Act 3, episode 1: One in 23

First, let me thank you, Reader. Thank you for your support and interest.

I'd likely keep writing with zero subscribers, but I assume you are here because you want to be, or you would unsubscribe.

Also, if things change for you and you no longer want any of this lusciousness, please follow your own path. No offense taken.


YES, dare I say, it is a Great Life.


This was my mantra all month as I wanted to lose a few more pounds.

(Why not me? Reach for it!)

This has been my mindset around this new world of employment.

(Why not look for work I'd enJOY?)


I Choose Me.


Let's get into it. I'm so very excited to see how this next phase, Act 3, plays out.

It's my story, and I am the leading lady. It's not yet written, but I can definitely decide how I want it to go.


Wow.

I could not have written that sentence a year ago, or even meant it a month ago.

In the week since my little full moon ritual, I have not settled back into that hollowed trench. I'm out, ground level, walking forward. Mmm, so good.


Recap:

If you're just arriving to this little party, I wrote two blog series since February 2020,

ONE in the voice of a British woman that sounded much like Gillian Anderson,

because I could not yet find my own voice or the courage to use it,

and the SECOND was discovering the voice of Me.


Both covered the months of separation from my husband after 27 years of marriage, and co-creating a divorce agreement with a Mediator in the summer.

In that time, I have discovered that 40% of people over 50 are getting divorced,

and they've coined this trend: Gray Divorce (GD.)


According to the LA Times:

divorcing women over age 50 experience a finance drop of 45%,

while older men's standard of living dropped only 21%.

27% of GD women over age 63 are at poverty level, which is 9 times that of their married peers.


All of that aside, I am not worried.

I was, a lot. I still have bits.

Fear comes up and rides with me in the back seat.

This entire week I have been so kind to myself, taken care of me, morning and night.

I feel a heightened sense of love for myself from myself, but it's much more than that.


There is evidence, serious data in my life, of being cared for by the powers outside of myself.

I cannot always see it, witness it, and of course, life is not happy half the time. But today,

this week, I am at the top looking out, and I can see the past few years more clearly.


Stage One, "IAmNotBritish" episodes, feeling a lot of emotions of Loss, from the present and mixing with all the experiences of the past. Churning and melding old sadness with new mourning.


Stage Two, "Limbic Girl," becoming more and more aware of those feelings and making decisions about whether or not I believed all the shade my brain was throwing up.

I witnessed the emotions and processed them. Uncomfortable. Vulnerable.

This is where we humans want to ignore and move on too early, which causes all of that sludge to linger and we end up carrying it way too long.


And now, Stage Three, "Act 3." I've honored all of it, loved it all and let it go. I can fully breathe.


I would love for all women to get this far. It's beautiful over here.


A lot of the "evidence" we carry in our limbic brain was recorded there by a child. All of the experiences before we were 25, recorded by an unreliable narrator.


Our child brain remembers abuse and neglect from a child's perspective.

Boyfriends, parents, mean kids, teachers, institutions and systems--all from the perspective of an undeveloped mind.

Going back and looking at all of it with our adult cognitive brain, and weeding through it, tossing the extra, is super-healing.


My marriage years were, often times, recorded and maneuvered with my limbic brain as well.

During the years that I was not on anti-depressants, I was buffering with sugar, flour, caffeine and aspartame, in the perfect ratios for brain chemistry modification.

I wanted to escape.

Which perhaps was a little child-like.


I coped the best way I knew how.


In the last few years, I have been journaling, and learning not to buffer,

to Feel things I haven't felt in years, which was a shock.

Some of which I have now let go.


So, Now What?

I have asked this all along.

This is the #1 life change question. The circumstances of GD cross emotions with other big life events.

___________ happened, I feel ___________. Now what?

We rise and walk on.

The circumstances do not matter. At all.


Zero judgement. For myself or for others. Acceptance is everything; it leads to Love.

We cannot Love without acceptance of What Is.

Without acceptance, we are in a state of resisting, which keeps us stuck.

Our highest selves accept and love all Life.


For sure, let the world's institutions and systems make their judgements and draw their lines, of people who are worthy and included and the very many who are not.

It is their right. Like adolescents fighting at recess.

We do not need to follow their example. All are worthy.

You are. I am.

Decide what you subscribe to.


I believe many people, perhaps a majority, have truly kind hearts,

and the future belongs to a higher law.


Today's Deep Breath: a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.


I really would like women to get this far.

We all have our own grief path.

I've known many women who got stuck, cycling in sadness.


No matter where you have landed, or your financial picture,

how many square feet you live in,

or how often you see your adult children,

There Is More.


More life to be lived.


The majority of us have brain plasticity that enables us to continue to grow

and move forward,

to learn.


Start small. Add one thing.


I successfully sold my house and moved into this apartment. Then life stopped.

Walked my dog. Showered.

I watched Netflix and slept too long.

I couldn't bring myself to pick up a book.

I ate enough food, not much extra, except for the occasional pint of non-dairy ice cream or slice of cake.

I thought, I'll die here, in this chair, watching TV.


I found new favorites:

gluten-free rice crackers & lemon pepper goat cheese,

thawed berries, & sugar-free peanut butter in my oatmeal.


I added a word puzzle before turning on TV...

eventually read a chapter in a book.


My body atrophied a little and my spine was getting pinched, so I started exercising.

Once a week.

After 4 months, I added yoga for lower back and hips. This feels amazing for hours after.

Now I have two jobs and my body has recovered its abs, so I can work.

Aging gracefully.


It takes one action at a time.


Super-rough stats:

Population in the US: 328 Million

34% are over 50: 111.5 Million

40% are divorced: 44.6 Million

51% are women: 23 Million GD women, just like me.


That is more than the number of residents that live in New York City's entire metro area.


You're not alone.

Whatever your circumstances, you are not the only one.

We have to go straight through it, which is gonna hurt.

To thrive on the other side.


Cheers to living a lush life.