Friday, May 24, 2019

Choices and 5 Stitches

I think you could say I had an adventurous Sunday.  I really had a marvelous day with Daughter and friends.  Brunch was fun and delicious.  We took Daughter's friend to all the DC sights, many via the DC Trolley Tour.  We were heading to our last stop, the Museum of Natural History (what girl doesn't love looking at all the huge gemstones?), when my toe caught an uneven piece of pavement and I went down, like a giant redwood on an aggregate sidewalk.  No time to think about how to fall, no time to try to break the fall, I just went down on my chin.  There was lots of blood.  Paramedics were called.  I ended up being driven home by Daughter and getting 5 stitches.  I did not, however, break anything except skin.  Yes, my jaw is sore and swollen, but not broken.  Unlike some of my friends recently, I didn't break a wrist.  All in all, not catastrophic.

When I look back on Sunday, what do I remember?  I remember what a wonderful day it was.  That's right.  It was a wonderful day.  Although it was hotter than blazes, the sky was a perfect shade of deep blue.  We had lots of fun.  We also had an adventure.  Could I look at the day differently?  Of course I could.  I could remember a day that was ruined by my falling on the sidewalk.  I could be upset with myself for tripping. I could feel embarrassed because I was that person sitting on the sidewalk with others making a fuss while the world walked by and stared.  I could have been upset because I screwed up Daughter's friend's first trip to DC in 20 years.  I could have done all those other things, and when I was younger, I might have.  The point is that it really was a great day and one thing happened at the end that was bad.  I admit it wasn't a little thing like breaking a nail, but in the scheme of things, it was a blip.  I had a choice of how to view it. I could have looked at it as a day ruiner or I could see it as something not good that happened during my terrific day.  I chose the latter.

We are all faced with the choice I had almost every day.  My clients are always faced with that choice when they are in the Trenches.  Let's face it, the divorce process is not pleasant.  The decision to end a marriage is agonizing to make.  Being told your marriage is over is crushing.  Having to divide your children's upbringing is excruciating.  Most people live fairly long lives.  In the scheme of things, for most folks (and there are exceptions), their divorce is a small piece of a very long life.  It's a blip, if you will.  I don't mean that in a flippant way; I say it to put the divorce in perspective.  Everyone in the Trenches has a choice.  They can let their divorce define them and the rest of their lives.  They can  look at it as a small part of an otherwise great life.  They can see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.  They can view it as the thing that ruined their wonderful life.  They can decide that it's the starting line for a new chapter in their lives or a new direction.  They can decide that the divorce meant their married life was a sham and that they wasted those years.  They can choose to use their energy to hate their former spouse, and keep that hatred going.  They can choose to forgive, or if not forgive, to move on.  Every choice has a consequence.  Every choice evokes a memory and an emotion.  Each client chooses for himself or herself what that memory and emotion will be.  Because it is a choice.  Here in the Trenches.