My comfortable life blew up in my face several weeks ago when my marriage fell apart. At first I felt like I had suffered a physical attack and was completely knocked off my feet, I kept feeling like I was having a nightmare and wanted to wake up, I was standing outside my life and looking on, almost in a dream state. It took three or four days before reality set in, then I started to plan ahead.
I slowly began to realize that this was not unique, this had happened to millions of people before me and would happen to many others. The will to survive kicked in and I started to look ahead and count my blessings, of which I had many.
Four wonderful daughters were the first line of defence. They gathered round me like a small army, insulted and offended that our family harmony had been breached. I had brought them up to be strong women and now they reminded me that I myself was a strong woman and had a good future. I am lucky enough to have one of them living in Oliver and she and her husband are a great support.
Terrific friends were the second army, messages of support and encouragement came from every direction, all with the same words, you can and will make a new life and we are here to help you.
I was so fortunate to be at that stage in my life when I really had nobody to think about but myself, no young children to worry about supporting, good health and a strong will to surge forward and, luckily, enough money to manage without worrying about my future.
First off, I took stock of my surroundings. I had to move from this home but definitely not from this town. Here I felt rooted and strong. I decided I wanted the safety of apartment
living so I could have the luxury of locking up and leaving without the fear of being broken into. This unfortunately means losing my beautiful yard, which gives me so much pleasure, but I can make do with pots of flowers and knick knacks on my new deck. If I need to get my hands into dirt I can work in the community garden or join the garden club and volunteer to weed the grounds in senior’s residences.
A helpful agent showed me several places and I found what I wanted. My eldest daughter arrived from the coast so, on the second viewing, I was accompanied by two daughters and a son in law to do an inspection of my possible new home. All agreed that it would be a good move and was not just an impulse buy. I put in an offer and it was accepted, and now I am just waiting for approval for a bridging loan.
My eldest daughter, who has always been nicknamed “the good daughter” by her siblings, stayed with me for eight days and what a blessing she was. Between the two of us we opened and emptied cupboards and drawers that contained half a lifetime full of clutter. What a load of unnecessary stuff we hide behind closed doors.
We would empty one shelf at a time and I would make three piles, one for me, one for Dave and one for the thrift store. All the items I wanted were packed in boxes and labelled. Day after day we repeated this process until we had purged all my belongings in the home. As I cleaned each shelf and returned the stuff that was to stay I felt like I was cleaning my life of clutter too. While we worked, we talked and we both shed many tears but also had many reminisces about good times shared as a family. I was indeed so fortunate to have such great memories. We did not touch any of Dave’s stuff, that is something for him to deal with and maybe shed tears of his own.
It is amazing what we accumulate over the years, the things that we think are important, but are really just items that remind us of good times. With or without the momentos, these memories stay treasured in our hearts and minds, we can take them out and play with them whenever we like.
When my daughter went home eight days later I was thoroughly cried out, the house was cleaned, all my boxes for the new home were stored in a spare room and I felt like a new person. The horrible feeling of doom, in my chest, had gone. It had felt like a hand clutching my heart, but now it was gone and I felt light hearted for the first time in months.
I got a haircut, bought some new clothes and felt ready to face the world anew. Life will be different but there are exciting possibilities round every corner. I will paint my new bedroom in girlie colours, hang pretty towels in the bathroom that will not get dropped on the floor and decorate with pretty things that do not get scorned as “crap”. My new life in my new home is something to look forward to. I know there will be many alone times but this doesn’t mean I shall be lonely.
Will I be looking for a new love?, I really do not think so but, if I get asked out for coffee or lunch I will probably jump at the chance, however he need not take his shoes off at the door, he will not be staying….