Baths with plants 🪴 and other post-divorce aspirations

Feb 27, 2022
Meme: 18th century white man writing at a desk with the words:

When I was married, I had a country life. My ex and I owned a home in rural New York, and much of my free time was spent doing chores, or in one of the phases of home renovation (planning, preparing, camping indoors, and cleaning up afterwards). I was into it. I learned how to use a wood splitter and got strong stacking firewood. I learned about gardens and foundations and what it smells like when a family of skunks moves under your porch (remind me to tell you some day about the skunk that got into the basement, yikes).

When our marriage ended, I was crushed - at losing my partner of course - and also at having to say goodbye to that life and all it taught me. If I wasn’t moving firewood or canning tomatoes, I thought, “What will I do to fill this time?”

And so I turned to one of my tried-and-true coping strategies: I made a list. I literally got out my notebook and wrote at the top “Things I LOVE or WISH I were GOOD at.” I scribbled a whole mashup of my existing skills - as well as activities I wanted to try. Here’s a sampling:

  • Tango
  • Kayaking
  • Jiu-Jitsu
  • Hiking
  • Spending time with my nieces and nephew
  • Taking baths in a room full of plants 🪴
  • Irish Step Dancing
  • Singing
  • Watercolor
  • Graphic Design

Mixing up the items this way started unintentionally as I brainstormed. But I’ve revisited and added to this list many times and I realize how important it is to see my skills right next to my wishes. Some I’m already experienced at (kayaking); others I wound up trying a few times but didn’t stick with (jiu-jitsu); some I tried and am really enjoying (watercolor); and a few are purely aspirational (I don’t even have a bathtub!)

What about you? What would be on your list of skills and wishes? Cooking Ethiopian food? Having bird feeders for your yard? Finishing school? Learning to play the tin whistle?

Jumbling up this list allowed me to simultaneously celebrate where I’ve been, while looking excitedly toward the future. I invite you to join me in thinking about ourselves as accomplished, and with so much more to explore.

Sarah 🖖

PS: PurplCouch now has two incredible courses:

I hope you find them useful - and forward to others who might need them.

PPS: Did you see the recent writeup in Seven Days? Huge shout-out to the “Divorce Avengers” 🦸🏽‍♀️ Tabitha Moore, Keri Brown, Nanci Smith, Paul Foxman, and Amanda Peden!

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