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Taking Time for Metamorphosis in Life after Divorce


Daffodils blooming in front of my house. Enjoying them today as they will likely be gone tomorrow with the arrival of an incoming spring snowstorm.

It’s been more than 7 years since my divorce was final. During that time I’ve consistently worked toward creating a life I love after divorce. I’ve shared nuggets of wisdom, some of the struggles, and a bit of the fun along the way – here on my blog and in my newsletter.

Now I’m entering a new cycle of human metamorphosis (as Martha Beck describes in this article from way back in 2004).  To do so I’m taking a hiatus from my online presence.

As a divorced mom, you, too, may encounter these periods of “cocooning” where you need to withdraw and regroup, so in this post, my last for a while, I’ll describe the experiences that led me to this place, in hopes that it might help others distinguish metamorphosis from plain old lethargy or depression.

On the outside, I’ve got a lot of transitions in process. These include:

  • The last of my children started college last fall.
  • The family home in which I raised those kids is on the market now.
  • My parents are aging and beginning to have some health challenges.
  • I’m looking for a new home to fit my budget and lifestyle requirements – not an easy match.
  • I’m looking to balance the work I’ve done for the past 30+ years with something more rewarding.

Most of these are changes, challenges, and decisions all of us face in mid-life, divorced or not. How we respond to them, though, differs from person-to-person and with the specifics of our individual circumstances.

On the inside is where I’m seeing the larger impacts of the changes I’ve been through and those still to come. I’ve always been a person who likes to write or talk with others to process what I’m going through, and to share what I learn to help those who can benefit. Yet in recent months I’ve been quiet. I haven’t felt like writing or talking much, yet I don’t feel depressed or withdrawn.

I haven’t felt the need to manage or control any of the issues or challenges my kids are facing, or my parents, or even my own changes, such as the house sale. There’s an inner calm and a sense of peace that comes from doing what I can and letting the rest go.

When I described some of these feelings to a friend and mentor earlier this week, she mentioned the idea of the cocoon stage. Like a caterpillar goes through metamorphosis to become a butterfly, I may be in the process of change as well. During the cocoon stage there is quiet, rest, seeming withdrawal. Yet at some point a butterfly emerges. This is an old metaphor, I know. But the idea of the cocoon stage is one I hadn’t focused on before, and it seemed to fit.

I don’t have a time table for when I may reengage. In the meantime I will take good care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as I observe the changes that take place during this time of change. I may look exactly the same on the other side – or not. I’m curious about what will happen, but not anxious. At least not today.

I trust that more will be revealed. Until then, I wish you all lives you love after divorce.

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