July 05, 2009

Today is an anniversary. Not the kind you celebrate; rather, the kind that marks a watershed event that changed your life. July 5th is, and always will be, that kind of day for me.

July 5th, 2007, was the day my ex-wife informed me that she thought our 18-year marriage was over. Though it took a few months to become final, that was the beginning of the end. I'll never forget where I was, what was said or how I felt as long as I live.

The last two years have seen my life go through more changes than I ever thought possible. I've been lower and more despondent than I ever thought possible. I've been confused and felt alone. I've realized that support can come from the most unexpected of places. I've met an amazing person who taught me that it is possible to love again. And I've had new experiences that have enriched my life.

I've also seen a strength and resiliency in my two daughters that amazes me every single day. Their well-being was my biggest concern when my ex and I split. But the way they've dealt with the changes in their family and continued to develop as strong, smart, centered young women is a testament to their character. I am more proud of them that I could ever express with words.

So, two years down the road, I've learned this: Life changes, nothing is certain, and nothing stays the same. You have to roll with it and adapt. You can't let the changes define you - you define your own life.

There are still tough days. But now, on this second "anniversary," those are outnumbered by the good days. Progress.

December 10, 2008

All Hail The Power Juicer!

Been a while since I've posted. Lots of false starts, and life gets in the way. I need to get better about this.

So anyway, I find myself sitting here at 10pm watching old reruns of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?". There's an audience member sitting behind Drew Carey who is totally sporting the Michael Bolton hair. And he keeps preening for the camera. Almost funnier than the show itself.

Whose Line is over...and just as I'm about to change the channel, an infomercial for the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer comes on. I swear, the way their pitching this thing you'd think that it's the miracle cure for every disease, it will solve the economic crisis, and bring you closer to a higher power. Oh, and the celebrity co-host, who is such a big celebrity that I've never heard of her in my life, has more teeth than Donnie and Marie combined.

I gotta watch South Park or something just to cleanse myself.....

September 23, 2008

Of Wine and Weiners...

I've found that one of the interesting things about living on your own is the choices you make for simple things like, say, dinner. Not much sense in cooking a meal for one.

As I sat on my patio a few nights ago, looking at the stars and moon and enjoying a glass of a nice Bordeaux (yeah I actually had a good red that night), I decided I needed to eat. But what?

Now, as a new bachelor, I find that my grocery shopping falls primarily into two camps: "What will I eat in the next 48 hours?" and "What won't go bad if I don't touch it for two months?" With that in mind...I buy lots of frozen stuff.

But I digress. Anyway, in my freezer I found a turkey brat and a 98% fat free turkey hot dog. Easy, simple. So I fired up my small little gas grill. But as I sat there, cooking turkey weiners and drinking good wine, I realized that in a culinary sense, I was culture-clashing big-time. It got me to thinking...what kind of wine actually goes with turkey weiners. The only thing I could come up with is Thunderbird. Or a simple MD 20/20 grape. And a Chevy Impala up on blocks on the front lawn.

My Bordeaux was much to classy for my meal. So I gulped the last of it, switched to a Michelob Ultra, and all was again harmonious with the universe.


I ran into an old aquaintaince of mine at the soccer field the other day. He went through a divorce about 18 months before I did.

We took a few minutes to catch up, and he asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was doing well; that I have been seeing someone who has become very important in my life, but that there are still tough days dealing with the baggage and pain of my divorce.

He said something that stuck with me. "Yeah," he said, "when you're in a relationship that long, it's difficult to get untangled from each other."

Untangled. I'd never heard it put like that before, but it's so very true. My ex and I were together for 23 years. Every part of our lives was intertwined. The psuedo-physical untangling - cars, home, assets, etc. - is one thing, but the emotional untangling is altogether different and, from what I've experienced, much harder. Probably more so for the divorcee rather than the divorcer.

And honestly, at the dissolution of a very long relationship, do you every really completely untangle from the other person? My guess is no, at least not that I can see. And should you, really?

September 22, 2008

Vino al Cheapo

Ok, so I gotta stop buying cheap wine.

As a remnant from my 23-year relationship with my ex, I like red wine. Didn't at first, but her tastes rubbed off on me, and I became somewhat of a wine snob. Not $$$$ bottles, but enough that if it was under $15, I looked at it suspiciously.

Well, now that I'm single and on a somewhat tighter budget, I still like reds but I keep searching for that sub $10 gem. Yet to find it, and occassionally I really misstep.

Like the last bottle I bought. Browsing the local liquor store, found this Chilean thing....can't even remember the name (must have blocked it out). It was a "staff recommendation", which must have meant "the people that work here usually swig Mickey's Big Mouths 'till they're blind - then we taste wines, and this one didn't make us puke."

This thing boasts that it's a gold medal winner. Must've been a private ceremony with a medal they pressed themselves. It tastes like a big chunk of black pepper.
No subtle hint of pepper like many good reds will have. No, this is a pepper mill disguised as a red wine. I guess it pairs well with, oh, beef jerkey.

So the search for a good, affordable red continues. And I'm crackin' open a Mickey's.

September 21, 2008

The Beginning of the End...or the End of the Beginning.

It occurs to me that the first post in this blog should sort of explain where it comes from...where I come from. This blog is just, basically, a chronicle of my life - not a day-by-day account, but just what crosses my mind, my environment, and my desktop as I explore life after my divorce. Some of it is funny, some poignant, some just plain weird. My hope is that by sharing these odds, ends and assorted moments of mayhem, that you might find something useful, or at least entertaining.

So, to the beginning....or rather the beginning of the end.

July 5th, 2007, was d-day in my world. My wife of 18 years, and partner for 23 years, came home from a two-week trip to China and announced that she wanted a divorce. Right out of the blue. Hit me like a runaway train. She gave me a myriad of reasons - needing to find herself, wanting more out of life, etc., etc. Maybe someday, if the topic fits, I'll get into it more. Suffice, for now, to say that I thought we had a great thing going. Guess I was the only one.

The next few months were a blur of desolate feelings, intense despair, and a resolution to make my physical self better, even as the world around me was imploding. The emotional self - well, that's been a somewhat longer journey.

Fast forward 15 months. I've come back to life - at least on most days. Life is still tough, but now at least there is usually more joy, or at least calm, than pain. I followed through on the promise I made to myself to make myself physically better. I dropped 70 pounds, got in better cardio shape and even have some muscle definition and the outline of a six-pack. Ok, it's more like a two-or-three pack right now, but it's a start.....

There is an amazing woman in my life. She went through a divorce about six months before me...so we're finding our way back around together. And my daughters have been awesome. I wouldn't be a shell of who I am right now without their understanding, love, and incredible ability to handle this enormous change in their lives.

There's much more of the story to tell, and the ending isn't written, but that's for another day.