with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
I’ve been writing this column for a couple of years now, and though some days I might forget it, I’ve come a long way from where I was when I started writing here. I imagine if you’ve walked a similar path, you’ve also noticed that you’ve come a long way too.
The Dark Days never feel far enough behind me. I still hope there will come a time when the bleakest days post-split will seem another life. I bet it will come. But for now, I’m thinking it’s a wise move to count all that’s gone right. Counting blessings: that’s never a bad practice. Here are 10 things I thank my lucky stars for:
1) Two fantastic daughters. Something’s working. I’ve got healthy, happy, bright, funny, kind, inquisitive, respectful, and giving young ladies who are quiet leaders and loyal friends. I tell them I don’t know what I’d do without them. They laugh and tell me again and again that I would say that to any kid I’d had, and I wouldn’t know it could have been them. I like that they are logic sticklers, but I must respectfully disagree: I’d KNOW something was missing, without these two.
2) My girls have a dad who loves them and is there for them. That’s the best thing I could have wished for, for two daughters. That goes a long, long way.
3) Dear friends, near and far. The dissolution of my marriage also led to the dissolution of some friendships. It’s just the way it goes, I see now. And that’s okay. I know the folks who’ve stuck around really, really want to be here, and I think of them all as chosen family, for me and for the girls.
4) A loving family of origin, who still look out for me and the girls, to this day. They’ve saved my life and kept a roof over our heads when the days were so dark, I didn’t care if I woke to see another one.
5) Creative career. I still laugh when I say “career,” because it’s not been a particularly illustrious one. But I’ve been fortunate enough to find work as a writer, here and there, and to work in the theatre. I’m not sure exactly where I’m headed, workwise, but I’m lucky already to have been where I’ve been and to meet the creative folks I’ve met along the way.
6) Roof overhead. Speaks for itself. It ain’t fancy, but it’s home. And it’s home to four-legged friends, too. Which makes it even snugglier.
7) Social programs for out-of-luck single-parent families. Fuel assistance. Weatherization help. Food stamps. Unemployment. We’ve needed all of these programs, or we’d have lost our home, been cold or been hungry. It’s amazing when I meet people who genuinely believe that these programs are for “other” people. We’ve been those “other” people.
Laughter. A sense of humor runs hard and deep in this family. Salvation, really. Watching the girls cultivate their own unique approach to comedy is priceless. They will forget how messy the house was, but they will never forget how much we laughed together.
9) Love. I’ve been unlucky in this department, sure, but no more so than anyone else. In fact, I think I’ve been damn lucky to have loved and been loved by terrific souls. I’ve learned more in relationships than I could have on my own. And I’m still hopeful that the best story (and the lasting-est story) has yet to be written.
10) Travel. When our marriage was breaking up, our mediator asked us each to name something we’d love to have more of in our new chapter of life. I remember saying that I’d love to find a way to travel, but at the time, that seemed highly unlikely. Yet through the amazing help of generous friends (and odd jobs appearing just when I needed them), I’ve been able to see more of the U.S. and more of the world over the past few years. For me, nothing puts life into better, sharper perspective.
So tell me: what’s working for you? What are you most grateful for?
Subscribe to blog via RSS