We live in a fast paced world, seldom taking the time to catch our breath. Add to the general stress of life, a significant event such as losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, going through a divorce, or another difficult situation, and you have a recipe for emotional overload. Emotional overload keeps us in a continual state of stress and stress can wreak havoc on our system. While it is normal to feel sad, lonely, and/or scared at times, it’s important to pay attention to our feelings and take action when necessary.
Recently, my beloved dog, Ginger, passed away. One day she appeared fine and the next we were being told that we needed to “make a decision.”
Ginger lived with us for seven years. She was a foster dog and her first three years of life were painful. She was shuffled from one home to the next, never finding anyone who was willing to give her a permanent residence. If you knew her, you’d wonder why this was the case. She had a kind, gentle soul and wanted nothing more than to please. Looking back, I guess she was waiting for me.
According to Terry Orbuch, PhD, there are more than 100 million single adults in the United States today and four out of every 10 were already married once. Close to 50 percent of married people will become single again before the age of 50 – either through divorce or death.
Close to 50 percent of married people will become single again before the age of 50!
When I was a young girl, I never would have imagined that so much of my adult existence would encompass working with survivors of divorce. Heck, I never would have imagined that I would be one. But as we age, the old saying, “it is what it is” becomes more and more relevant.
One of the aspects of divorce that I cannot comprehend is that for many men, it is an invitation to relinquish their parenting responsibilities and put their needs and desires ahead of those of their children.
More and more I see women being left to assume the primary care giving responsibilities of their children while the fathers go on to lead their own lives and in many cases, start a new family, leaving behind the old.
This morning I was perusing a toy catalog, shopping for a gift for a friend’s child, when I stumbled upon an item that brought hours of enjoyment to my children. It’s a square box that has different shapes cut out into each side with accompanying matching pieces. The goal of the toy is for children to fit each piece in its corresponding hole thus learning to recognize shapes and how to fit “like” things together.
It’s the end of another year (how is that possible?). The time when we reflect on the past 365 days, take stock of where we are, and decide the path of our life moving forward. We make a list of things we want to change and create resolutions to get the job done. We start the year off with a bang moving full force in the new direction, and then boom… a different bang, we hit a wall. Everything we strive to accomplish with such passion slides to the side and we fall back into the routine of the behavior we know so well.
The past two months have been excruciatingly painful for me on a personal level. An event occurred that led me to believe that I could salvage an important relationship and I spent most of my summer trying to do just that. I did everything humanly possible to put the broken pieces back together and to try to create something new out of it. A relationship that I believed could be wonderful.
Does this sound familiar? You’re having a particularly stressful day and someone does something that you perceive to go against your belief or what you are trying to accomplish. Rather than finding out the facts or taking time to cool off, you immediately pick up the phone and call the person or compose a less than friendly email. Then, minutes after your knee-jerk reaction, you are full of regret and wonder how you are going to rectify the situation.