember, the choice is always yours.
Personally, I don’t know of anyone’s poo that actually smells like roses.
Would you like to join me in moving upwind?