Another year older . . . another year wiser or so the saying goes. I turn 43 on Friday, October, 4th. Kind of hard to believe how far I am into my forties.
Last year was one of the more challenging years of my life. This was the first year of my divorce. The second year in my new house and a new town. Also, I was in recovery from a severe depressive episode that landed me in the hospital.
It was a year of major adjustment. Last year much of the focus was on learning to be alone. I had to adapt to being the head of my household. Something I had never considered during my 17 years of marriage and 19 years of being together.
I had really never been on my own. My ex and I started dating shortly after I graduated from college. We got engaged after a year and married nine months after that. Once you get married you never envision splitting up even though statistics say the divorce rate is almost 50% in this country. I am lucky because we are still friends which is great because we share custody of our two beautiful kids and because we are friends they have adapted well to these big life changes. What I’ve learned is that good communication is key to smooth transitions and being flexible makes things easier.
Being 42 and on my own I have been working on embracing solitude. I spend a lot of time by myself (Sometimes the kids are with Dad) and am learning to cherish this time rather than to fear it. I am trying to not always busy myself to escape the aloneness but rather sometimes to sit with it. I am trying to learn to meditate. I am taking time to read during the quiet. I am writing more and trying to start journaling (even though sometimes this serves as a journal). I went to my first ever movie by myself (which felt weird but liberating and it was Brittany Runs a Marathon!). I even bought a new car ALL by myself!
I have been in therapy since I entered the hospital for my depression. This means seeing a psychiatrist every two weeks and a psychologist every 1-2 weeks. They help me to make sense of what I am feeling and what is going on in my life. They give me a sounding board to process through the grief and other feelings associated with coming out of a divorce as well as the feelings associated with a major depressive episode. They both monitor what is going on with my moods to make sure that I am not slipping backwards. Progress is never linear. Sometimes there are setbacks.
42. Another year around the sun. #lifeupdateTweet
I have been dating in the past year which has been an interesting experience so far since I never really dated after college. The dating landscape has changed so much! It is an adventure but also a bit frightening to enter the dating world. I have been loving meeting all kinds of new people but it is definitely strange meeting people who you only know through the context of their online dating profile and text conversations prior to meeting up. I could share my stories here . . . but I won’t although my friends and I have joked that I could write a book about dating post divorce titled, “Bumbling through divorce.” What I have realized through dating is that there is no reason to rush anything and that that I really need to honor my needs and wants in any relationship that happens to form.
As far as running goes, it has taken me awhile to get back into a groove with running. When the divorce happened I found that time running was not relaxing and releasing instead it was stressful for me. I dreaded too much time alone with my thoughts. But I have navigated my way through that and since come back to a love of running. This has happened partly through racing again but also through finding friends to run with again so that when I run I am not always alone. I challenged myself to get back into training for races last spring with a half marathon and began working with my coach Denise Goode again. It felt great to be working towards a goal race. Since then I did a few races over the summer and concluded the summer with the VT 100 on 100 Relay and then the Ragnar Relay Reach the Beach. This weekend I will be running the Smuttynose Half Marathon in Hampton Beach New Hampshire and then two weeks from that I will be running the super hilly CHaD Hero Half Marathon (Please check out my fundraising page)
This is just a brief snapshot into my life at 42. I am ready to close the chapter on 42 and to see what 43 brings me. I am going to continue working on me in this next year around the sun. As far as running goes I am looking forward to continue running with friends as I love the community of runners. I am also setting my sites on running my first 50K. I said I was done with marathoning but apparently the distance chasing is still something I am longing for (and maybe not ruling out another marathon???). I am hoping to do more trail running this year as I chase the 50K goal and would love to go on some racecations out west if at all possible to run in some new and beautiful places.