I’ve been writing and reflecting on this post for awhile. I’ve not known what to call it or really how to get it out. It’s explored a few things I’ve been musing over and trying to deal with for awhile. It’s about what I’ve learnt, what I regret or wish I’d done differently and how I want to move on and be better. It’s about learning to live in the moment, be a better friend and accept the situation I’m in. A few different things have made me reflect on what the past year has taught me and despite in someways it being a successful year, I do wish somethings were different and that I’d handled things differently. I’ve written a lot about how successful I have been in coping and how many people have stepped up and been there for me and how I’ve started to rebuild my life. However, have I always been as good a friend as I could be, have I always lived in the moment and enjoyed rebuilding my life back up or have I gone through motions? Have I been too wrapped up in getting over my marriage ending and focused so much on myself that I’ve not actually moved on as much as I could have? The answer is essentially no I have haven’t always done “right” so to speak but to a certain extent I’ve needed to go through this to learn from it.
When I first left my husband, for awhile I ran on adrenaline, a lot was happening, a lot needed sorting and I was focused on getting stuff done. Then I was focused on surviving, I needed to know I could cope in the practical sense, could I go back to work, juggle being a mum and employee, keep the house clean, maintain my daughter’s physical and mental well being. Through this period I went into overdrive, I wanted to feel better, happier and less lonely. I wanted support from friends and family and for the loneliness, stress and sadness at what I wanted my life and marriage to be failing, to go away. I started “doing stuff” I booked concert tickets, girls trips away and a few things for me in attempt to feel like I was building my life back up. But was I really? Or were these things superficial.
To an extent they were superficial and over the last 6 months I have realised this and started to become aware of a big mistake I’ve made in moving on. I’ve gone through the motions of moving on, I’ve focused so much on moving on that I’ve failed to and until recently I’ve not always lived in the moment and focused on enjoying what’s happening now. I’ve missed out on a lot, yes I’ve done things and seen people but often I’ve avoided the small things, I’ve skipped a cuppa at a friend’s house or not gone out for tea, avoided a simple play date or walk to the park. Not because I had anything against the people opening their arms to me, but because I’ve sometimes been too upset and stressed or over tired to be around them, because I’ve been too wrapped up in finalising my divorce and coming to terms with what I’ve been through to actually give people the time and attention they deserve, to allow them to let me enjoy being with them. This then meant that the bigger stuff like the night away or girls night out, has become sometimes an issue of anxiety for me, I’ve also not wanted to go and have not felt ready or in the mental space to. More recently I have been able to though and it’s been nice to genuinely smile and join in fun with friends, it’s been nice to genuinely socialise and focus on the friends I have around me and be in the moment with them and it’s now at this point that I’m feeling ready to genuinely move on.
I guess really what I’ve constantly done is put a time limit on things, when I prove to myself I could get through going back to work I’d feel better, when I prove to myself I can have a social life I’d feel better, when I prove I can be happy then I’d be happy. But in doing all this, I never actually was achieving what I wanted because essentially all I needed to do was relax, accept my new life as a single mum and let everything click into place. I needed to live in the moment and focus on what was happening there and then. In not doing so I’ve missed out, I’ve not been able to enjoy the company of those I care about or share in their joys or support them in their worries. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had elements of this and have done it but not necessarily to the full extent.
I’m a great believer in getting enjoyment out of other people’s happiness and that being a good friend is about things being a two way street and sharing good and bad times together. I’ve said many times in this blog how lucky I am, going through the loss of my Dad and the end of my marriage has shown me how many people I have there for me. I’ve had so many people do all they can to make me feel supported and tell me if I need anything I can just say. But I’ve not always known exactly what I need from them and really what I’ve needed is their friendship and them to help me not feel lonely, how do you ask for that though? No one can take away those feelings, no one can do it for you. Really what I needed to do is live up to what I believe as a friend. I needed to invest in those around me, I needed to live in the moment. I was so focused on needing people to be there for me, I forgot to be there for them. I was so wrapped up in needing people and needing to feel better that I didn’t allow myself to see what was going on around me.
My circle, my support network, those close to me have had lots going on, some have had tough times with work stresses, job loses and illnesses, some have had wonderful times, a few good friends have got engaged, some have announced pregnancies and births, some have moved into new beautiful homes, got married or achieved great things in their careers. I have been happy for them and have always expressed how pleased I am, but have I truly taken the time to enjoy the moment with them as I once would have? No I don’t think I have, I’ve missed out on seeing them happy and sharing their magical moments with them because I’ve spent the past year distracted by the cloud hanging over me. I’ve enabled the cloud to hang over me though, I’ve not allowed myself to focus on enjoying life because I’ve almost used it as a crutch and an excuse. Moving on is hard work and takes some effort and letting the logistics and stresses of moving on get in the way of living life has prevented me from moving on.
It’s only really in the past few weeks that I’ve realised this, it’s only recently that I’ve had this light bulb moment of realising that as well as I am doing, I’m standing in my own way of getting better. I’m not just letting myself live my life with those important to me and those around me, I’m still entrapping myself in the situation I walked away from by allowing it to cloud things and distract me from what is happening now. It’s not about me and my marriage or divorce anymore, it’s about me and my family and friends, it’s about us and sharing our lives together. It’s not about dwelling over the past and what I’ve been through or worrying about what might happen next. It’s about living in the moment for what is happening now with the people in my life now.