The Good Girl

So, I didn’t move to Hawai’i, even though I really want to.  Sorry I haven’t written in a while but the past several weeks have been quite trying.  The divorce negotiations continue in earnest and hopefully will come to an end soon.  While there are no “knock down drag outs” with my soon-to-be-ex, he’s just not the type to argue, I am finding that the process is draining and more depressing than I ever imagined.   Even though he left, he wanted the divorce, and he is the one with unfettered freedom and time, I am the one who is responsible for working with the lawyer to draw up the papers and divide the life that we built together.

In all honesty, that’s partly my decision.   When he left, he accused me of being controlling.  Mainly because I wanted to pay off debt, save for a rainy day and generally, act like an adult.  He wanted to buy flat screen tv’s and computers and, in my best estimation, act like a teenage boy.  Since I handled the finances and applied for every financial product we ever acquired, handling a divorce naturally falls into my wheelhouse.   But I’m raising “our” son pretty much on my own, and so the amount of time that I have to do grown up marriage-breaking is limited.  Fortunately I have found a wonderful firm in the same building where I manage to work part time.  Today, they commended my attention to detail and commitment to get it right now, so that we don’t have to revisit anything in a few years when there is a disagreement due to lack of specificity.  So, essentially, I was told that my “controlling” nature was a benefit in the arena of grown up contracts negotiation.  That helped a little, but still, I am home on a Friday night, alone, eating chocolate and watching reruns of Frasier.

So what have I been doing to continue my drive towards happiness?  Well just wait til you hear…

I am not controlling, but I am remarkably disciplined.  If someone told me that I needed to complete a list of 73 obscure tasks in order to accomplish or achieve something, I would do them, and I would do them perfectly, whether the accomplishment interested me or not.  I have several rules that I live by, and while some of them are extremely valuable (save for emergencies before buying new shoes, always wear a seatbelt), I have found that many are serving no real purpose, and are even making me unhappy.  For example, for years, I didn’t allow myself to watch movies during the week because to devote two hours to anything that didn’t accomplish something “valuable” was frivolous.  But recently I began to look more closely at the rules I have and how they help, or hurt me.  And I decided that the “no movies during the week” rule was a stupid one.  So I rented a movie.  Then another.  Then another. 

And the world didn’t come to an end, and I didn’t lose the house, and the laundry still got done, and I still made it to work the next day!  I have seen eleven movies in the past two weeks and even saw two on the same night on two occasions.  I also had guacamole for dinner one night and it wasn’t a “well balanced” or “healthy” meal!  And I LIVED!!  Is it a big, life changing thing?  Probably not.  But have I allowed myself a little latitude to enjoy life a bit more and not be so hard on myself?  Yes.  And that’s the point.  I have been very hard on myself for years, maybe decades, and it’s done nothing but make me feel badly about myself.  So I stopped.  Or at least began to apply the brakes.  And it feels great.  It’s a small gesture towards self acceptance but it has made quite a difference.

I am working on a few more projects that I want to tackle, and soon, I’ll post an update on the patio I set up in week one, and my houseguests, who are moving out (it’s a good thing for them!).  I just finished a candy bar that I bought for a fund raiser  (so I was able to let go of my “don’t buy sweets rule”) and I’m listening to a thunderstorm.  I’m not concerned, in the least, that I haven’t washed a load of laundry today, or that the work that I brought home remains undone, or that the dishes remain in the sink.  Because it just doesn’t matter.  I don’t always have to be “doing” something in order to be valuable, worthy, or a “good girl,” or successful.  I can just be me.  Jack’s mama, who is exhausted and sore and just laying in bed. 

And who is still a good person.

Enjoy your weekend….

Maggie

 

6 thoughts on “The Good Girl

  1. Someone recently shared a nugget of truth with me about the whole ‘you are controlling’ issue. No doubt we all struggle with control issues to some degree, but people often misunderstand that there is a difference between controlling and being in control.

    Controlling is saying to the other person, “No, you can’t spend your money on what you want. You need to give it to me so that I can buy what I want.”

    Being in control is just being a responsible steward of the finances you’re blessed with, understanding that being undisciplined with those blessings is not a good thing.

    ‘You are controlling’ is just a big cop-out in the end. It would be much easier for both sides if the other person simply said, “I just don’t share your values because it’s easier/feels better to live MY way, but certainly not your way or God’s way” rather than point the finger in blame. Sadly, our kids lose out because, unless God does a work in our ex’s hearts, our values may never be aligned. And that’s a tough situation to parent a child through.

    I’m sure you’ve prob got a stack of books you’re working your way through, but I just started ‘Wild at Heart’ and it provides some insight into some of the issues you discuss later in your post… and the things we were wired for when we were created. Its certainly helping me and would recommend it when you run out of stuff to read.

    I enjoy the blog and reading about your progress. I know the legal process stinks but it doesn’t take long after things conclude for the healing to begin.

    Blessings

    • Hi BG, Thanks for the comment. I certainly do have a big stack of books, but will gladly add your suggestion to the pile. I am a self-help and self-improvement junkie and haven’t met a book on introspection that I haven’t enjoyed. And you’re right, we can only worry about how we’ll parent our children. I hope that you enjoy the blog and I hope you are able to grow in your journey over the next year, as well. Blessings to you, old friend.

  2. Thank you for sharing your insights-you are speaking to me too!! It’s good for me to be reminded that relaxing the standards can be a good, therapeutic and sometimes necessary thing. And you are more than a good person-you are a wonderful, inspiring, brave person!

  3. I feel as your friend, I’ll be the influence in your life to e a slacker, and waste time and money on frivelous items. You need balance in life, sometimes a splurge is necessary, like a relaxing movie night on a Wednesday. You can’t be “good” all the time.

    • Ah, Dees. Of course, you are the example for me of how to enjoy life, no matter the costs or responsibilities. And that is not a bad thing, at all! I could learn a thing or two from you about enjoying travel and spending some of my “security nest egg” on actually enjoying life. Maybe soon I’ll take a trip as one of my projects…

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