Sunday, January 13, 2019

Safe House

I love to run.  If I could run all day, every day, I would.  It is my exercise.  It is my therapy.  It is my fun.   I also love Disney.  I love the parks, the hotels, the characters.  It is my happy place.  It is the place I go to with the people I love.  I love combining my two loves, so I RunDisney.  There are a lot of people like me.  They congregate in different places, and one of those places is FaceBook.  I belong to two Disney running Facebook groups.  They couldn't be more different.

Both groups are composed of members who love Disney and love running.  In the one group, all the members also are fans of a specific Disney podcast, and the group is also smaller.  In both groups, members post questions about running in general and Disney races in particular.  In both groups, people post their runs and their times.  Yet, one group feels safe and one does not to me.  In only one group do I post my post-run photos and times.  Why is that?  Why does one group feel safe and one does not?  Here are the difference between the groups.  First, I have never heard a negative or snippy comment from any poster in the "safe" group.  That doesn't mean that they don't discuss the difficult topics.  They just put a more positive and kinder spin on on it.  Second, this group makes it a point to have in person meet ups (and many of them) during each RunDisney weekend.  Probably the second difference is the reason for the first, but I don't know. The "safe" group feels more like friends.

When you end up in the Trenches, you find out that there are a lot of other people who have been there before you.  So many of them want to tell you about their experience, because after all, you have both been in the same place.  Some of these people are wonderfully helpful.  Others are really critical of you and your case.  They tell you how they got screwed in their divorce, or that they got a much better deal than you're getting.  They tell you their attorney was tougher than yours.  They make you question everything that's happening to you, every decision you make  They make you feel terrible about yourself.  Why? Because you ignore your gut. You see, I get it.  I belonged to the the "unsafe" FaceBook group long before I joined the other.  I read all the posts, yet I never posted.  Something in my gut told me not to trust, that it wasn't safe.  I listened to it, but I didn't know I did until I joined the second group and knew what feeling safe felt like.  I bet if you think really hard, you can say whether a friend's or your attorney's advice felt "right."   Does what your attorney advises feel right?  Does what your friends tell you feel right?  If so, which friends?  Think about why you feel that way.  Dig deep.  Think hard.  Trust the feeling. Trust your instincts.  Read Gavin deBecker's The Gift of Fear.  Here in the Trenches.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Wedding Bell Blues?

My cousin is getting married!  I'm so excited for her.  I'm not so excited for her mother, my aunt.  It is tough being the mother of the bride, no matter if you're planning, paying for or just being in the wedding party.  As the mom of one of the guests of honor, a lot of eyes are on you - and a lot of people are judging how you look (admit it, you check out what the mothers are wearing).  My aunt is not your traditional mother of the bride.  She never wears dresses, in fact in almost forty years, I have only seen her in a dress maybe twice, and one of those times was in her own wedding.  Most mothers of the bride wear dresses, and this fact is causing both my aunt and cousin a lot of stress.  My aunt wants to look beautiful for her daughter's big day, but she also wants to be comfortable in her skin.  My cousin also wants mom to look beautiful, but she's concerned that pants may not be formal enough.  My aunt is nothing if not determined to look beautiful her way.  My mom, my aunt and I spent almost an entire day searching online for an appropriate outfit.  Still nothing purchased, but she's getting closer to finding an outfit that pleases both her and her daughter.

I know, I appear to be reaching for a connection to the Trenches, but bear with me.  When clients come into the Trenches, many times they think a divorce is a divorce is a divorce.  If their friend was married 30 years, stayed home for 20 and got a significant alimony award, and they were also married 30 years and stayed home for 20, then they should get at least the same significant alimony award.  Easy, peasy, breezy.  Unfortunately, that's not how it works.  Every divorce, like every wedding, is unique.  No two people and no two marriages are alike.  It follows therefore, that every divorce would also be different.  And so they are. You did your wedding your way, in a manner that speaks to you.  That also how you should handle your divorce.  Here in the Trenches.