"Hey Ei, you've been awfully quiet, whatcha been up to?"
I cocked my head and thought about it for a moment. I thought about telling her about how blissfully uneventful my summer had been, how I'd been spending a lot of time reflecting on who I am and what I'm doing with my life, how unhappy I've been with the answers and yet lacking the resolve to change them. I thought about telling her how I'm actually caught up on laundry, but the rest of lives has been slipping away. I considered saying a whole lot more. But the visual of having to call a paramedic to summon her from a coma after bearing my soul to her was pretty painful. So I smiled and shrugged, "Y'know. Kids." Her eyes flicker with recognition. She doesn't have any kids. "Yeah, I guess I do."
Two years ago I found myself wandering familiar terrain, single life, with a whole new set of rules...children, an ex-husband, an aging post childbearing body, and very little curiosity for anything left. At the time a friend told me that the hardest part would be when all the loving kind support I'd received had gone home and tucked in, when the children settled down, and I had to actually look it all in the eye. That took longer than I expected, but that's where I've been. Well, I've been there for awhile. The distractions of life have been plentiful...and my own mad skills at avoidance, well they are pretty amazing.
But more and more lately, I am reminded that I have a long life in front of me, and as much as I love my children, making my life about them would set us all up for frustration...me, them, and certainly their father and the people in his new life. The thing is, my kids are making remarkable progress, growing and stretching in their lives now. They'll always have a hole in their hearts for what they have lost, but now is the time for them both to flex the muscles they've gained from the hard work of recovering. And maybe it is time for me to start too.
Damn it. Didn't want to be sappy. Sorry it is a habit I'll have to work on.
So there is step one of having a weird, quiet, good, moody summer. Admitting you have a problem. Step two is figuring out what to do about it. There isn't a local chapter of "I Got a Divorce and Never Quite Got Around to Getting a Life Anonymous." I don't do bars (thankfully). I don't have all consuming hobbies. I could, I suppose look at all this as a failure. I'm choosing instead to look at it as a blank slate to be filled with beauty and thought. And it's all mine. Let's do this thing.