Yesterday was pretty tough. There’s nothing like being pummeled by waves to remind one of the emotional pummeling one has experienced. Such was my situation as I learned to paddle for, and catch my own waves.
While I actually caught one or two, I spent much of the time waiting for waves and learning to read the ocean. When I got it wrong, the wave crashed on top of me or I didn’t pop up quickly enough and I rode it on my belly (not an entirely bad thing). Even though my swim experience had me paddling like a champ, I had a hard time transitioning from paddle to pop up. The more waves I missed, the harder I was on myself and my mind wandered to other times in my life that were difficult.
There’s been a lot of difficult this year. I haven’t really brought it up here but my marriage of twenty years dissolved this year. The divorce finalized in September. In addition to dealing with all the legal stuff, finding a place to stay, looking for a new job, completing a major book revision, and parenting, the grief of the whole situation has been surprising. The divorce was something I wanted, something that needed to happen yet no one plans for divorce. The grief for plans we once had that would never come true, for time lost, for bad decisions and regrets– that grief is powerful and unexpected– crashing into me when I’m not quite ready for it and like yesterday, it stings my eyes with salt water and leaves me spluttering.
Yesterday, the more emotional I got, the worse I surfed and the harder I was on myself (see you couldn’t make your marriage work and you can’t do this either). I couldn’t let it go or stay in the moment (already an issue for a planner/manager like me). It was less and less likely that I’d actually surf. I finally came ashore, had a walk and a cry and a Coke in a cold, curvy glass bottle. I’d try again the next day.