I’m sure Yogi Berra made that statement to be funny. And to a normal person whose life is humming along, it would be. But in the early stages of my midlife divorce, that statement would have made me cry.
One of the things that most distressed me about my divorce was that my future was going to be completely different that I expected it to be. My future changed dramatically the minute the divorce was final … and at that moment all I could see were the negatives. I had in my head how I thought my life would be … growing old with my husband; taking care of grandchildren together; traveling together, entertaining. When the divorce was final, I knew that the future I had in my head was never going to happen, and that was agony for me to face at the time.
None of us likes change. None of us like things forced upon us. All of us want to coast happily into a blissful sunset. Well, one thing I’ve learned is that a midlife divorce assures you that you’re not going to coast placidly anywhere. As hard as it is to accept, that’s a fact. But in reality, the people who are purposely involved in life and energized by life and excited about life never coast anyway. Life is too invigorating for that. Life is too exhilerating for that. The challenges of life (as much as we cry about them at first) have the potential to make possible a new future that is beyond our wildest dreams.
And you know what? If I’m honest, there were things in my marriage that would have made the future in my head unlikely anyway. But now … my future has never looked brighter! I am excited to get up every single day. I have a purpose and I see life with fresh anticipation. My children are glad to see me out of my divorce funk. I’m relating to my grandchildren in fun, new ways. My friends (believe it or not) seem a bit awed by my new purpose and energy.
So accept the fact that as Yogi says, “The future isn’t what it used to be,” and accept that it can be better than you can even imagine!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lords, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)