Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Life Cake



I was thinking about where things stood for me right now... trying to get some more perspective... over thinking it all as usual.  And I stopped myself.

I'm glad I have the ability to be introspective... I'm glad I can look honestly at myself and be truthful, be it internally or externally, about who I am and what I am trying to accomplish... however, as I've said in the past... I think too much of anything isn't a good thing.  The more you think - the more you look before you leap - the more life you lose out on.  When it comes to the movies what's the better cinematic experience?  The one where you know exactly what's going to happen before it happens and then when it happens you say "I knew that was going to happen" OR the one where you think you know what to expect and then it defies your expectation?  Come on, do I really need to answer that?

Yes, in my job as a publicist, it's important to think as far ahead as possible in order to anticipate potential obstacles that may throw a wrench into the machine... but that's work and at the end of the day I think we all would like work to go as smoothly as possible.  So, in work, I can live with a little predictability, but in my personal pursuits... keep the surprises coming.

As much as I would love to know that I will fall in love again and have someone to share my life with, I know that there is the possibility that it won't happen... I don't think probable... but, yes, possible... It's about the journey at this point and I think it's the thing we all know to be just as important as the final result.  You have to enjoy the process - put the love into that recipe as you bake your life cake because the cake will ultimately come out tasting better (I think I'll name my self help book Life Cake -- not to be confused with Patton Oswalt's riff on Sky Cake) --  I have to just enjoy every day without the fear of what is or isn't to come... whether or not plans have been made, whether or not I'm going on dates, and whether or not I'm whether or not.

I have some great truths in my life that make me very fortunate.  I have two amazing.... AMAZING kids... and I have an ex-wife who by estimation is an ex-husband's dream.  I know I've gone on in the past about how well the two of us have been dealing with the divorce (I think we would both agree it hasn't been the easiest emotionally) and it in turn has made our kids get through it that much easier.  Yes, there is more ahead for them -- especially the day Mommy and Daddy have someone "special" they want to introduce them to.  But at the end of the day I believe they take their cues from us and if we can continue to be a united front when it comes to the kids and how we handle these moments then I know they will come through shining.  I hope that whomever I meet down the road can appreciate the path we've chosen to take in this divorce and not feel threatened by it.  By my estimation it's the ultimate selfless act and that's all that matters.

Let me digress a moment and wax poetic on divorce and why I think it normally ends in negativity and bad feelings (this really only matters when kids are involved - no kids, then do what you what you want... it's your life).  But when there are kids, you no longer are allowed the luxury of being selfish and spiteful to the other person... as much as you may feel you want to go there... you just can't - and if you do... shame on both of you.   But here is the tricky part and why I think couples DO end up in that bad place.  I think, like my situation, when you've been together, the two people have grown so accustomed to each other and intwined in each others lives that the unraveling is just too much and both man and woman are fighting against years of ritual behavior.  When it does end, it almost becomes an act of rebellion because I think on the inside our instincts are still in line with someone who is married so our gut reaction in dealing with anything is to go to that person whose been by your side for so many years... but wait... you're no longer together and for your own well being you can no longer go to that person because now you must move on (you are divorced) and count on yourself to a degree (your only responsibility together are your children - otherwise, you're on your own)... I think it's in those moments that we become resentful and angry -- how dare he/she put me in this place where I must go it alone... but what's worse, we're not alone because you have kids with that ex-spouse, so that ex is there and you HAVE to deal with him/her (ouch, my head is starting to hurt).  I guess what I'm getting at is you basically have to figure out how to live your new life while redefining the old one and I think that's a real tricky proposition.  I think it's easier for people to run the opposite direction and shun the other than try and figure out how stay unmarried, for better for worse, in sickness and health, til death do you part... pretty crazy, huh?  Even when you're divorced by law, you're never divorced in life.

Sorry, got sidetracked... but there is a reason I got sidetracked... because it all relates to what I was saying above.  Life should be unexpected and you shouldn't try and predict what's going to happen.  I think when we become so consumed of a certain outcome of any given situation we almost make sure it will happen... I believe my ex and I had been so burned by our own parents during their divorces that we were simply afraid to do it (which may very well be why we stayed together so long) -- mind you, we never got to a place where we hated each other, but I do think we became more friends/roommates/parents than we did husband and wife (I think she would agree) and we were just coasting.  We were afraid of devastating our kids (which we did) and we were definitely afraid of becoming like our parents (which, we didn't).... and because we didn't, our kids devastation subsided and they are growing accustomed to this new life where mom and dad simply get along (please don't cut to five years from now and we're both screaming at each other in public in front of our children)...

Since getting divorced I have gotten used to not trying to anticipate the outcome of any situation - as long as I believe in what I'm doing and feel strongly that I making the right choices then everything else is out of my hands.

I feel pretty good these days... I am very fortunate.

P

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