Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States so a lot of people are writing about gratitude, giving thanks, being grateful even when life gets you down. Usually I’m pretty good about that, lately not so much.
Because Thanksgiving is a holiday and I’m divorced, my ex husband and I rotate who has the kids for Thanksgiving each year. Last year was my year. This is technically a “fair” arrangement and I am by no means complaining about my kids being with their dad on Thanksgiving. Buuut (there is always a big but somewhere down the line), Thanksgiving also includes the break from school which, for my kids, is the whole week. That means I end up seeing my kids for s whopping three and a half hours in ten days.
Let me repeat that: In a span of ten days I have 3.5 hours with my kids.
It. Sucks. Balls.
This has happened before, about a year & a half ago at their spring break. I was woefully unprepared and didn’t handle it very well then either. I survived though, honing the oh-so-important coping mechanism of staying busy. I patched and painted the walls of my living room, caught up with a couple friends, and drank just enough to spend Easter day bitter and hung over with my parents, some siblings, and their kids (which actually makes holidays without your own kids just a little harder). Back then I was still reeling from the finalization of the divorce and adapting to life with a parenting time schedule that was less than ideal. Now, this time, I’ve had almost two years to learn to cope with shit like this. I thought I’d be better at it.
Turns out not so much. Of course, it’s not just not seeing my kids that’s making life in general a little harder than I wish it was right now. No, that would be too simple. I’m at a point in my schooling where I could stop now (and search for a job) or commit myself to four more years of this torture for a (hopefully) more rewarding career. It fills me with self doubt: am I really tough enough to make it through this? On top of that, sitting precariously like a cherry on a hot fudge slathered sundae, is the fact that my ex and I are (and have been for the past few months) back in court. (Something I am not going to go into detail about here.) It’s a lot. Not just a lot of stress, that I can handle, but a lot of other mixed up emotions that I really don’t like. Ever. And especially not all at once. My life feels like a gaping hole of fear and uncertainty. It’s not pretty.
I’ve been a bit of a mess. I tried to plan some distractions for the weekend but nothing seemed to work out. Damned holidays! Monday morning after working the weekend (and a bit of fun), during what I’m hoping was the peak of my sorry state, I realized that I’m just going to have to power through this on my own. There is no way around the dreaded long, empty weekend that should be full of going to the annual light parade and seeing Elf at the local theater with my kids. Nothing is going to change that and I’m just going to have to do my best to survive it. Lucky for me I have copious amounts of studying and cleaning I can do to keep myself busy. In realizing this I also realized that maybe this could be looked at more positively. Maybe having a little time to take care of myself (something I’m really not very good at) is actually a good thing.
Bam! Spinning it positive. Maybe it’ll help maybe not but I’m pretty sure it won’t make it worse. And if that fails there’s always alcohol.