October 2, 2014
I am checking Facebook and see this posting by Cheryl Richardson
"May the angel of wildness disturb the places where your life is domesticated and safe." quote by John O'Donohue
It resonates instantly and I know I need to "share" it before I lose it. Most days, that is what Facebook is to me, a place to store thoughts and images before I lose them. Sending it to Pinterest would require 3 more minutes and several more steps than I normally have, so share and post and done until I can get back to it on a later date.
Shortly after sharing that quote and image, I was tooling around the internet and my Angels showed me an email writing prompt from Danielle LaPorte
"What would going 'wild' look like for you?" page 52 of The Desire Map Journal
I was short on time as I was waiting to be picked up by my boyfriend for a special dinner date! Our town has a "Restaurant Week" each year and the participating restaurants create a special menu and pricing to entice you to come try them. Earlier that morning when we were deciding how to spend our children free evening, we made reservations at a fondue place for dinner.
While waiting for our meal to start, I showed Jason both the image about wildness and the email and I asked him what his "going wild" would look like. He listed off about a dozen places he wanted to visit & vacation at and his growing interest in Tiny Houses! I love that he has chosen to be fully engaged in his life now and can answer questions like this. There was a time early in his divorce that this question would have brought forth some vague answer at best. To be in the front row of a friends awakening of their soul is pretty damn cool.
Then it was my turn to answer. Being me, there are several answers to the question, "What would 'wild' look like to you?" The first that came to mind is the exact evening we were sharing. Wildness in my life is as simple as having a child free night and choosing to actually do something with it. We have a handful of standard places we grab food, when we work too late to make it home and create a meal. This is usually followed by a movie from Netflix or Amazon. But that morning, inspiration spoke to both of us and a we created time for a special date night.
Having been married for 16 years in my previous relationship, I know routine. My ex tried several times to have us go out for a "date" night, but I was hadn't gotten my "groove" back on yet and was wrapped in the shroud of motherhood that I had no interest in going out on a date. All I wanted was to nap or sleep through the night uninterrupted. I felt tired, frumpy, and the thought of having to interact on a date level seemed too much of an ordeal.
I read The Girlfriends Guide to Getting Your Groove Back, by Vicki Iovine back in those days, but didn't "get" it for several more years after reading it. I think many of us full-time stay at home mom's lose our grooves and some of us give up on ever getting them back. This is where girlfriends become important. All is takes is one of your girlfriends getting a little wild (a new hair cut or losing weight) and finding her groove to shake the cob webs out of your head and snap you back into reality.
Going on a date night, back in the day before my groove found me again, was super stressful. I didn't have clothes that felt right for a date night. I couldn't switch gears to enjoy conversation, because my mind was on how my kids were fairing without me, what mess they were making, and how I could be more effectively be using my child free time to knock some of my chores off while not having to negotiate with my kids to behave or using my time to pee all by myself. Bathrooms became a temporary obsession of mine, during this shroud time of my life. I would find myself in a bathroom stall where you were completely encapsulated and thinking about how nice it was that no little fingers were reaching under the door for me and how nice and peaceful it was and then as this was pre-smart phone I would freak out and wonder how long I had been sitting on the toilet day dreaming. Then I would slink back to the table having no clue how long I had been gone. I was blessed to have irritable bowel syndrome, so my ex always assumed I was having tummy problems.
While most of my friends, minus my sister who just had baby #4 a little less than a year ago, have gotten their grooves back on, it takes an equal amount of effort to keep a marriage or relationship thriving. While it is commonly accepted that relationships go on autopilot for decades in a first marriage, if your marriage ends and you find yourself in a new relationship this is not supposed to happen. You enter new relationships with your eyes wide open to the many reasons your last relationship tanked. Domestification is the number one killer of good relationships where both partners really do love each other and really do want to be happy.
Here is what I know after divorce #2 and relationship #3 since last divorce, the amount of work you have to put forth to keep a romance and the butterflies alive is great. You can either work your ass off to save the relationship you are in, or you can work your ass off in the next one. The phrase "autopilot" cannot be a part of a thriving relationship, ever.
I listen to friends talk about how bored they are in their marriages and relationships and what I hear is how boring they are choosing to be. A bored, boring person who is on autopilot in their own life has zero to bring to the relationship table. I hear about how their partner is boring, they don't have any money to do fun stuff, the bills they have to pay, they are too busy, they work to hard, and there just isn't time for fun. Newly single and divorced people, have to be creative to find free or cheap fun things to do to meet or entertain their prospective dates. Somehow you manage to be creative and find fun stuff to do even when you are having to pay child support and alimony.
You really do get what you give or what you bring to life.
What wild is to me is remembering each day that I have choices to make, tons of them.
I can choose to be domesticated and safe and quietly exist. I can accept mediocrity and boredom. I can pretend that I am somehow busier and more financially strapped than everyone else and let my feeling of lack slowly erode my happiness. I can exist and bury myself in denial that someday when everything lines up, when I am wealthy, when my children are grown, when the stars align, when I lose this 30 pounds and when I find my soul mate, then I can be happy and have the relationship I have always dreamed of.
Instead, I have learned that life is never going to be easy. I will always have more bills than I have money. There are only 24 hours in every day, for everyone. I love to eat too much to be thin again.
Writing that I love to eat, caused me to have an Eat, Pray, Love moment. I have too much passion in my life to not enjoy lobster mashed potatoes or a heavy cream mushroom soup or a large glass of wine followed by Tiramisu at lunch. While I want to learn to enjoy smaller portions of the fabulous tastes of life so that I am more comfortable in my naked skin again, I have passion in my life about food, wine, sex, conversations and laughter. Passion about life is what makes me wild.
Going wild for me is about choosing to live each day as big as possible. Not wasting a meal, a conversation with a friend, or a sunny day. Going wild is about choosing to make each day special. Some days that is stopping before we get into the car to hug my children. Some days that is staying in bed for an extra moment to look Jason in the eyes and smile. Some days, as finances permit, it is a super awesome special dinner date at a fondue restaurant.
Some days going wild is me spending a whole afternoon typing out what is inside my head to share with the big ole mean, critical world.
I pray the Angels of wildness disturb the hell out of the places of your life that you have allowed to grow stale and boring.
I pray that you remember that retirement (or tomorrow) are not days guaranteed to you, in hopes that you will choose at least once today to be a little wild.
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