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Divorced Mom Reflects on 7 Years of Recovery

The past month has been as full as any time period I can recall in life after divorce. I’ve chosen to be present for all of it, which means it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.

Last Monday I celebrated 7 years since the start of my recovery to a life I love, a journey that included a decision to divorce (the 6-year anniversary is coming up later this month) and many bumps and potholes along the way. Yet despite the challenges, I’ve never been happier or more peaceful. My forthcoming book — Create a Life You Love after Divorce:  The Breadwinner Mom’s Four Point Plan — will share how I got here and how other divorced moms can, too.

As I work on the final edits and prepare the book for publication, I’ll be sharing short reflections and pictures here on the blog. Tonight’s post is a recap of the major events of the past few weeks, with details to come in future posts.

In addition to my regular consulting work and an extra project or two, I’ve had the following experiences over the past two weeks:

  • A backpacking trip turned rescue operation when one of our group was taken ill
  • Making the decision to say farewell to our long-time family dog Dottie when arthritis had crippled her to the point she couldn’t walk without pain or stand to eat
  • Finding out that the kids’ dad lost his latest job (on Father’s Day)
  • Interacting with the kids about saying goodbye to the dog, scheduling, and then following through with sending her across the rainbow bridge, as they say in animal rescue circles (Dottie was a rescue dog as a pup.)
  • Finding out the good news that one of my sons was accepted early admission to PT school, and then supporting him in the scramble to get everything together to meet the tight deadlines before school starts in August
  • 50th birthday celebration for a sister-in-law that turned into an all-day affair between the traffic to get there, the luncheon, and the drive home
  • Leading a meeting to celebrate 7 years of recovery from the effects of alcoholism in my life, then sharing a celebratory coffee with my “sister” in the program before heading off for a few days in the mountains
  • Mini-vacation in the mountains, including climbing 4 14ers (14,000-foot mountains) in one day, a spectacular lake hike with wildflowers and waterfalls the next day, and a route finding expedition on our last day away
  • Returning home to discover some health issues with our remaining dog (to be addressed next week)
  • Helping my long-time neighbor who is in the process of moving with some yard work
  • Recognizing and delighting in the wonderful young adults my children have become as they all joined me in visiting my parents and a cousin we hadn’t seen in decades on the 4th of July

I’ll be writing in more detail about a few of these experiences over the next few weeks. What I find most amazing about all of this is to recognize how much growth and recovery I’ve had since my divorce. Just the workload alone would have created high levels of stress for me a few years ago, even without the emotional turmoil of saying farewell to our dog and the backpacking trip that didn’t go as planned.

Yet over the past few weeks I’ve been surprisingly peaceful and able to roll with life after divorce as it comes. As I reflect on my 7-year journey, I recognize what a large part deciding to divorce played in my ability to grow and recover – as well as what a gift my former husband gave me in being the catalyst that propelled me into the journey in the first place.

I’m grateful for all of it, and I’m looking forward to see what the next 7 years will bring.

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