Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Time to review what I am thankful for this year.

At this point I stopped typing and stared at the screen for a good five minutes. With a look on my face, like, you know, the cats in the photo below. It’s not that I don’t have things I am thankful for, but this year has been a mixed bag, to say the least. I feel kind of like these boys now that dinner is over, “Just a few pieces of discarded turkey? Where’s the stuffing and sweet potato casserole??”

Thanksgiving Cats

The Sale of our House

This was HUGE. From February to June we were forced to pay mortgage and rent simultaneously because my husband’s job took him a couple of states away, and the teenage man child was still in school until May. As most of you probably know, house payment is never just house payment. No, there are all of the utilities for two dwellings, insurance, and other crap you don’t think about, too. By the time June came, what was left of our savings had been wiped out and the credit card debt was again on the rise. After so many years in the black, being in the red scared me! I began to realize how close we really were to walking back into bankruptcy court – something I hope to never do again! The house sale resolved the financial issues (sort of) for the time being. At least, for now, red is once again a Christmas color instead of something radiating from my bank statement.

My Kids

Needless to say, when the bomb of separation explodes, anyone standing nearby takes some shrapnel. My kids were no exception. For a month or two, it was touch and go between us, and I imagine the feelings of confusion and uncertainty could well rise again when the dust gets kicked up by divorce proceedings sometime in 2016; but for now I am thankful for open communication and their support. I choose to look with hope to the future, because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that certainly applies to relationships as well.

The teenage man-child, the Son-in-Law, and my eldest daughter
Teenage man-child, Son-in-Law, and eldest daughter
My younger daughter with me at a friend’s wedding

My Family of Origin

There is simply no possible way to express the sheer tonnage of thankfulness I feel towards them. The thing is, they have been waiting for me to come to my senses home for more than twenty-eight years, and even during that time, they lovingly supported me in whatever way they could (both emotional and financial). They never stopped hoping, praying, or believing, and the reinforcement each of them has given (since the day my brother and his wife rode a train across 3 states in order to drive a U-Haul that would carry my life’s possessions back home) made my transition back into singleness as smooth as silk. I know that I could have left my marriage without their support, but I am so very glad I didn’t have to.

Teenage man-child, Son-in-Law, and eldest daughter

My Friends

Walking away from my marriage has been a surreal experience in one major respect: the people I expected to judge/condemn me supported me instead! (??) Strange does not begin to describe this experience, but if you did not spend half your life in an ultra-conservative Christian denomination that has no tolerance for a woman who walks away from a marriage without “Biblical grounds” (adultery), you likely will not understand why I was so blown away by the support I have received. Little did I know that a boat load of folks had been waiting – no, hoping – for the day when I would finally decide to call it quits. That moment came sometime between two o’clock and seven o’clock on July 17, 2015. A week later, the cheers and loving words of my friends blew away my fear of the rejection and condemnation I had expected. Thank you all so very much!!

The Family who Adopted my Boys

You don’t have any idea how difficult it is to find a good home for a pet until you give it a go. For me, my sweet orange tabbies absolutely hung the moon, but my change in situation necessitated finding them a new home. It was hard! I am so thankful for the wonderful environment they are in now – SO much better than any life I could have hoped to provide for them. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, HBH!!

My boys with a new playmate
My boys with a new playmate

My Job

Without it, my life would still be stuffed into one bedroom of my parent’s house. I am very thankful for the freedom to live on my own, in my very own space, although it can sometimes get a bit lonely. That’s where the next item comes in.

My Cat

When you’ve become accustomed to being with people pretty much 24-7 (newborns – toddlers – home school kids – office mates) for 25+ years, suddenly being alone can feel overwhelming, especially for a sanguine extrovert like me. It’s nice to know that when I get home from work every day, there is someone waiting – looking to me for companionship. I wonder if he knows just how much I need him.

"Why did you get up??"
“Why did you get up??”

My Marriage

Yep, I am thankful for all the lessons I learned during the last twenty-eight years – things I am certain I never could have learned otherwise. I am even thankful for the person who taught me those lessons. Without him, where would I be today? More importantly, if not for my marriage, I would not have had the #2 item on this list, and that would have been three tragedies all wrapped up into one gigantic empty space in my heart.

Your turn: What are you thankful for in 2015? Let me know in the comments.