Tag Archives: divorce

Forgiveness

Mark Laita is wonderful. I love his interviews. Stumbled across this podcast where he discussed what he does.

I’ve never heard anyone other than me express this thought. This is EXACTLY what I did. It was the only way forward. It wasn’t without some work on my end, but I got there some time back. It has made all the difference

Recently, Beetle stated I was chill. Indeed! It’s because I have forgiven.

Won’t you help me share my load?

Little darlin’, come with me
Won’t you help me share my load
From the dark end of the street
To the bright side of the road

Van Morrison, Bright Side of the Road

My lifestyle provides little for the To-Do list. I like that. Even so, there is a task that has been ongoing for two years now. It deals with the divorce. Much like the divorce itself, this task is wholly out of my control, yet I am completely responsible for it.

Accountants, lawyers, courts, investors, and a mangement firm are all involved. Of course, I pay for it all.

I’ve hired all that needed to be hired to complete the task. I’ve been told what needs to be done and slowly have moved forward with getting those tasks done. All this moves slower than a snail.

Independent of me, my ex-wife has determined it will be done differently. Despite the people who actually have the money stating they will not release any money until the list of tasks are completed, pressure was applied this week (again while I was out of town) to complete this her way. My ex-wife produced a form for me to sign. She stated her financial people will wrap it up with this one form. My people said that will not release the money. More from my ex-wife that her guy has this in hand.

I signed the document. It is my way of clearing this task. The work now transfers to her. As I wrote her, I consider the matter closed.

I am a believer of taking care of business expediently. Some things can’t be by design. That I can remove this from my plate is wonderful. I wish Gert well in completing this task. We both agree to the outcome; it’s just working through the legal entanglements to make it occur. It’s a headache . . . but no longer my headache.

Boosting My Minimalism

As I watch the folks on YouTube speak about their minimalistic journeys, I realized that I don’t have many things in common with most of them. The reason? I have gotten to the place that they are striving to attain.

And while I went through a lot of the struggles they share, I had a boost that they do not have; I divorced.

The divorce and when it happened afforded me luxury that those who chronicle their struggles do not have.

While COVID was not the reason we divorced (the decision was made prior to that), COVID hit immediately after that decision. And because of it, I was locked in a house for five months as we worked through the procedure. There was no moving out. And because of that, I was able to think through the minutiae . . . all the routines . . . the procedures . . . the bobbles. I had nothing to do for the five months, I had a topic, and I researched the heck out of it. When I did eventually move out, I knew exactly what I had, what I needed, and where it would go.

I also had a sister who was more than willing to take furniture. I had a lot of the family stuff. I no longer wanted it, but I also didn’t want to leave it behind. This is one of those areas that people on this journey really struggle with. I had a willing taker. I didn’t question it either. It would have been easy to ask why my (much older) sister, on the precipice of retiring and presumably moving into a smaller abode, would add to her furniture. But I didn’t. I helped load the moving truck.

While I didn’t want to leave the family furniture behind, I did leave plenty of other things.

My journey had begun long before the divorce. I had gotten myself to a pretty good place with things, but there was still plenty left. Some of those things would have caused arguments if I had disposed of them. Some of those things may not have been mine specifically, but ours. And some things I knew I made use of, or at least had available, that I didn’t consider mine. There was a lot of stuff.

Everything I read about moving into a new place cautioned to go with less. One can always purchase something if needed. I knew I would need beds, linens, plates, etc. I truly thought through all those items. Those that I couldn’t reconcile (I’m talking about you trashcans!), I showed up without. Yup, I used plastic bags for a couple weeks until I could figure out how to proceed.

Aside
The trashcan issue is somewhat comical. Another benefit I had in all this is that I moved back to the apartment complex I had lived in for eight years prior to marriage. I was familiar with it and understood where some of the drawbacks were. One, too much stuff. Two, I loathed that the kitchen trashcan had no ideal home. The place for it was at the end of the counter, which is really in the dining room. That bothered me and I looked to not repeat that.

