I don’t know about you, but my divorce had to be listed in the category of one of life’s biggest surprises …. and at the time, one of life’s biggest disappointments. Especially at midlife. Especially after 33 years, when we had this amazing family and one would have thought we would have had the bugs worked out and could survive anything. Starting out in my marriage, I never thought I would ever be divorced. I made promises. I didn’t believe in divorce. I thought we could weather anything. I think that’s why it was so hard for me to accept and why I fought for three long agonizing years hoping things would change.
After the divorce, after the sobbing and screaming, after surviving it all, I started looking at life differently. Life is wild and unpredictable and full of surprises. Some horrific. Some amazingly wonderful. All woven day-by-day into the fabric of life. I started appreciating more clearly that every single day is a gift and we’ve got to give ourselves permission to grab it and live it full out all the time … including the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ve got to seize all those experiences and decide to not be afraid of them, but to learn from them and see in them a gift that we can use for good in the end.
Here’s a quote from Erma Bombeck that is good for all of us even though it may seem superficial in the face of the seeming devastation of divorce. The quote has great truth in it. In fact, I think when we live life timidly and in fear of doing something wrong, we lose some of the amazing serendipity of the delicious, simple pleasures of life. From Erma: “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”
Every thought must be taken with a dose of common sense. We can’t constantly be driven here and there without any discipline in our lives. We can’t eat chocolate every time it’s available to us. But we can be alert to those moments in our day when we have a chance to grab hold of a promising opportunity that might not present itself again.
Those times we fail to do a good deed that appears “out of the blue,” is a time we might regret later. Often when I have an impulse to do something good or fun or edgy that is not in my daily planner or on my list of “things to do,” I am rewarded in many hard-to-express ways. Seizing the moment welcomes serendipity and simply makes life full of surprises and fun.
We have no idea what will happen tomorrow. We might have to move. We might have to take a second job. But even in the midst of this life-changing divorce, we can seize opportunities we didn’t have before. Opportunities that we did not plan on or choose. Opportunities that weren’t in our life plan. Possibilities that are full of bright and beautiful new potential.
Let’s all see what delicious, unexpected morsels we can taste in the surprising, unexpected, even scary moments of today. Especially in the middle of divorce, we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but we can bravely grab every moment today and find the gift in it!
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day will bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1 (Celebrate today!)