Saying it and meaning it

The way I talked to Pete when I was upset never served me–or us, or the problem I was trying to solve. My constant disappointment, carried far and wide by my tone of voice, served primarily to cement alienation in our marriage. And things weren’t improving much in divorce. It became obvious that if I (read on)

You can choose to be happy right now

For two years, I was blind. A dug out ditch. An empty pocket. A life support system for my beautiful child and my work and my family of animals. I staggered from day to night to day with no joy, no sense of anticipation, no hope. I struggled mightily to crawl toward those things, but (read on)

Know Thy Process

Nearly a year after our divorce was finalized, Pete told me he wanted more parenting time. Imagine a cartoon character whose eyes pop out of their sockets and whose skull flies open to release explosion smoke, and you’ll get the picture of how I felt about this request. In the two months it took for (read on)

Make a love project

A year and a half into my divorce, I took a job at an ad agency after working for myself, from home, for 15 years. This required shoehorning my life into the conflicting timing requirements of my workday and my son’s preschool. Pete and I worked out a delicate dance that involved me showing up (read on)

Regulate your biorhythm

One of the most jarring dimensions of co-parenting is the irregularity of our biorhythm. And it’s one of the most challenging to resolve. From day to day or week to week, we have different combinations of people coming and going from our home. This can effect everything from our sleep to our daily schedules to (read on)

Give Yourself Breathing Room

My mother never  let me go to sleep wearing a Band-Aid. She insisted a wound needed to breathe to heal best. I have found the same to be true in my emotional life. For years, I’ve been field testing the idea that when you fixate on the problem, you lock it in—therefore limiting air circulation (read on)

Name Your Divorce Tigers

When I was pregnant, I read a book called Birthing from Within. What I remember best from the book is the idea of a birth tiger, which points out: a woman’s labor is designed to stop when she encounters a tiger. This is a built in survival mechanism. Since women today don’t often encounter literal (read on)

The Wisdom to Know the Difference

When we go through a divorce process, so much of what happens is out of our hands. Being clear about what we can influence and what is definitely not ours to manage can help us conserve energy and emotion. Here’s a list I made for myself. The things you can not change The things you (read on)

Running Filters

When Pete would trigger in me something big—often in that rushed and complicated time of handing off our child—I’d get lost for a while in the old spin, the suffocating stories, the righteous rage. Day by day, with great reverence for my tender heart, I’d reel myself back in with a practice that I call (read on)

The Rage Diaries

When my friend Tom moved to Portland, he initiated himself into the city by writing stories that started with each letter of the alphabet. He’d wait until he stumbled upon something interesting that started with “A” and then write an essay about it. Then “B”, and so on. I copied this approach with a project (read on)