Well, friends, I guess it's a good thing I'm not ready to date. Now I'm divorced AND unemployed.
I mean, that's a seriously sweet bio for any dating profile: Divorced single mother of two teenagers who is totally unemployed. WHAT A CATCH!
It's the trifecta that all secure, employed emotionally mature single men in their 50's are looking for: emotionally unstable female with absolutely no income and at least one kid entering college soon.
The past 365 days have been a wild ride for me. I left my very stable job of five years in January 2021 to work for an organization where I believed I had room to grow and advance that would provide the financial security my family needed. And the stability I knew I would need. It was my "last job" where I had hoped to retire from.
At the time I took that job I was still married but was the only source of income as my then-husband was trying to make a go of a small business he started in 2018.
The new job was a perfect match for my experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities and I would have just a little bit of breathing room every month so I didn't have to worry about having to start stripping or selling drugs to make ends meet. #lifegoals #nojudgementonstrippers #sexworkiswork
Just a few months into my new role it was decided that my kid's Dad and I, on our 20th wedding anniversary no less, would be amicably separating and committing to co-parenting our children moving forward. This was no surprise, we had been talking about it for almost a year at that point and I knew it was not if but when it would happen.
Has that always been an easy process? No, but I think all in all we've done a pretty damn good job navigating it all and being there for the kids.
So, friends, that was failure #1 for 2021 - my marriage crumbled and fell apart. The divorce, to me, is the biggest most epic failure I have ever experienced in my life. I disappointed myself, my children, my faith, and my family.
It is so embarrassing to be divorced. I will be 50 this year. 50 YEARS OLD! I've got 2/3 of my life under my belt. A big part of me is dreading the back 1/3 of my life.
I am certain that I'll be alone for the rest of it (see above reference to why there is NO ONE ON EARTH that would want to be with this shit show) and the other part of me is oddly optimistic about what is to come.
I do have a pretty good bucket list of items for a middle-aged divorcee like myself. Travel to Europe (ALONE!), start rock climbing again, run the New York Marathon (I said bucket list, I did NOT say achievable), downhill ski again, take weekend trips alone, whitewater raft, downsize my home and live in a little bungalow in the north end of town, and learn how to golf. It's funny because golf was one of the few things my former husband enjoyed and I did not.
It wasn't until I got really drunk at a staff retreat last spring and spent a day on a course with a really amazing and fun group of people that I truly understood the appeal. Since then I've been to Top Golf (won a $250 REI gift card, don't mean to brag...) and CRUSHED it (to be fair I think Top Golf is designed so everyone feels like they can golf!) and I hit a bucket of balls with my Ma on a nice warm sunny day in November.
If it wasn't January and butt-cold right now, I'd go grab my former husband's clubs and hit the shit out of a bucket of balls right now. I think it would make me feel better...
My second and most egregious failure has been losing my job. And I truly lost it, but I'm still not sure how. I was hired for one position that, in organizational restructuring, was eliminated. I was put into a new role that was, at my advanced age, difficult to train (my learning preferences were no match for the training program) and not at all a match for my knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Having experienced the crash and burn of a 22-year relationship I struggled with my emotions and since work was the one place I spent most of my time and I can't burden my children with them (or friends, who don't want to hang out with an emotionally fragile sad sack of a human) unfortunately despite my greatest efforts to shove them down so far they couldn't get out, they found an escape route.
And I know better than to hold things in, that is not my way but in this case, I tried hard to keep everything inside and when you pile pressure on top of pressure something has to give. You can infer the rest.
And, let's talk about crying. I am not a crier (well apparently I am now but I wasn't before) so when I start to cry I get mad that I am crying and that makes me cry harder, then I am embarrassed for crying harder and that makes it even worse. #viciouscircle
After a few months of fumbling and frustration and lots of emotions I could no longer hold back, I was given a couple of options, neither of which are appealing for a woman pushing 50 with no husband's income to fall back on and a kid entering college in the fall!
So here I am, unemployed. I'm terrified. I don't have much of a safety net, as we all know in divorce there's a sharing of assets. There isn't much left for me in liquidity to make ends meet. I will figure it out, on my own. Because that is who I am and what I do.
As I am always a glass half full kind of gal, I've got some time to work on my MBA - I am hard-charging to finish it by May of this year. I will be able to chalk that up as a success even if I don't finish that quickly.
Hell, it's a self-paced competency-based program, with all my free time maybe I can finish it before I find a new job! Based on job availability out there right now, that seems like a good possibility.
It also appears the universe is giving me a gift of a little time to slow down. And I appreciate it. I'll do my best to take advantage of this time to put myself back together.
Maybe I will have time to write and blog a little more, funny stuff since that's more my style. Maybe I can finally publish my Bliss and Chaos e-book! I can see the headline: Desperate single mother publishes embarrassing stories about her children for money
I kind of like it!
Stay tuned and always remember, a little levity goes a long way. Onward, upward and I'm making my own way forward.