After a few weeks in the apartment, I came up with a soultion. I use a bathroom trashcan (small) that resides beneath the sink. It obviously does not hold as much trash, but as a single guy, I don’t produce that much. It has worked flawlessly!

Another item I struggled with and thus did not have Day One was an entertainment center. I fancied a white Ikea center that mounted to the wall and looked like it is floating. Great in theory, not so great in practice. Firstly, they are expensive. Second, even though I am permitted to mount such a thing into the walls here, I have no ability to do so. I am no handyman. And the apartment, despite being promised to being identical to the model (during COVID there were limitations on what one could see), had the cable hook-up on a different wall. That changed everything! The entetainment center I fancied could not fit in the space I had available.

But I still needed something. A 65-inch television was on the floor being watched. I eventually reverted to a prep school/college solution. It’ll sound horrible, but I assure you I love it. I purchased six cinder blocks and placed the legs of the television on three each. That rose it off the ground perfectly for me. Not liking seeing the cords, I purchased a piece of white poster board that sits between the cinder blocks. The cords are behind it. Unless I tell you about, you can’t tell there is such a thing. All told, I purchased a $13 entertainment center that I really like.
/Aside

So, I showed up with exactly what I needed and a few things to work out. Everything else I left behind. Everything.

Clothes I didn’t want. I had pared down pretty far before the divorce, but I adopted my uniform when I moved out. Phillies jerseys, baseball caps, etc. I left hanging in the closet.

Games, pots and pans, dishes, appliances, framed prints, etc. were all left exactly where they were. I took nothing I didn’t need. Sure, it left my ex-wife with some work. I wasn’t concerned. It’s the price for she paid for disrupting the family. Ha! She asked me if I wanted some stuff over the next several months. I declined each time. I don’t want anything from that house; it’s all toxic (I own very little that I owned when married. Almost everything I have is new since I moved.). And now more than a year-a-half later, not needed. I’ve gotten on just fine without any of it, so I know I don’t need it.

I was able to boost my minimalism due to the divorce.

  • I left stuff behind that I didn’t actually have to dispose of
  • My sister took the family furniture and some other stuff
  • I was able to think through thoroughly each thing I needed

Most people do not have the luxury I had. I am grateful for it and it has made a tremendous improvement to my life!

Control & Security

Things are going pretty well for me mentally regarding the divorce these days. I am not dwelling on things. I am not pre-occupied with it. I have moved on.

Even so, just now coming home from driving Fritz to school I recognized something. Divorce, for me(n), is akin to abortion. Ultimately, it was not a decision I was permitted to make. The control of the situation was always in Gert‘s hands.

If upon impregnation, Gert had decided to abort the baby, there would be nothing I could do about it. The law permits her to make that decision regardless of my desire. Sure, one would hope that if two folks are doing the deed to create life, they would be close enough to have the discussion, be on the same page, respect one another, yada yada yada.

But isn’t the same true of divorce?

At one point Gert said to me, “I would think that you would be jumping up and down excited for this.” I explained I was not. I reiterated that divorce was not what I wanted. I was clear in that regard. Note, however, ultimately, that decision was not up to me. We’re divorced. It’s not because I wanted to be, it was Gert’s decision.

Over the last several years I have learned that there is no security in things. Despite having what I perceived I wanted: a house, car, dogs, fence, etc., the things were controlling me. Attention, upkeep, money, etc. were demanded of the things in my life. It was to the point, I lost control. I couldn’t go out and do things because there was a mess that needed attention, a thing that needed to be fixed, etc. Shunning the things freed me from being beholdened to them. The things did not provide me security.

The divorce has taught me similarly. Ultimately, I had no security in marriage for whether we remained married or not was out of my control. Discussion didn’t matter. I said I didn’t want to be divorced; we’re divorced. Religion didn’t matter; we took vows before God to love and cherish one another in sickness and in health; yet we’re divorced.

Marriage was all a ruse. I didn’t matter.

I had no control in marriage. I had no security.

Control and security must then exist only within me, not in anything external.

