Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Are you happy?

My four year old loves to ask me this question. And because kids shouldn't have to deal with adult problems I always say yes. As forced as it was sometimes.

As weird/bizarre/worrying as this sounds, in the past, I used to be too scared to ask myself this question. I think because the answer scared me. Simply because too often, I wasn't.

There was a constant dialogue in my head that would go like this:

"Sarah, this is not okay. What if, for the rest of your life..."

"SHUT UP! It's fine. It's fine. It's okay."

"But... its not fine. It's wro.."

"I said SHUT UP! It is fine. This is fine."

I'm not sure when it happened but i had come to a point where I accepted that my life would be fine. Aiming for a great, exciting, fulfiling, rewarding life just seemed silly. I had lowered my standards to "fine".

I remember the moment when I was not okay with being "fine" anymore. The moment was quick but ugly. The moment was the straw that broke the camels back. But the moment was enlightening. "Fine" was no longer acceptable.

A life changing event like divorce comes with a lot of reflection. On yourself. And on the past. It sometimes hurts to look back because I literally cannot believe the state my marriage had gotten to, so I try my best to focus on the present, from a position of gratitude, because the present could be far worse. And when you are trying to single handedly parent 3 children whilst working full time there really isn't much time or energy to look beyond the next few days.

So I try and find joy and fulfillment in the everyday. I find joy in picking up my 4 year old from day care and hearing about her awesome day. I feel fulfilled every time me and my girls sit around the table for dinner and have a (poorly cooked, probably quite rushed, thrown together at the last minute) home cooked meal and just talk about everything and anything. I find joy and fulfillment in my daily commute to work as I drive in the car which I paid for with my own money, singing at the top of my lungs to my favourite feel good songs. I feel fulfilled every time I finish a good workout.

These things might seem meaningless or irrelevant but I've come to learn that the small things are the big things.

Without the small things this big things don't have meaning.

Somehow within my marriage I developed the idea that my true happiness and my sense of joy and fulfillment were not important. Everything and everyone else came first. I'm not the first wife/mother/woman to do this but I had come to realise that this was the message that I was communicating to my 3 amazing girls.

It both saddens me and brings me joy to type this but, since the separation I have never seen my children this happy and relaxed. 

The possible impacts of the separation on my children were always buzzing in my mind. I expected to be having to manage and deal with a lot of emotional, weepy and/or angry children. And at times all 3 have each picked one of those emotions and simultaneously ganged up on me. Overall, the vibe in our house is relaxed. My eldest who was chronically shy has come out of her shell like never before and is now a confident public speaker and is on the debating team at school. My middle daughter hasn't had a panic attack in many months. My youngest is known at daycare for both her eagerness to help others but her enthusiasm and determination to learn and try new things. Seeing my children thrive like never before brings me more joy than I could ever imagine.

So am i happy you ask?

Well, I'm definitely happier than I was before. That's for sure. 

One day I hope to be happy as this gorgeous girl is on the swings.

Step 100, 

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