March 25, 2015

Single or Attached, This Is How You Need To Feel

This morning I made myself a coffee from my beloved coffee machine, walked downstairs to sit at the desk I chose for myself, and did a few hours of work.

And then I paused, and looked around at the bedroom which is mine, in the apartment which is mine, in this life which is mine... and I felt happy. Really, truly happy, in this moment.

I don't always feel happy. Life as a divorced mother is often challenging. I can feel lonely. I go on bad dates. I spend many a Saturday night alone. I feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of sole parenting for much of the week. I wonder if I will ever take an overseas holiday with a partner again.

But today I feel happy. Today I feel a sense of ownership of my life, a sense of control and peace that I have rarely known.

I often worry that if I speak of feeling content in this life that it will be taken as a slight to my ex husband, and this is not at all what I intend. I have enormous respect and affection for him, and I always will.

But I really never lived alone until now. I moved straight out of home and into my then-boyfriend's home. After we broke up I moved back in with my parents for a while, and then lived on my own in an apartment for only a few months before I moved in with the man I would marry.

And from then on there was joy and there was travel and there were children and there were the infinite highs and lows of married life. But I never had the opportunity to learn my own tastes or desires or preferences independently of my partner. Or rather, I had the opportunity to do so, but I didn't take it. I chose my own path, but didn't understand it's impact until now.

This home is the first home I have decorated myself. My last holiday was the first holiday I have chosen alone. This desk was the first desk I have bought without consulting another. I choose my friends, the men I date, the work I do, the places I go. It is an incredibly empowering feeling, to make decisions about your own life.

To me, this sense of ownership of one's own life is fundamental. Whether you are in a relationship or single, you need to be in control,  of your decisions, your choices, your path. Relationships are about compromise - hell, life is about compromise - but that sense of ownership is vital. If you don't have it, then take the steps necessary to do so. This is the only chance at life you're going to get.

Whatever your situation, life will be challenging. But life is about moments. It is about those fleeting snatches of happiness.

And for me, today is one of them.

24 comments:

  1. To quote Kate Bush:


    Some moments that I've had
    Some moments of pleasure


    I think about us lying
    Lying on a beach somewhere
    I think about us diving
    Diving off a rock, into another moment


    Just being alive

    It can really hurt
    And these moments given
    Are a gift from time


    Just let us try
    To give these moments back
    To those we love
    To those who will survive


    xx

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  2. I lived alone for six years, paid off my apartment single handedly and took many solo holidays. Now that I am married with kids I am so grateful that I had this opportunity. The same goes for my husband who lived overseas, paid off two homes and built a successful business on his own. We came to marriage late but we came well and truly ready.

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  3. Kerri, I was 31 before I got married. Yeah way too young, I know ! I've experienced life living alone in a flat, and I have to say I enjoyed it. Independence can be wonderful, but it can also be lonely. Now I'm married, and I am at the beck and call of another human. I sit at my computer and Mrs F calls out, and says " Can you bring the washing in, and lock up "? When I go into the lounge, she's watching TV. Now I ask you, is that fair ? :-D

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  4. I'm in my mid-late 40s and lived alone since the early 1990s. I always wanted a partner and family but it wasn't to be. However - as you have noted, there's that sense of accomplishment... everything I have I earned myself. Everything I've done since my early 20s when I finished Uni I've done myself - my choices, my successes, my failures. My life!


    My mother seems to have a lot of widowed friends and it's a bit scary - some have never really learned to take care of themselves / had responsibility for their own budget, their own income and bills etc.

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  5. Beautiful K. And it's so lovely to hear the contentment in your voice xx

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  6. Lana (Sharpest Pencil)March 25, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    I am so happy to read this angel. But I thought *I* chose the desk - or at least played a part in it xxxx

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  7. Oh Kerri - I identify so much with this post. Life post-separation is such a rollercoaster. But I feel so much more joy now than I had for many years. And it feels good to have a place that's all mine to do with as I choose.

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  8. I love this. Go you good thing! How empowering.

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  9. You chose the SHOP. I chose the desk. (Even though it was the only desk in the shop..... *coughs*) xxxxxxxx

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  10. I'm so glad! And I love your attitude. I agree entirely. It's the moments of joy that count x

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  11. I hear you're doing SO well. I'm really happy for you xxxxx

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  12. It's such a delight knowing you and always such a pleasure reading your smartly-spun words. More than that, it's lovely hearing you're happy. xx

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  13. Thank you gorgeous. Let's have that dinner!!!

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  14. YES. That sounds absolutely perfect. I'm so glad for you both x

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  15. Gosh I love her. Perfect quote, JJ. Perfect. x

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  16. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy. That is all. That's more than enough. xxxx

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  17. Life really is a series of moments. So great to read that you are enjoying yours. I love your desk. X

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  18. I met my now-husband when I was 18, and we moved in together when I was 20, so I've shared my whole adult life with someone. And you're right - that ownership is really important, to be able to make your own decisions and carve out your own life. Without that, I'd be resentful, and that's no way to live.

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