I Can’t Wait

When you’re drunk in the elevator, with your clothes all torn When your late night friends leave you in the cold gray dawn Just seen too many flies on you, I just can’t brush them off

Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Shine a Light

It’s amazing how a divorce shines the light on things that were present all along that either were not noticed or suppressed.

I long felt as though I was tethered. As soon as I began enjoying something, there would be my wife with the buzzkill. She would call and summon me home, e-mail me about some task that needed to be done, etc.

That has not subsided since the divorce. I had news for her that I had planned to hold until I returned. The reason was simple: she would comment negatively and disrupt my time away.

Yet, she was still able to disrupt my happy time. Sitting on her lounger for months on end not lifting a finger on the divorce and then out of nowhere she begins pressing for something that she took seven months to provide her end for. Pfft.

Yeah, I shared my news that would certainly inconvenience her.

Divorce is nasty business.

I can’t wait for the children to age out to 18 so I can deal with them directly and once and for all put all this nonsense behind me for good. The legacy of the happy times has dwindled.

Just seen too many flies on you, I just can’t brush them off

Formalistic Writing

Formula Writing Structure

In the “everything happens for a reason” department, I came into my classroom today to find many things rearranged, furniture moved, and posters removed from the wall, including my anchor charts.

I used this experience to organize those anchor charts. I was able to pare down a few. Like the one above.

This is a writing exercise I have used for years to demonstrate a writing tactic I teach. The idea is that students hear the ice cream truck. They want ice cream, but they have no money. So, the pressure is on to find money before the ice cream truck leaves the street.

Students are to come up with three attempts to get the money, two of which that fail, the third succeeds. This is a model of my attempt to solve the problem.

It’s sloppy because it’s written quickly on the fly to show the formula of the procedure.

Anyhow, I discarded this today. I’ll create a new one when we get to it. This one no longer works as Mrs. Owens no longer exists. 😉

Ha!

For each mathematics lesson, I create a video. These videos serve as a reminder to the students how to do the work. They also teach parents how the work is to be done. Each time I re-visit the lesson, I watch the video to remind me of the procedures I want to ensure I teach.

I watched this video today. I saw something that looked odd. Yes, it’s the wedding ring. It doesn’t belong there. 😉

Positive of Being Divorced

Ribeye

Making lemonade from lemons, I have identified a positive of being divorced.

Look at that ribeye. True, at the house, I usually finished my steaks on the grill. Love that! But there is something about finishing in cast iron on the stove.

At the house, that was problematic. The smoke alarm at the house was so sensitive that any searing caused the system to go off. Frankly, boiling water sometimes set the alarm off. While it kept us safe, it was most annoying. And Fritz detested it!

Here at the apartment, I am able to sear and get a lovely crust on my steaks after it has been cooked sous vide. Love it!

WBGT 05: Sculpture Walk

20-08-13 GC53C8Q

GC53C8Q
43.42095 -88.171283

This is one for the history book.

About a month ago I planned my visit to West Bend for the geotour. I flew out from New Jersey yesterday into Chicago and drove up here for a day and a half before heading south. Because of wandering around yesterday, we had plenty to scramble and do to complete the geotour this morning. We were making good time in that goal, but another event had to happen.

Geocaching is all about the story. We all have them. Our first hunt. First find. Trips we’ve taken. Friends we met.

I came to the geocache as a married man. In 2001 my wife and I sought our first geocache. Not thinking anyone would believe we found it, we videotaped the entire experience. Since then, my geocaching story has had many episodes.

This geocache will be one of the anchor points in that story. I arrived as a married man, as I said. I left as a single man.

Last week, my lawyer informed me that the divorce proceeding would be conducted this morning via Zoom. I explained I would be in Wisconsin, but since it was a virtual procedure, that could be done on the hunt. So, I found the geocache, walked to the bench, called into the court, met the judge, did what needed to be done, signed the log for the geocache, and left.

Ain’t technology great? Seriously. This could not have been done just a few years ago.

Yes, this is a geocache that will always be remembered by me. This was a wonderful stop along the West Bend geotour and in my geocaching story. Thank you for being a part of that; I appreciate it.