Thankful - lessons I've learned to stay whole and healthy

Image from Lauren Conrad.com 
It's been ages since I posted an article on this blog. There are many reasons for this - health, work, family. Family most of all. My parents are aging rapidly and they need my help, and I've undergone a couple of operations, one on my right knee, which hasn't improved the situation much. From your comments I see that I have hit quite a few nerves, so I will continue.

Enough about me. I realized today - Thanksgiving 2013 - how thankful I am for so many things. It's been 12 years since my divorce and I now think of myself as a single woman of independent means through hard work and personal effort. There are times when I miss my ex with a longing that I can't explain, but at other times I realize that he is the one who is missing out on spending the rest of his life with me, someone who adored and loved him with all her heart.

I used to sing to him :"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?" Guess not.

Today, on this day of thanks, I am thankful for:

3. Gainful employment. I've been on the road for 5 weeks, spending only 6 days at home. My job is fulfilling, if not hectic, and comes with full benefits. Better yet, it's survived this terrible economy. Oh, I've worked hard to keep my position, attending classes over the years to receive graduate certificates and going to conferences and workshops. As I age (it gets harder by the years to keep up with the "young-uns") I struggle to maintain my energy. My young colleagues are full of vigor and new ideas, and have no trouble multi-tasking during the day and playing hard at night. While they attend parties and events and go to restaurants, I spend my weekends recouping my energy and harvesting my resources. Still, I feel proud that I landed on my feet. My ex and my friends never predicted that I would amount to anything much in the workplace - but here I am - working with programs across the state, providing resources and technical advice and training, and working with top state agencies. Sometimes I pinch myself and say, "You go, girl."

I attribute my success to those bleak days after my divorce, when the only thing I had going for me was hard work. A friend of mine is experiencing tough emotional times and is begging me to pile the work on so she can keep busy. I get where she's coming from.

2. My health. After my divorce I concentrated on exercising and eating well - habits that are saving me now. If you are going through the trauma of divorce, don't neglect your physical well being. Walking, exercising at the gym, biking, running, lifting weights - all these physical exertions will give you a sense of control during a time when you feel as if the rug has been pulled from under you. Drinking, smoking, and eating excessively will work against you. I know. I've tried all three tactics. You need to stay healthy and feed your brain to think clearly. You are fighting for your survival during this difficult period, and this is no time to resort to "easy" solutions. Oh, these days my health isn't what it should be. I have high blood sugar, could lose 25 lbs, and suffer from a bum knee and asthma. Nevertheless, I can walk 2-3 miles at a clip, still work like a work horse, and have fooled others into thinking that I am 15 years younger than my real age. I attribute my health to the good habits I've maintained 80% of my adult life.

1. Family. When all is said and done, family keeps us strong. Friends come and go. Family is forever. I learned this late in life. My ex did not like my family. For 20 years I was lucky to see them 2 or 3 times per year. While they tried to love Bob, his distant attitude was off putting. One last remark he made, meant to be derogatory, was that "You are just like your mother." YES, I AM. And gratefully so. Mom is beloved by friends and family. My nieces and nephews from distant lands call her regularly and take vacation time to see her at great cost.While my ex saw a foreign woman with no extraordinary skills, others see my mom as a good listener and loving, kind-hearted soul. The gift of divorce was this - I regained my family. This Thanksgiving I am surrounded by a brother and sister-in-law, nieces and nephew, grand nieces and nephews, and parents who embrace me. I visit once or twice a month and am surrounded by love. Yet, when I was married, all I heard was complaints about their shortcomings. I loved my ex's parents and siblings. What is even more interesting is that this year his niece and brother have visited me, telling me how much they miss me and how much they miss him. He has lost contact with them, while I have not.

Riches are not in things - they are in the people you love - your family and friends and neighbors. This Thanksgiving I am so grateful for so many blessings. I wish you and yours well! - Vic

P.S. My sincere apologies for the spam. I was not aware of the enormous number of spam comments, which I have largely removed. I will be more vigilant from now on. Your heartfelt and earnest conversation should not be cheapened by the self-serving comments that littered this blog.


Anonymous said...

I am 53 year's old, have been married for 34 years. I have NEVER in my life not ONE time! My Marriage is and has been really bad for the past 11 years, we are more like room mates, not husband & wife, we do not even talk any longer! I too have medical problems. I have NO family but 2 grown children with their own families, they have already told me that I am on my own! Although their father was NEVER around growing us for ANYTHING (always working)I am done being treated like a doormat! We have not even had sex for 11 years, at first, I thought he was having an affair, but that was not and is not what is going on, I do NOT know what is going on, other than he started doing drugs! He has stole all of our retirement money I had saved over the years, he found out about which was $32,000.00, we are now broke! Use to he could NOT lie to me, now he can look me right in the eyes & lies, he steals my medicine I HAVE to take or I end up in the hospital. I was in the hospital one time just while I was in the bathroom when I came our a little too soon, I caught him stealing my meds, even when I was on a feeding tube & a lot of other things! I love him with all my hart but I am so scared to be alone I have continued to live with it. I have bought a safe (about 8 of them by now) the one I have now has to be opened by fingerprint now! He went to rehab, lasted a month and back to where we started from I have applied for disability but have been turned down even with my doctors backing me up 100% due to we have rental property, I am STUCK if I leave, I have NO way of supporting my self. We do have the houses up for sale, all 4 of them but no luck at all! I want some one to spend the rest of my life with that LOVES me & really does care, I do not even know why he is here, he does not care about me, or even his family which I do not f

Freya said...

Dear Vic,

I cannot tell you how happy I am to read another entry from you after over a year. I have been silently reading every post of yours, finding solace in your words, and empowerment from your amazing journey. When you stopped writing, I was very worried... I also could not find any contact address to reach you and ask if you were fine or to help if in anyway I could.
Your blog has helped me find hope in myself, even though I am only 26, I have experienced quite a few heartbreaks (starting from my parents' marriage - 25 years of abuse which amounted to bitter divorce - and a few unhealthy relationships on my own). Please know that I find it amazing the way you are holding on and moving on.
I have been practicing to list what I am grateful of every day, and today I am grateful for another post of yours.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, and I've loved watching you grow stronger and stronger. So great to hear this positive update after so long.

Vic said...

Thank you for your kind comments! The more time that passes since the divorce, the more I feel like a single person, not a divorcee. I will write a post soon about a discussion I had with someone whose first divorce occurred at the same time as mine. She has since remarried twice, while, since, I have had one serious relationship and another in which my lover was less than truthful or loving.

Anonymous said...

I ran across your blog and it has been a life saver. Was suddenly informed by my "wasband" that he wanted a divorce after 25 years of marriage. Am still dealing with the shock and grief, and your blog has been so helpful. Thank you so much for all your posts. Nice to know there is life after divorce.