By Lindy Earl
Divorce elicits multiple emotions in people . . . fear, dread, abandonment, and other negative words. I slowly found that life can be an adventure after divorce, but that’s a different article. I had been part of a couple for so long that I had lost the joy of being single.
Not everyone may feel this way, but I really enjoyed being single 30 years ago. I remember when I was first engaged, a cousin told me that she was jealous (she still has never married). I couldn’t figure out why she was jealous. Single was good! I told her so. She was her own boss. She could live where she chose.
The first day I realized I would no longer have my own room, 30 years ago, I was really bummed. It happened at work. I went to visit my office neighbor, Cheryl, and confessed that it just hit me. I would no longer have my own room. She was kind and assured me, having been a wife for a decade, that sharing a room wasn’t hard.
You know what? I’m tickled to have my own room again! It took me a while to get used to using the entire bed, but now I love it. I can sleep in the middle if I choose! I can use an electric blanket and make it as warm as I like. I can sleep with the window open and make it as cold as I like. I am purely and solely in control of my room!
I also LOVE having my own closet. Maybe that’s not a big thing for you, but my ex owned more clothes than I did. The entire closet, built for two, is now ALL MINE! And I love it!
The power of being single is probably best appreciated with money and time. Financially, yes, I’m responsible for a lot, and all on my own. Yes, it’s a little daunting, but it’s also FREEING!
I got the house in the divorce, and it was 25 years old when I got it. We had done very little to keep it up. One thing I had been aware of for a while was that the front door had cracks in it. I had brought this problem to my then-husband’s attention, but whenever we tried to find a door, he didn’t like anything I suggested. Now, being the fiscally responsible one of us, I always had to look at price tags. He didn’t. He wanted a $3,000 door that belonged on a beach house. In addition, he would use the opportunity to tell me that I had horrible taste. So now I was insulted and still had a cracked door.
The month after he moved out, I got a new door! This meant, more than anything, that I had the POWER to buy my new door. I didn’t need anyone’s approval. I didn’t have anyone insulting or critiquing my taste. I did my research, drove to another town where they had a discount showroom, and hired a handyman to install the door. I did it!
That success gave me confidence to move forward with more projects. In addition to house projects, of which there were many. I realized, for instance, that all my clothes were grey and black. I’m not the only person who has found this, and I’m sure there is some great psychological analysis in this, probably about being depressed or unhappy and not realizing it but expressing it through my clothes. Who knows?
So I took the power to change my wardrobe. Again, I’m financially responsible, so I did this slowly. It began, literally, with scarves. A bright scarf over a grey dress made me feel great! I added some bright blouses. The point is, I was in charge of my wardrobe. Of course, I guess I always had been in charge of it, but somehow the power had been stripped from me.
For instance, I like long and flowing skirts. I think they feel great to wear and I always liked the way they looked on me. I have a long stride and enjoyed the freedom a full skirt offers. Simple, right? No. From the first year of my 25 year marriage, he made it clear that he liked short pencil skirts. Further, if I did so much as try on a full skirt, he would tell me it made my ass and hips look huge. No woman wants to hear that. So what happened? I found myself wearing clothes that I didn’t especially like, and in colors that were rather drab and dull.
With the power of being single, I was able to rebuild my wardrobe. I now wear clothes that I like and that I believe are flattering on me.
In addition to finances, I’ve found the biggest sense of power in being single comes with time management. I can do what I want, when I want! If I want to play all day, I can. If I choose to not do any house work for a month, who is there to complain? If I want to wait until the gas tank is on E before I refill it, nobody will give me a lecture. If I choose to eat supper at 4:00 or 9:00, nobody will complain. My time is all about me!
Of course real life is here and we have to be responsible, but even that is empowering when you’re single. If you want to work late, go ahead! If you want to take a day, you don’t need to check with anyone other than your work, because, again, it’s all about you! You have the power to live your life as you choose. You can earn your money and spend your money as you choose. You have the same 24 hours as everyone else, but now you can choose how to use those hours, considering only what is important to you.
You do have more responsibilities, and that’s empowering too!
That’s Life After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find her on Face Book.