Emancipation Proclamation

LincolnI’m getting divorced.

That’s kind of hard to say out loud. We’ve told family and friends and now I’m trying to get comfortable forming the words to others. Trying to settle into this reality. So, yeah. Divorce.

I’ve spent countless hours with it, twisting and turning all the whats and whys in my mind. I haven’t slept very well for many weeks and often prowl the house cleaning things in the wee hours of the night. My house has never been so clean.

I have the mind of an analyst in that I need to poke and prod something until I understand it, so I’ve been poking and prodding my life quite a lot lately. You see, this is my 2nd divorce.  I feel like I should have to walk the earth with one of those big pointy hats. DUNCE! FAILURE! What the hell is wrong with you, lady?

That first one I found a way to forgive myself for. After all, I married him at the wise age of 18 while I held our baby in my arms. And while 18 year olds think they know everything, they rarely do. Marrying was a poor choice then. He and I were not on the same page. Hell, we weren’t even on the same planet most of the time.  So, on that one, I’m calling a mulligan.

This one has been very different. Eyes wide open and all that. I wasn’t an innocent lamb when I married him. And we have been married for over 22 years. So clearly a lot of poking and prodding has been necessary to try to understand this.  You may get a pass in blaming one divorce on the other party, but don’t try to pull that shit with two divorces. Time to look inside and figure out your own culpability, missy.

Don’t worry – I’m not brave enough to tell you all the things I did wrong, all the ways I fell short. My ego isn’t strong enough for that and, besides, you have things to do – you can’t sit around for days reading about my many shortcomings. (Right? Because if you can, tell me if you want them alphabetical or grouped by category. I’ll get right on it.)

As I travel through this 2nd divorce, I have thought long and hard about a few things and have made some decisions for myself. This, then, is my emancipation proclamation. It’s not about being emancipated from the marriage; it’s about emancipating myself from the some aspects of me that were (are) not working.

I’m going to be more selfish and less apologetic about it.

I have spent my life mired in the grey areas. I see both sides, always. And so I waffle. (Yum, waffles. BRB.)  That grey-area thing makes me very empathetic to others. This is often seen as a very good quality but it can also muck things up. It can make a person wishy-washy. It can cause a person to do what others want instead of what is best. So that’s gotta change.

I’m going to do what is best instead of what others want.

I am going to trust my gut more when it screams “No!” and second-guess myself less.

And when my gut screams “Yes!”, well, I might get a second opinion just be be careful.

I am going to work harder to see things more black and white. Not completely black and white, I will always leave a margin of error, but I can’t stay stuck in the middle. I have to pick a side.

I will no longer, from a position of pity for others,  make decisions that negatively impact me or my family. I will stand firm with  the choice that is best for us.

If I have made a decision that I later realize has a negative impact on me or my family, I will be brave enough to rectify it in spite of the fallout that may come from doing so, even if it causes pain to those I love. We will get through it.

I will stand firm in my own beliefs and, because of that, I will be more consistent and dependable to those who need consistency and dependability from me. They may not always like my positions or my decisions, in fact I can guarantee they will not, but they won’t be surprised when I stand firm inside them.

Lastly, if I’m hungry in the middle of the night, I’ll get something to eat.

OK, that last one has nothing to do with the emancipation proclamation, but I thought I’d sneak it in because sometimes I get hungry in the middle of the night. All this 3AM cleaning works up an appetite. I want waffles.

Anyway, this proclamation probably doesn’t impact you in any way unless you were going to ask me to borrow money or to foster your pet monkey for the summer or something.  And if you were? NO!

(How’d I do??)

 

 

By |December 4th, 2015|Indiscriminate Drivel|Comments Off on Emancipation Proclamation

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

cocoa puffsToday is it. The first day of the rest of your life. WELL? Are you going to do something with it, you lazy bum? No pressure.

Still, keep in mind that tomorrow is also the first day of the rest of your life. So is the day after that, and the next one and the next one. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself today is what I’m saying. Plenty of time… plenty of time.

I quit my job. You might have read about that. My last day was Friday, just a couple of short days ago. This is my first Monday without a job so, of course, my brain was up at 5AM.

Brain: Hey, Linda? Linda! Wake up.

Me: It’s 5AM, Brain. Go to sleep.

