I have no idea where this year went. When I think back it seems like there was a few stills, with very fast forwarding in between.
I remember the unbelievably cold winter in the beginning of the year. So cold that airing out the bedroom in the morning for more than three minutes, would mean a window unable to close again because of the temperature change in the wood (?), or the snow melting and then turning to ice on the metal hinges (?), or God knows what. Whatever the case, it’d result in an open window for the entire day, until I came home in the evening, hoping the temperature had gone up a little so I could close it, and a bedroom cold enough to see my own breath in. Yeah okay, maybe not quite that cold inside, but it sure as fuck were cold.
I remember realising around June, that my normal hectic workschedule had upped to red alert stress. Not sleeping, not eating, constant being on the verge of tears or a fullblown rage fit. Not being able to remember long conversations I’d had just the day before, dizzyness, feeling litterally drunk… The works. The stress snuck up on me as me workload soared to skyhigh levels, and I had to acknowledge that I too, could get stress. The bad kinda stress. I’ve always, quite arrogantly, thought it wasn’t possible for me to get to that point, since I’ve always thrived with a hectic day filled with deadlines. Had to eat those words. One friend had to endure the worst of me around that time, and woman, I know you’ll read this – and I’m sorry you had to put of with me at my most nasty version.
I remember making an electronical budget in my netbank, spending -hours- doing it perfectly to the last little detail, to make sure I could make ends meet in my cute, little house and not be surprised by an unforseen bill … And litterally being in tears out of sheer frustration when that budget somehow dissapeared into the black void where documents on the laptop go to, when they go *poof*.
I remember twice having to deal with my closest manager being laid off. The first I was glad to see go, since she was the direct cause of my near meltdown. The second was the regional sales manager and our temporary manager, reinstated when the first was fired. That one I still miss. When I got the call from the CEO, telling me she was let go, I blurted out ‘You fucking have to be kidding me’, since I knew my department couldn’t cope with more turmoil.
And worst by a mile and not even in the same scale as the others… I remember my biggest son saying to me; ‘Mommy, I want you to come live at Dad’s, I want you to be together with us all the time’ (my exhusband lives in the house we used to live in together). I was driving at the time, and I kissed his palm, explained how mommy and daddy weren’t very good at living together, that we were much better friends when we lived apart and that we both loved him very, very much. And I just sat there with tears running down my face, making sure he didn’t see it, feeling like the worst mom in the world, having taken that from him.
But I also remember this as my first year alone.
I remember my boys laughing. I remember them waking up with eyes beaming and huge smiles. Them going back to sleep in the evening, happy, peaceful and still smiling. I remember sometimes listening to them singing a little in their beds, before hearing the sound of little feet across wooden floors, running in and smothering me with kisses. I’m not trying to belittle the fact that they undoubtedly want their parents together and the fact that I robbed them of that, will always gnaw at me. But we are doing quite well at the divorced game, when things had to take that turn. We live very close, I made the choice to stay in the neighbourhood and pay a shitload in mortgage, to give my boys a home in a good, safe environment and to not move them out of the world they know – daycare/friends/school wise. Tomorrow, my exhusband is coming here, just chilling and having fun with the kids and me in a noncomplicated, carefree way. We never, ever trash each other in front of the kids and we make sure to spend time together with the boys, all four of us, and I think that is what will get the boys through this divorced as unharmed and unscarred as possible.
I’m not trying to slick a pink veil over it, but I really do think this divorce was better in the long run. Two happy homes that work together and provide the boys with endless love has got to be better than one home with a dead, grey atmosphere and two parents who clearly don’t love each other.
I also remember getting a new, permanent manager. Getting increased reponsibility, an assistant and a small but welcomed raise, due to the management mailing out, that there were no wage increases this year. The fact that my close colleague and I still got one, was to acknowledge the year we’ve had and the stress we’ve being put through.
I remember the sheer pride for actually doing this. Standing on my own two feet. Fucking -doing- it. Giving up financial security to feel alive again. Expensive jewellery is worth -nothing-, when the passion and the friendship is gone, when you feel numb and dead inside and every day is a different shade of grey.
I have everything I need. Sure, there’s a lot of nice-to-have, but when it comes to need-to-have, I’m covered. I have my boys whose eyes twinkle when they look at me and are small enough to -love- to get kissed on (I dread the teen years where I’ll have to stop kissing on them constantly due to inevitable ‘Eww, mom, cut it out!’). I have my little, cute home. I have a good job, I have food on the table. And I have the best family and friends I could have hoped for. Life is full of challenges, of hurt and frustrations, but I’ll take it all dead on – cause at the end of the day, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.
To you who’s reading this – a very merry Christmas and a happy, safe new year to you and those you hold dear.