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 wanted our dynamic to change, … Read More

How to eat an elephant

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Let’s  put aside the disgrace of actually eating an elephant and focus on the metaphoric value of this little aphorism. Many of us experience divorce as an “elephant in the room” that somehow takes over the whole house. Digesting the meaning and impact of this runaway elephant is not … Read More

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 I kept slipping backwards into … Read More

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 us to put a new … Read More

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 at his place with Teddy … Read More

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 our ability to allocate resources … Read More

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 and healing. I’ve noticed that … Read More

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 tigers while birthing, the book … Read More

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 can change What your ex … Read More

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 “running filters” through which I … Read More