8 March 2009

Dear Jo,

I was very moved by your post on March 5th. (Catch Jo at www. MajorityOfTwo.blogspot.com) One sentence in particular struck me:

“As a child, I used to imagine how my life would be when I grew up. I supposed that it might not turn out quite as I had imagined, but I never would have believed it would turn out the way it has.”

Oh yes, I understand.

When I became the cause of my husband’s distress (!) and in order to be happy he needed to not come home to our 5 children and me, but instead go to a woman who drove a Jeep and owned a boat, I tormented myself with visions of my children being raised in my single-parent home, and then also in their father’s new wife’s home too. But it never happened, so what a waste of emotion on my part.

When I had a second cancer diagnosis, 14 years after the first one, I didn’t even think about dying and leaving my kids mother-less. I just wallowed in self-pity until I decided it was a waste of emotion on my part.

When I realized the father of my children,  having reached the pinnacle of success in his field, now owns a large house (with his wife of 3 yrs.) in the historical district, meaning he’s not applying for heat assistance with the county, as we’ve had to do…may have “arrived,” in my book he’s a no-show until he decides  to resume  contact with his disabled son. And not worth my time and gotta stop with the wasted emotion too.

Years ago I had a co-worker who went to a workshop for wives/spouses of store managers. Something she learned; in order to cope with the stress of her position, she was to think about whatever was currently bugging her, then think ahead 5 years, 10 years, and decide if from those vantage points if her current worry is worth the time she’s devoting to it.

Funny how that little jolt can help provide perspective. I’m not saying you can give up worrying or being upset about being shut out of your grandchildren’s lives, but only suggesting that you use your time and emotional energy wisely. Easy to say, I know.

Of course all free advice is worth exactly what it costs. I hope you’ll find a reason to smile, laugh, indulge yourself a little. Here’s a little something – hope it helps. A You Tube movie called: I will survive, Igudesman & Joo


The illustration on the side here–would be my one rule on earth–if I were Queen of Everything for a day!

Best to you, Lauren