I have a friend who separated from their partner at the same time as I did.
And, like me, they weren’t happy about it.
They wanted to fix the marriage and keep their family together, but their partner didn’t.
We weren’t in good places back then.
Many a night was spent dissecting our failed marriages and wondering what the future might hold for us.
My friend called me last week with some amazing news: they’ve decided to blend families with their new partner.
I was startled but thrilled to hear my friend sounding so happy.
I said: “Would you ever have believed a year ago that we’d be having this conversation?”
Nuh-uh. No WAY.
When you’re battling with the tragedy of a long-term marriage failing you can’t see happiness in your future. You’re devastated and damaged and broken.
But we’ve both come out the other end smiling.
OK, I found it a teensy bit confronting that my friend is ready to blend families so soon.
It got me thinking … and I decided I’m not quite there yet.
I cherish my girly time with my kids. It feels like I’m coming into my own as a mum and I want to make the most of every moment while they still want to sit on my lap on the sidelines at soccer (well, the youngest at least, it would look VERY odd if the same-size-as-me eldest sat on my lap on the sidelines at soccer).
On the other hand, it would be very nice to share my life with another person. I love the idea of coming home to a partner at the end of the day.
I’m not one of those break-up survivors who vow never to live with a man again.
Nuh-uh. No WAY.
The other things that got me thinking yesterday were a string of comments on Facebook about my whiny blog I Can’t Adult Today.
First, my amazing childhood-friend-turned-Anglican-priest Katherine wrote: “All clergy in Newcastle Diocese are required to make an annual retreat. I’m glad it’s a requirement, because the temptation to let it slide (too hard, too difficult, too busy) is great, but, the perils of NOT taking that annual time out with God are even greater. Retreat is a time to recharge, refresh, refocus.”
And it reminded me how freaking hard she works to help others for very little financial reward seven days a week.
She constantly humbles me.
Then one of my followers – who is the wife of a priest – replied to her comment saying: “Wish clergy spouses got a retreat too Katherine! One that was more than a weekend squeezed between 2 weeks of work, with preparation of spouse and children for a weekend without you. I suppose I should be grateful I’m not catering it this year. And the temptation to spend the entire day in bed today is great here Alana! Might have something to do with impending hospital accreditation next week . Fortunately I have a coffee date arranged for while Hubby is at disaster training (on his day off).”
And I was reminded that however hard I might find single parenting two dogs and two children, there are people out there doing so much for others and not enough for themselves and I should just count my blessings instead of dissing them.
I’m dating a wonderful man, I have a cosy home, an interesting job, two divine children …
That’s a lot to be thankful about.
I am blessed.
Occasionally overwhelmed, but generally blessed.
Song of the day: Black “Wonderful life”