The next step …

Initially when I was thrust unexpectedly into the world of divorce I could not cope. In order to survive, I put aside major decisions and strategic steps that would eventually need to be taken. I carved off one aspect to navigate at a time. I would then push through with each step until I was able to cope with that before moving onto the next. Sometimes it was not possible to deal with only one thing at a time simply because there was so much to deal with. It was still overwhelming. However, I did put aside everything that could be left. That was how I coped, putting things aside.

Gradually I worked through many steps that at first I thought I would not be able to handle – grieving for my lost marriage and intact family unit, overcoming the emotional aspects of abandonment and betrayal, finding my inner strength, selling the business, pushing through with all the legal and financial processes of the marital property settlement, and closing down all the joint legal entities until …

I was physically, emotionally, legally and financially alone. Me.

However, before I can really say that I have left behind my marriage in its entirety, there is one major hurdle left to do. Selling my home. My home has been my sanctuary over the past 35 years. It has seen me through the birth of all my children and their growing up years. It has welcomed friends, family, colleagues and community groups through its doors. It has provided me with a sanctuary as I have navigated triumphs and tragedies. As the children grew up and moved on, it remained a strength for me, saving many memories of their song and laughter within its walls…

My home looks out to the east to this vista:

Across the valley

It is comforting to rise and watch the sunrise each morning, coming up over my valley.

Even when the sun doesn’t rise, the valley still provides me with peace and privacy.

BCR_2002_050When my husband left me, my home and valley remained behind as my constant, the one thing in my life I could rely on. That reliability, that the sun would rise each day, that the valley would remain, was reassuring for me. In my busy frenetic navigating divorce ‘I-am-overwhelmed’ days, the valley would tug me back to make sure I paid gratitude for the day and be at peace with myself. Now my days are not so frantic, and I love having the time to sit in the warmth of the morning sun, drink in that sunshine, look out to the peaceful valley, and reflect in the peace and quiet.

In those early raw days, I could not bear the thought of ever moving. My home was all I had left of who I had been and the life I had led. I didn’t want to leave me behind. However, I have come to realize my home is also a constant reminder of my past life, our marital life, a life that I now wish to leave behind me. Over the past six months, I have spent some time moving about between my mother’s place and spending time with my friends and family, and especially more time with my grand-daughters. Or I have stayed home. Each time I come home, I am no longer getting that feeling of protection or security from my home. Instead I am feeling constrained, even imprisoned. Imprisoned in the past, blocked from the future. There are little flashes of hurtful memories here and there keeping me back in the past. There are little pieces of present commitments to my home, stopping me moving on to my future.

I thought after the trauma of the drawn-out marital settlement finally being over, with the death of my mother coming about the same time, I would take a year to just sit back in the comfort of my home before I moved on. I thought that I would need that year, that I would want that year. I don’t.

There is, of course, a fair bit to do in order to make that happen. That is my next project. To make it happen.



41 thoughts on “The next step …

  1. Selling your home might be the end of an era but the beginning of a new one. It seems perfectly logical to me. You will keep the good memories and ditch the bad ones, or at least give it less room to infringe on your conscience. I wish you all the best. Lovely views and lovely memories. Stick to those and welcome the new..

  2. When I saw that beautiful view and thought of your whole life there, my first thought was “Why would you want to leave?” Then as I read further I realized how new beginnings can be so freeing. Go slow and trust your journey! There is life after divorce! ā¤

    • I think part of my thoughts at the moment (of wanting to move on) is that there is still so much of ‘ours’ here in boxes in the shed and things around the house, yet the the amount of ‘sorting’ to clear that is a big task. It would be great to be free of all that and still have some time to sit back and enjoy all of this as mine (not ours) so ‘go slow’ is good advice to me. Thank you.

    • As you wrote in a post, ‘holding on’ to what I know (though somewhat painful) rather than ‘moving on’ to the unknown is what is keeping me here. The only way to find out what that ‘unknown’ is, is to go over there and find out. That is where I am at. Thanks for your support

    • Yes it will. More accessibity to family and community engagement etc. That is what the change will be for me. So it will be ‘beauty’ of a different kind. Thanks for your kind wishes.

