But that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me. Today is a big day for me in two ways. First, it is the last day that I can claim to be in my 30’s (and not be lying). As of tomorrow, I will officially be 40. Ew. I don’t like the sound of that very much. But at the same time, 40 is just a number. Or so I’ve been told.
It’s funny though – when people try to guess how old I am, they are usually way wrong. But what’s even funnier is that about half of the people who attempt to guess my age will put me in my early 30’s, and the other half will put me in my late 40’s. Very rarely is someone even close. I’m turning 40 tomorrow, and I still have a 3 year old son. Several of my friends around my age have 3 year old grandkids. I’ve had people stop and ask me if my kids were mine or if they were grandkids – several times. I’ve already had a total hip replacement (at the ripe old age of 37). I’ve been married twice. I spend a lot of time in the sun, and it has aged my skin.
Those who guess that I am younger than I am – first of all, I love them – they usually base it on my kids. They can’t imagine that someone my age has such young children. Well, guess what? I do. I didn’t have my first one until I was almost 28, and then they came in rather rapid succession after that. When I actually do my hair and my face, I look much younger – but man, that takes effort! I’m lucky to put on matching clothes in the morning, and even luckier to get a shower. Shaving my legs is a luxury. Who has time to waste on hair and makeup when a ponytail and a baseball hat work just as well?
The second reason why today is such a big day – today is my last full day of being a married woman. My divorce will be final tomorrow. Yes, on my 40th birthday. Yes, I requested the date – I figured that it would soften the blow of that whole Turning 40 Thing.
I’m not going to trash my soon-to-be-ex-husband on here - now. Suffice it to say that he’s not worth the effort. It’s a very long, twisted, sordid tale and quite honestly, I don’t feel like going into it right now. We rushed into things that we never should have done, we didn’t know each other well enough, and there were demons – a lot of them. Some were his, but honestly, some were mine as well. Things didn’t work, and I kicked him out of our house over 20 months ago. I have not seen him (other than a brief court date this time last year) in a year and a half, and our son has not seen him in just as long. He has not spoken to his son in over a year.
I am ecstatic that this is going to be over tomorrow. But at the same time, there are still mixed emotions. Don’t get me wrong – I am NOT having second thoughts at all. Nope, no siree, no way. I want this. I want it to be done. But at the same time, I’m mourning the loss of another marriage, another dream, another fairy tale ending. I’m mourning the fact that our son will in all likelihood never know his father, and that I will someday have to explain to him that his father and I made some crappy choices that led us down this path. I’m angry at myself for the way that the situation played out and that my kids and my friends had to see me at my worst for so long.
At the same time, in some sick, twisted, perverted way that only a few will understand, I’m glad that I went through it. Without going through what I’ve gone through over the past few years, I would not be the person that I am today. I would not be as strong as I am (ok, people who know me – did you catch that? I just admitted that I’m strong!) and I would not be where I am emotionally in so many ways. I have learned that sometimes I have to focus on myself and take care of myself, otherwise I am a useless mom-shaped blob that can’t function. I have learned that it’s ok to totally screw things up, because chances are whatever it is can be fixed. I have learned that I don’t have to be perfect, and that the house doesn’t have to be spotless, and that we don’t have to live in the biggest house on the block or drive the nicest mini-van ever created to be happy. My kids and I are on the way to being happy with each other again.
I’m not saying that life is perfect – it is far from that. We are still struggling, emotionally and financially. But it’s all starting to come together and things are really beginning to look up. I have very tentatively dipped my toe back in the dating pool and I have been pleasantly surprised at what I’ve found so far. While I know for a fact that it will be a long time before I fully open my heart up to anyone again (if I ever do), I have learned that it is ok to let someone take a peek inside.
I was going to save a lot of this and try to post it tomorrow, when it’s all said and done, but I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to be hectic (go figure). And I wanted to get some things off of my chest too.
I really truly want to thank my friends and my family that have stuck by me through all of this. I know that I have put some of you through hell with the phone calls begging for advice and wisdom that in turn I ignored. I have leaned on some of you so much that I am amazed that you are still standing. I know that all of it strained some of our friendships at times. Words just can’t express everything that I’m feeling right now. You guys know who you are, and I just hope and pray that you know how much you mean to me. Some of us have drifted apart while some of us have moved closer to each other. Just know that no matter what, I love each of you – and I can never thank you enough for being with me through this journey.
I am a firm believer in paying it forward – there is no way that I can repay everyone for the support that I have been given, but if I can help anyone in even the tiniest way, it helps to show that the crap I have gone through was worth it. If even one person reads this silly blog and finds something that makes him/her smile, it’s worth it. Maybe another single parent somewhere in the world will identify with something that I’ve said and not feel so alone, and that’s a good thing too. Maybe just typing out my thoughts will help me to not be so mental all the time. Oh wait…….it’s just a blog. I can’t expect miracles!