Archive for September, 2010

Delightful twists

True, not every twist appears to be delightful at first glance, but almost every one of them has something to offer — if I am open to it. After separating well over a year ago, things were quiet for a while, but over the past few months, my still-husband and I have had a lot to talk about. We were concerned about our daughter, and felt the necessity of working together to help her.

Recently our talks changed, and we began to talk about us — how things had been, what went wrong, what we want. We established a new basis for communication. The twist there is the two-year continuing education program. First it gave me the strength to move out, now it has given me the necessary tools to improve communication. Who would have thought? I always said it was a “time out” — though at first I tended to think it was the end of our marriage.

In July he suggested we go on a family vacation in August. I asked the kids, and both answered with enthusiasm — without a trace of hesitation. We spent a week together in Croatia. Things were relaxed, laid back, and everybody had a good time.

Meanwhile, it seems that our daughter is getting back on track. It sure took a while! And I have prospects for a new job in the same organization — my dream job! The funny thing is, I never would have joined this organization if it hadn’t been for a coincidential meeting a couple of years ago with my future boss. A few days ago I told her of the possibility and that I have an interview on Tuesday. She is sure I’ll get the job. Then she laughed: “Imagine if I hadn’t offered you the job two years ago. You’d probably still be sitting at home and not have the confidence to apply for a job.” I ruefully agreed.

Two years ago I felt trapped and everything seemed hopeless. I hadn’t had a paying job in 18 years and doubted whether anyone would give me the opportunity to start working. But because I was unhappy in my marriage, I knew I needed a job. It was my plan to regain my independence — step by step. One day I told a close friend: “I need a job.” Two days later my prospective boss happened to drink coffee with her and complain that she was looking for a new employee, but just couldn’t find the right one. My friend called me up and the rest is history.

The school program has an emphasis on communication, and each monthly session has a main focus. Last week it was about the family — our family of origin as well as the immediate family. In preparation, we were asked to bring some family photographs. I perused the old albums and it struck me to observe the smiling faces of my children on dozens of pictures.

Over the past couple of years, I have felt sad and guilty about all the parenting mistakes I made and how they suffered because of our dysfunctional marriage. I tended to focus on the negative. As I looked at those pictures, I felt happy. There were a lot of good memories. And the thought occurred to me: Maybe it really is that they are simply in adolescence, and that is a rough time for everyone! In any case, I felt better than I had before I opened the albums.

I feel happy and blessed. Life is full of ups and downs, but during another school session with the focus on crisis, I learned that crisis is an opportunity for growth. Since then, I tend to view my crises with a more welcoming attitude. Sometimes I even joke to myself: “I wonder what this one has to offer!” It helps me get through the more difficult moments.

The main emphasis of this program is process-oriented. I have adopted this approach and view almost everything as a process — whether it be a relationship, childrearing, my job, housework, or just a conversation. Whatever. That has been very helpful, as I used to get really stuck in the “now” and not see a way out. When things get tough, I remind myself: “I’m in a process.” It helps tremendously. In fact, it has become a coping mechanism.

Sure, I still get excited and impatiently wonder how things will turn out, but that’s part of life. Just because I have found a helpful way of dealing with things doesn’t mean I don’t feel anything.

Well, those are just my thoughts as I’m getting ready to call it a day. Only two and a half days until the interview! Okay, chill out and trust the universe.


September 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm 2 comments

What's on my mind