The star atop the tree that was this week's big room switcheroo was taking stuff I didn't need, along with some great furniture donations from my parents, to my storage space down the street from the house. I've probably been there 10 times already since first moving my things there about 6 months ago. It's on the second floor, and though there's a lift and all, getting all my things in there during the multiple trips involved has been no small (or fun) task.
Thankfully my Dad has been along on most of these trips, helping me organize, maximize the space, and, well, carry stuff. Today was no exception, and he handily rearranged the mounds of stuff already there to make room for its new friends.
I have to say I wasn't much help today. I never mentioned this to my Dad at the time (I saved this 'help me!' sentiment for my Mom when we returned home), but I was a little distracted trying to reconcile the sight of my whole life's worth of things, contained in this smallish storage unit.
Today's New Activity: Pausing to Reflect, Mourn
In the beginning of my separation, I cried all the time. Sometimes it was sadness, often it was pure confusion, and sometimes it was just plain pain. It was difficult to be focused on parenting tasks during that first, raw period, and thankfully I had both my parents and my dear friends Kelsi and Nicole to help fill in any gaps. There was definitely a period of feeling simply dazed.
The months that followed were very different. My new and necessary focus was on logistics: the logistics of work and supporting myself and the Monkey while working out temporary and permanent custody issues, the logistics of filing for divorce, gathering the paperwork, the daily grind of doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, gym-going, baby bathing, clothes washing and the like, and the logistics of carving out time for friends and recreation (which I hadn't prioritized for some time and was happy to make time to do now).
The past 6 months have been such a whirlwind that I think I didn't even allow myself much time to feel--to give space to the emotions surrounding my divorce.
Today I guess the powers that be decided I no longer had a choice in the matter.
Standing in that little rectangle, looking at the various things I've collected over the years, furniture and odds and ends, my bicycle, and all of Monkey's baby things that I haven't been able to let go of yet, I felt immense sadness. What it all brought home for me was that I have absolutely no idea when I'll be in the place to let these things out of that little storage unit, when my life will begin to resemble something that feels respectable of a person my age, and a mother at that (meaning, basically, when I'll be in the position to move out of my parents' home). It was a very sobering moment that made me wonder where on earth my life is headed.
I hate feeling that way when I have a young child who I'm responsible for. I wish it were the case that I had it all together, that I'd established a permanent place for him to grow up in, preferably one with a yard and nice neighbor kids. I wish I'd made better choices, all along the way. I wish that wherever this is all going, it would get started.
And then, of course, I remember that it's already well on its way. That there is no wish I have that it's not within my realm and not, indeed, my *responsibility* to make happen. I remember that these are the moments that test a person's character and humility, and that give their loved ones the chance to show just how much they care, the chance to lift them up in their time of need. My brain knows all that.
And still, in that moment today, my heart ached. The reality of divorce hit me, anew. The reality of starting over hit me, anew. The reality of failure and wasted potential and concern for the future all hit me, anew.
What to do but stand in the hallway and hug my Mama and let that be the little (big) thing to start me feeling better? These emotions are necessary to allow in, and out. If I didn't have moments like these I'd be concerned for myself and wondering when, exactly, I'd turned into a robot. But still, they are painful and then the feeling itself is followed by guilt for not trusting the process (the whole life process) more, for not giving myself a break, for not thinking positively. What a vicious cycle!
Thankfully I didn't spend all day looping around in it. After all there were deposits and withdrawals to be processed at work this afternoon, and errands to be run, and always the laundry, ready to distract.
And after the day's earlier emotional heaviness, I'm thankful for all that.