  3. Another great post, Elizabeth. “To everything there is a season …” My experience was slightly different, as I moved out to make room for wife no 2. But I knew I needed to declutter and downsize, and did it in 2 phases, reducing the size of my new home each time and increasing the distance away. The sense of relief was immense when i was rid of all that stuff I found I really did not need. Simplify, simplify!

    • I remember you commenting on that before and that has come to my mind as I have progressed with my sorting. I can’t for the life of me see how i will be able to fit all I want to take into a small place! I remember your half – way choice. I think that may be the way for me too. Some things are too painful to decide straight away yet in a few years I may be able to let go of those too.

  4. It’s a big step but a positive for a new phase in life. It is also a big task to pack up a home, so begin as soon as you can. That is therapeutic and you’ll be surprised what you do not miss.

    • Yes the ‘packing up’ certainly is a big step. I am already becoming surprised at what I have not missed as I sort through all these boxes that I have not looked at in a LONG time. Why did I keep all this in the first place?

      • Good luck with the packing and house sale. It can be stressful at the time, but a couple of months on the “other side” the stress with have faded.

      • You are correct. I was putting it off because the legal steps took so long that I could not face the practical step. It was the thought of it that was painful. It is much better now that I have started the process. Thanks.

  5. I don’t blog anymore, but I do check in on friends from time to time, and I was happy to read this post. You have come such a long way, and I feel blessed to have been able to read of your journey. I pray for the best in your life as you move forward to new beginnings. Love & prayers ~DJ

    • I was SO happy to get a message from you. I had been wondering how you are and do hope that things are going well for you. Yes, things are looking up for me and I am in a much better place. Not quite into my ‘future’ as yet but I have a great vision for that future and I am truly looking forward to getting there. best wishes.

  6. I’ve hesitated to comment on this one because it hits so very close to home (no pun intended–I swear!). My home has been my haven. I continue to try to hang on to it. Your line about being alone in all of the various aspects hit me. It’s how I feel. But I know now I don’t want to be alone. I want a partner–steady, solid, loving. Wishing that for both of us when the time is right.

    • It has only struck me too – being alone – and it has been four years. While I had work and my Mum to care for I was distracted, keeping busy. The sorting out of the things in the house that I am doing now is depressingly lonely in the fact there is no-one to share the memories and decide whether to keep, sell or throw away. I have seen my situation as being different than others who have retired as a couple and can share that.
      Also, the home (for me) is clouded with some painful memories and that is why I now want to move away from that so that I can really be ‘alone’ by myself without those memories sucking me down. I want to make my new life, and decide whether I am OK alone with myself. However, I am not closed to the possibility that …. some time down the track … a VERY special person may change my mind.

  7. Yes! Yes! This is exactly how I felt, though I felt this way in a tiny row house on a very special city block, overlooking a historic park. I want a new beginning for you. I didn’t want to move, but I did it because the judge ordered our house sold, and it was the very best thing for me and my children. It was a fresh new start.

    I haven’t been here in a while, so I will catch up.
    xo, Madness

  8. HI Elizabeth, I thought of you today and realized I had missed this post, as well as missing you!
    I hope things are moving in a way that brings ease and a sense of new beginnings šŸŒž

    • Hi Val. Thanks for thinking of me and stopping by. I have been away from the internet – hence my spasmodic presence of late. I am moving with a bit more ease now. Stepping forward, or I should say ‘planning’ my move forward. There are still some ‘ending’ things that require my attention, or I suppose they could be thought of as ‘beginning’ things – some practical steps that require attention before I can move into that space of my ‘new life’. Slow and steady wins the race. I will get there.

  9. Your valley and home sound like oases in the midst of a rather crazy world, Elizabeth. But, who am I to stop progress and changes? šŸ™‚ I am happy you have been seeing so many positives and new possibilities. Best wishes in everything you do.
    I also enjoy hearing of your spending more time with granddaughters, Elizabeth. Hugs, Robin

    • Yes, they have been like an oasis. Now that things have quietened down for me (ie the world is not SO crazy), then perhaps they are becoming a bit TOO quiet. Time for me to move somewhere closer to people. thanks for your wishes for me. šŸ™‚

  10. Good for you. You are so brave and strong, and this wouldn’t be an easy decision for anyone. The view from your home is breathtaking, and I can see how, in your darkest moments, it would ground you and remind you that life is all around you.

  11. Pingback: When home no longer feels like home | Spring into Summer

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