Sunday, 13 March 2016

Life 2.0

Everyone knows by now that Kim and I have separated. The past five months have been the most difficult I've ever dealt with, but life goes on, and so must I, and in that vein I am finally putting some of these thoughts to paper.

Our separation, thankfully, was amicable, and we remain friends. That's a huge blessing, I don't know how I could have handled this if we weren't still there for each other and our kids. What it really came down to was the fact that we couldn't live together anymore, we began growing in different directions. Given that, we still share many interests and we will always have things in common that drew us together to begin with over 25 years ago. But we both needed our own lives, hence our current arrangement. Since this happened in August I have talked to at least three other friends who have gone through a similar situation of late with much more negative impacts. One friend only married seven years has already been to court a couple times. His words were not pleasant. I guess in the end, we're lucky.

It's been hard on all of us, the kids twice as much. My son had a quick revelation that he'd have to go out on his own, and at twenty years old that's not a bad thing. He's got his own apartment now and he's learning the ropes of managing his own life. Sure it's tough, but we all had to start somewhere, and it's time he learns for himself. He's a smart kid, he'll make it. My daughter is with Kim in her new place. She's very reserved and typically doesn't let her feelings known. It's difficult to feel her out sometimes, however one clue to her frame of mind is the screen saver on the computer that simply says 'choose happy'. I know she's doing well, we've resumed our long intense conversations about life, the universe and everything. She's smiling, and most importantly, baking. Last week I went to see her and I was greeted with two fresh loaves of zucchini bread cooling in the kitchen. I do miss waking up in the house to her baking though, it always smelled so good. Kim is adjusting as well, decorating her own space and truly owning it.

I've never been on my own. I lived with my parents until I turned 25, at which point I moved in with Kim when we got engaged. My home was always hers. Now, I am in my own space for the first time and with that comes the challenge of deciding who I really am. How to define myself through my own home with no influences. I decide where to put my stuff, I decide what stuff I want out, I decide what pictures will go on the walls, I decide what shelf to use in the fridge. Not that I never had the choice before, but now it's only my choice. Nobody to offer a second opinion, nobody to disagree with a decision, and that's a bit weird. I'm getting used to it, slowly. I am a little indecisive in that regard anyway, I've already moved the living room around and will probably do it again.

Stranger still is the sounds of the house. They're all different. No longer am I hearing the voices and footsteps I've been accustomed to all these years. A house has a personality and that is enhanced by the occupants - each one of them adds to the ambiance. Now with different people in the house it's like the place has become a different person of sorts. Footfalls on the floor above are unfamiliar, voices are new, smells are not familiar, and to boot, I now have five cats.

My sister and her family moved in. There was no way I needed a house this big to myself, so I let her have the upstairs, while I have taken the basement apartment. It's cozy, yet small. I still go upstairs quite often, but I want that to be her home. At first it was strange seeing her furniture and decor instead of mine, but as time goes on it seems to be normal. As I have my own familiar decor here, it's not a big deal. After all a home is not just a house, but the stuff you put into it. I still have my stuff. I also now have low pipes. I used to giggle when I heard my son yell when he bashed his head off them, now my sister is the one giggling. You'd think after almost 13 years in this house I'd know where the damn things were but no, thump.

Things have worked for everyone, at least as good as this type of thing allows. We're all still talking and interacting, just not from the same residence. The future is still unfolding. I can't see what's down the road, but I do know one thing, my family is still and will forever be, my number one concern. I even still worry about Kim. As for me, I've got to start the next chapter in this story, now it's time to get back outside and see the big wide world. I must find myself but I don't quite know how to start. I have ideas and dreams not unlike I had years ago, they just burn a little brighter now. Life 2.0 has begun and it's up to me to bring it to fruition. As my daughter likes to remind herself - choose happy.


1 comment:

  1. Five cats? You're neither old, nor female! What the heck?!?

    Bend my ear whenever you want.


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