, Getting married again? Seriously? After being hitched for 22 years to someone I met when I was 18, the thought of starting all over was overwhelming. Some days I looked in the mirror and said, "I can just do this myself!" I was strong enough to weather a divorce, I had my three kids ages 8, 10, & 13, and I just purchased my own house -- I felt like superwoman. (Defying Gravity was my theme song during those days). Then came the weekends when the kids were gone to their dads. I was lonely, sad, depressed. I didn't know what to do with my time. I started dating, but it was a time filler -- nothing for real. After about a year, I realized how empty I felt, but the dates weren't filling the emptiness.
We therapists have dubbed the year after a divorce "the crazy year." Until I experienced "the crazy year" myself, I had no idea how nutty I felt much of the time. I've said hundreds of times to people in my office, "Don't do anything major for a year!" Did I listen to my own advice? No, I bought a house, a car, started working full-time as a school counselor, had to move my mom into an Alzheimer's care center, packed up the house I grew up in to prepare to rent it, bought a trampoline, and hosted a litter of kittens! Only by the grace of God did I manage to stay single -- thank goodness, because I don't think there was much sanity coursing through my veins during that year -- it was more adrenaline. Therefore, I would guess my choice of a mate might have been.....well.....let's just say......not so good!
After a year, I decided to stop dating all together -- and accomplished that for about six months. It was really helpful. I settled down. My neediness waned. I went out with friends, and rekindled some of my hobbies like painting and reading. Enjoyed being a mommy. Life was good. Then the inevitable happened, a friend felt the need to "fix me up." Why not? My expectations were low, but after one lunch with John -- something clicked. After four years of him driving about an hour to see me every day, he asked me to marry him.
I was completely expecting the proposal, but what I didn't expect was to be absolutely terrified for the months leading up to the wedding. All the doubts and questions constantly bombarding me: Am I being selfish? What if this ruin's my children's lives? What if things go South? Do I even know this man? Does he know me? What the HECK! John was patient with me, and all of my "awfulizing" proved to be just a waste of my energy (Definition: "awfulizing " is the act of jumping to the worst case scenario constantly -- by the way, it is ALWAYS a waste of our energy, but it's very hard to stop once those scenarios start rolling over and over as if on a taped loop in our brain. Next time I'll chat about some strategies to eject those worst case scenario tapes. (Note -- I know these because I am STILL the queen of awfulizing!)
Anyway, here we are seven years later -- a different world for me and my babies. I feel truly blessed, and thankful that I let go and let this amazing man bless all of our lives.