So, go figure. My finances suck. We’ve been over that. My love life is non-existent. I just had a guy I supported walk out on me after two years. He gave me three days’ notice and he was gone. Haven’t heard a word from him since. After my two epic fails at marriage, I don’t know which hurt worse, to have the marriages end, or him walk out after I invested so much financially and emotionally for two.fucking.years. It is now all water under the bridge, but at times, it still stings.
I’m at an age and in a demographic where there isn’t much dating action, and if there is, it isn’t serious, nor is it even remotely authentic. Face it, after 45, there are so many obstacles to overcome, so much history to wade through, so many people’s scrutiny you have to undergo before a relationship can even be viable, let alone long term. I’ve given up on that area of my life ever being a source of pleasure or happiness. People who really know me, will know what a big deal that is. Most people tend to understand that it is the nature of the beast these days. Dating after divorce is, at best, a difficult thing, and unlike wine, this does not improve with age. Oh, to be 35 again. Before the wrinkles. Before the mistakes. Before the calendar reveals the stigmatizing number of years you’ve been on this planet (because you cannot lie about that).
In spite of all that, the little surprise I’m experiencing is this: I’m actually having fun. I’m enjoying life more than I ever have. I’m happy, in spite of the fact that nothing (except my delightful children) is as I would have expected it and most of it reeks of pathetically miserable failure. I can’t keep a relationship. I can’t catch a break financially. I rent, on purpose, instead of owning. My car is ready to self destruct at any moment. I should sell the thing and try, if possible, to get some money out of it to put down on a more reliable car. But…how to do that? It’s crazy. I have more problems facing me than solutions. I have experienced more endings in the last year than beginnings. I have more reason than ever to despair, instead of hope.
I don’t get it.
My life sucks and I’m having a great time, in spite of it. Let me give you a few examples.
I didn’t realize this at the time, but the Gone/Non-Boyfriend was a big financial burden and and emotional strain to me. I spent way more time and energy worrying that he would be able to “make it” or “survive” than I ought to have spent. He drained me of energy, enthusiasm, and because he was, himself, a very negative person, he drained me of any positivism I had. He’s gone. Ironically, life is easier. I am far less stressed in many ways even though I am having to pick up the slack caused by his absence. I don’t understand it. I thought he helped keep things in order for me. I know he did, but, since he’s been gone, I’ve done everything he did, plus all I usually do. There hasn’t been a big strain on the family. I’m beginning to believe I was wrong in my perception of how much he really did for us…especially before he left. I think he pretended to keep things in order for me, in order to impress me, and keep me supporting him. I was such a fool. The fact that he is gone, while sad, because some of the times were fun, has actually been a freeing experience. His absence equals more serenity, less stress, more hope and positivism for all of us, and a much more relaxed atmosphere around our home. I feel much freer in this area.
You would think that having a man around to cook you breakfast, make you coffee and help you get the kids off to work would be a great thing. Well, it is a great thing, if the guy enjoys doing that sort of thing, but if he doesn’t, your life is hell. He’s going to make sure you know about all the sacrifices he made, about all the troubles he went through to make sure your kids got off to school on time. Yeah, never mind this was his contribution in return for getting his rent, food, utilities, car insurance, etc. paid for every month. I’m just sayin’. It wasn’t such a great thing for me and I’m learning, I can do it fine on my own, and I don’t have to hear the constant negative bitching all the time. You’d think I’d be sad that he’s gone. Ironic, because we did have so much fun together, but I’m not exactly sad that he’s gone. I’m sad that he couldn’t be a more honest, positive, and proactive person, but that is the way it is. I’m not sad, given that he wasn’t about to change. I’m merely sad that it couldn’t be different than it was. Since it wasn’t about to change, obviously, I’m okay with it ending. Surprised, at how it ended, but okay with it after all.
Since he’s been gone my kids have opened up to me. They’ve told me things, because they now feel free to do so. Apparently, they were making nice a lot of the time, when in actuality, they thought he was a jerk. At first, yes, they all liked him. Somewhere along the line things changed. For each child it is different, but the story is the same. They are all more relaxed and at ease in our home since he’s been gone. There is less arguing. There is more willingness to help (though, admittedly, they are teenagers and this is not perfect). We are bonding together. This is something we desperately need and have needed for the last five years. I couldn’t see it, I was so blinded with my own pain and neediness. My kids and I are closer together and enjoying our togetherness more than ever before. Ironic.
On the weekends that my kids are at their “other” home, I am left alone to amuse myself. Having lived most of my life alone, not really belonging to one family or the other, this is not new to me. However, being courageous enough to discover how to do new things or explore new places on my own, is very new to me. Previously, I was too afraid to do anything. In fact, that’s why I made my first marital mistake. I was too afraid to do adult life on my own, so I ran for cover in the form of a marriage, to a stable but very boring man. These days, I am taking on new challenges weekly. First, it was starting up the school year without any adult help, in a new school district. Next, it was conquering the public transit system. Then, I learned how to cart my bike via bus to any destination on the bus route, so I could expand my riding options. Now, I’m learning to enjoy my time with my children and my time with me. After all, I’m not a horrible person to spend time with…and I’m having a ton of fun lately…on my own.
There are fewer squabbles about finances.
There is less friction about housecleaning.
There is more conversation at the dinner table.
I’m dead-dog tired doing all I do during the week.
The kids are pulling together and making it work. They are getting off to school on time. They are making their lunches. They are helping out. They still fight, but much less than they used to. They can be alone more often without me having to supervise every second.
This means I am free to take on some extra activities I might like to do. I am free to do it. I don’t, though, because I am still a tired single mom at the end of every work day.
But when the weekends come, I find it ironic, how much fun I have on my own.
I do what I want, when I want, how I want and I pay my own way. I’m doing new things, exploring new places, and having more fun than ever.
But my finances and my love life suck.
I guess I am not the sum of my finances and my love life.
It’s just ironic. I have reason to be unhappy, yet, if I am honest, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.
What’s up with that?
Posted on October 9, 2012, in Life in General and tagged aging, anxiety, Bankruptcy, breaking up, coping, dating, dating after 40, dating after divorce, divorce, fatigue, finances, financial difficulty, gratitude, happiness, hardship, healing, irony, joy, life, life after divorce, loss, memoirs, Miz Insomniac, mizinsomniac, Money, online dating, personal, rebuilding life after divorce, relationships, single moms, single parenting, single parents, stress, survival. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.