It’s been nearly a year since I started my “new normal.” Looking back on this time in my life, it’s amazing to me how far I have come in just a short period of time. Certainly the beginning of the divorce process was challenging, devastating, and stressful, but I’ve found light at the end of the tunnel.
Once I got past the initial shock, I took time to reflect on how I wanted to move forward and began making a plan. In my mind there were two paths to take—I could sit around and feel sorry for myself day after day or I could wake up each morning excited about the endless possibilities in my future.
One of the things that helped me most during this transitional period was establishing a routine early on for me and my two kids. It’s refreshing to set a schedule according to what you want to do and when you want to do it, and not having to answer to anyone else. For the first time in a long time, I felt complete control over my life and the decisions I made. I also felt a true sense of accomplishment once certain goals were achieved. Something as easy as successfully doing the before and after school routine with two kids all by myself made me feel fantastic. At times, it’s all about the baby steps and making lists. You can only do one thing at a time and although occasionally there is an intense feeling of being overwhelmed, once you start to tackle the list, the feeling you have at the end of each day is unlike any other. You know that everything that was accomplished, was completely done by you.
Some people may think that my planning has gotten out of control. But to me, it is the only way that I feel like I can manage my busy life with my children. I have never really been the type of person who just lays around and waits for something to happen, but I think I have taken planning to a whole new level. I tend to make plans way in advance and, although at times I admit to being a little neurotic about it, planning helps give me a sense of control. I feel more prepared to deal with the everyday life, anticipate certain challenges and get excited about what the future may hold.
Kristen Kart is the publisher of Pittsburgh Better Times. For more information, you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.