Brain: But no. Hi. Wake up. Guess what? YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB.

Me: Yeah, I know. Kinda the point of quitting.

Brain: You said you weren’t going to squander this time off. You were going to write, you were going to exercise, you were going to clean your closets. Why are you sleeping? GET UP!

Me: Plenty of time for that. Maybe 7AM would be good – pencil it in.

Brain: But 7AM is 2 hours from now. I can’t wait that long. I neeeeeeeeeeeed you, Linda. Get up!!

Me: I swear to God, Brain, if you don’t go back to sleep, I’m going to take the blue pill!

Brain: No, not the blue pill! Whatever you do, don’t take the blue pill! I’ll behave, I swear. I’ll just be over here mentally alphabetizing your spice rack. You go right back to sleep. I’ll be quiet as a church mouse. I won’t make a peep. I solemnly swear to stop having anxiety attacks over your chickens before they hatch. I shall serve no wine before its time. OH MY GOD THE WEIRD SWIRLING THOUGHTS WON’T STOP!

It might sound like I regret quitting my job, but that’s not true. I mean, look at all of you having to wake up right now and shower and get ready for work while I’m sitting here with no pants on writing on my blog. No regrets. I may forgo pants all summer. It will become known as The Summer of No Pants, and after a 72-hour involuntary psyche-ward hold in September, I might be ready to join society again as a productive member.

Part of quitting my job was to write more, so here I am.  I meant I would work on my book (I intend to finish my book, but shhhhh – I don’t want you guys to hold me to such a lofty expectation so let’s stick with ‘work on my book’) but I want to write here on my blog too, because writing is a muscle and you have to work it or some stupid thing like that. Hey, TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

I’m going to get me some Cocoa Puffs and then jump right into it.

So far, the first day of the rest of my life has been pretty OK.  It’s early though so check back with me at 8AM to see how it’s going.

How to Quit Your Job in 10 Easy Steps

Linda PanicSo you want to quit your job, huh?

You got those dreams, those silly dreams that have been plaguing you. Your biological clock never ticked regarding human reproduction because, hey, you got a jump on all that and had your first kid at 18. Then your second kid at 20. Once you had those two kids, the only choice was to work. You worked hard and long and created a living that would support your family – not just those two, but the rest that came along back when you thought you could totally handle that many kids. No, the biological clock you hear is the DEATH clock.

Let’s face it, you’re a little dramatic. You’re only 50, after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t write her first book until she was 64. They probably gave her some big writing award and she said “Eh, sonny? What’s that? Do you have any Metamucil?” So while you’re certainly not dying, the truth is you want to enjoy some sort of accomplishments around your dream before your need for Metamucil overshadows things.

These dreams…. they haunt you. Do you have what it takes to chase them? Those buggers run pretty fast. How will you ever know if you don’t try? So yeah, the job is getting in the way.

Step 1: make the decision to quit your job.

Step 2: reconsider it, procrastinate, talk yourself out of it

Step 3: make the decision to quit your job again

Step 4: spend countless hours thinking about the right timing

Step 5: realize there is no right timing

Step 6: hyperventilate

Step 7: look in the mirror and repeat over and over “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggonit, people like me.”

Step 8: change your mind a hundred times

Step 9: make the decision to quit your job

Step 10: quit your job

Now that you’ve quit your job, you realize that was the easy part. So now what?

Fantasize about taking the summer off. You started working when you were 15 and the only time you’ve ever gotten 6-12 weeks off was because you pushed a baby out of your vagina. This time, maybe you’ll take some time off with no 2 AM feedings. Sure, you’re 50 so you’ll have to get up frequently in the night to pee, but still. You haven’t yet had to depend upon adult diapers (see what I did there?) so you can just go right back to sleep.

It might be a good idea to check with your friends. If anyone has recently purchased a new refrigerator, ask them to save the box. If you do need to live down by the river in a cardboard box, it’ll come in handy. Try to get your hands on a Sub Zero box. After all, you still have your pride.

Tell yourself a hundred times a day that it’s going to be fine. Write. Write some more. Go chase those dreams, girl. You’ve earned this chance. You can do it!

So, anyway, I quit my job.

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Did I mention I’m a contributor in another hilarious book? No? Well, I am.  You can buy it (or them) HERE.

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