True story: I killed it.
There was a lizard, and I was walking my dog. I took a step,
my heel touched cement, and started to roll forward.
At that point, the body is just following through with the command, right?
It literally ran right under the center of my shoe.
In the time it took for my brain to tell my foot to stop, I'd crushed half of it's head.
Like a wedge heel.
In six years of Florida living, it's never happened. Suicidal lizard?
You know, if you rip off a lizard's tail, it'll grow a new one.
But that doesn't work with the head.
I looked back after leaping out of my path--
I was so incredibly, verbally sorry,
and it's head was flat at the crown, with stuff leaking out the sides,
the spine and limbs were flailing.
And I walked away.
What else could I do?
Obviously, there's no putting it back together.
It's going to die, and flail until it can't anymore.
Honestly, I didn't know how to kill it faster to put it out of it's misery.
No, that's not true.
I did think about going back and stomping on his entire body,
but--and I struggle to tell you this,
I didn't want full lizard guts on my shoe.
Is that bad?
But I also could not picture myself intentionally slamming a lizard with my foot.
My knee coming up, all the muscles flexed to bring it down. Ugh.
That's not who I am.
(Even if it's done out of mercy?)
I know my heart, and I didn't mean for this to happen.
Of course, because I know I don't carry the entire burden for its death, I cognitively asked
"am I the only reason it died?"
It basically jumped in front of a train.
The train squashed it, and my train brain felt bad.
Is there something inherently wrong or dangerous about sidewalks?
Should I, or the lizards, avoid sidewalks for the rest of our lives?
Was it the sidewalk's fault?
Sometimes we blame the where or when or hows for basic life circumstances.
As a divorcing human, is marriage the culprit?
Should we avoid marriage because one died today?
Maybe I'll walk slower on the sidewalk next time. Be more aware of the steps.
The agreements are made, our fine points discussed. The lizard has flailed and is now dying.
I said I killed it, but that's not true.
And he didn't kill it either.
It just died.
There were many circumstances: multiple sidewalks in lots of places, dirt, mulches and some plants.
There was shade from trees that allowed a cooling and then intense heat from the sun. There were only a few thorns, really. From my perspective.
It wasn't a shitshow.
Not at all.
It's still tough to say "it was,"
but that will get better too.
My brain will get used to it.
And when it cycles around, in that invisible spiral of emotion with the blob-to-blip of divorce in that one spot, it will hurt less each time.
And we will rise again.
Today's Deep Breath: a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
Not dissimilar from birthing a child, my advice is to let it rip you in half.
Nobody wants to be ripped in half.
Half of my pain is the thought, "I don't want this."
There is pain, emotional and physical, but more:
vulnerability with a little shame and judgement...
Yep, nodding my head.
Cry whenever you feel like it. And then, check and make sure all the crying is out.
"Am I done? Am I done for now?"
Shutting the crying down too soon to save face or be strong--
whatever it is you tell yourself to shut down your emotion,
will not help you or your family.
It will drag out the entanglement of feelings.
So cry and get all the knots out.
You'll be left with a lot of string, bent and hanging.
I would have loved to have had the presence of mind to wash them first,
maybe dye them pink in an ombre pattern.
There was too much hurt for that.
One at a time, you'll take a few strands, with shaking hands,
and make a new knot.
In the beginning, you'll be counting the hours.
Then, maybe a few knots a week.
Intentional and pretty.
You can use a pattern borrowed from a faith belief or an institution,
that gives you the scaffolding to create your own life.
Or, like me, you can freestyle.
A huge dismantled macrame piece of mine was leaving the LDS church--
which had a life-encompassing frame and took a lot of crying to dismantle.
Now, I have the marriage piece to rebuild.
I built my own frame, because I was born with such a small stick.
Gratefully, many loving people handed me pieces,
gave me beautiful bamboo or wonky driftwood.
I tied it all together--
because what choice is there?
I could've drowned, I suppose.
But that's not who I am either.
I say, to the largest group of divorcing women, 40% of Boomer couples,
drowning is an option. Sure.
It's good to have choices.
But, what if choosing to not drown, and rebuilding--
even if you have to start completely over with a new frame,
what if that choice leads to a beautiful new piece of your life?
What if the best is yet to come?
I can't wait to see what my life will look like in the future.