the love of lists…

So life is a bit in flux right now.

For someone like me who likes order (colour coded preferably) this is quite traumatic. So I’m obsessively making lists.

For someone like me who likes to try and focus on the positive (and get a grip on the crap) this is hard. So I’m obsessively searching for the light in the current gloom.

For someone like me who likes to find solutions (or a road map at least) this is frightening. So I’m obsessively trying to focus on what my future will look like.

So, here is my obsessive list of positive (and crap) things about getting separated to help me find a way to the future.

The good things about being separated.

  •  My children are seeing more of their dad (ironically) and blossoming from quality time with him.
  • My dinner can now be just two glasses of wine and three packets of Doritos (if i want). Or I can eat chicken mango salad every night (if I want).
  • I have time. Time to think (see also bad points), time to write, time to work, time to relax, time to read, time to do all those ‘jobs’ around the house there is never time for. Now there is time. (Though still ain’t doing those jobs…)
  • I can write. Book Number 1 is finished and is on a dating dance with agents. I am 10,000 words into Book Number 2. I have an outline of Book Number 3.
  • I can invest time in being a writer and all that that entails – I am blogging, and building a community of on-line comrades (my family got smaller but my world got bigger), going out to literary events, tweeting and twittering and immersing myself in a world I didn’t have time or energy for before
  • I own myself
  • I realise how loved I am, and how amazing my friends are (I always knew it but now I know it!)
  • Despite the brutality of the situation and the grief that comes with it, I feel lighter. I am no longer investing most of my energies trying to fix a marriage that is unfixable. I am no longer venting my anger and frustration at being unseen and unheard on someone who could not see or hear me. My energies are spent in creativity and making my girls smile.
  • I am getting a kitten. (So there!)
  • I can sleep without ear plugs (no more snoring….)
  • I know I am strong. I’m relearning that I’m also a nice person again, not the horrible person I assumed I must be.
  • I am back.

The bad things about getting separated.

  • The silence. For ten years I have craved it, and now there is too much. 4pm-5pm on their day with Daddy seems to be the most silent of all.  And pretty much all of Sunday afternoon.
  • The time. I have gone from having none, to having too much. But, I will find ways to fill it (see good points above)
  • The loss of friendships. Everyone is lovely and so supportive, but at the end of the day the people that were his friends and family that I have grown to love over time will eventually stop texting. He gets full custody of them.
  • Saying goodbye to the girls in a smiley high-pitched voice when they are leaving for the day, and my dog nuzzling my legs and wagging his tail as he knows I’m sad but he gets me all to himself now.
  • Going to bed every night by myself…(did I mention I’m getting a kitten?)
  • Seeing my marriage divided out on an excell spreadsheet – this day is mine, that day is his, this furniture is mine, that is his, this money is mine, that is his.
  • 4am
  • Having to admit how much I spend on Amazon and then having to delete the Amazon app from my phone. (Did I really buy that many books last year??)

 Things about getting separated that are just so brutal I can barely breath

  • Hearing from Teacher that my daughter told the class her parents had separated.
  • My girls crying.
  • That I face a life alone.
  • 4am

There are things there that I cannot change.  But there are things there that I can.

There are things there that scare me.  But there are things there that excite me.

There are things there I will take with me.  And there are things there I will leave behind.

A colour coded list, with positive solutions. Phew. I feel better already…..

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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2 Responses to the love of lists…

  1. Cathy says:

    Hugs, Alana. Things really do get better, you learn to love the silence more than dread the lonelies when they are with him. Your bullet point “own myself” will move to the top of the good list.

    I am on round two, for a good long time now, and we hit our hitches, but know we are in this together, that still matters, even when it seems like it might not some days. Honestly, though, sometimes I miss my single mom days, and what I don’t have of them now that was good, not having to negotiate absolutely everything six ways (big family of independent thinkers) for one! I was large and in charge. 🙂

    Enjoy being able to be completely you, discover yourSELF again.



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