A friend of mine recently shared with me one of his “best days” post divorce. He said that he found some peace when he realized that his ex-wife could no longer make decisions that impacted him financially.
That was my first “small victory” as well. I wanted our bank accounts separated immediately. I didn’t feel that AJ ever took my budget seriously when we were together, why would he honor it now that we were finished? I consulted my attorney and asked AJ if he was willing to separate the accounts with me. Luckily for me, AJ didn’t put up much of a fight.
We set up an appointment at the bank on Saturday (Day Six). On Day Four, I had taken out cash for both of us and froze our debit cards. I didn’t want either of us doing anything dishonest before we separated our accounts.
Saturday couldn’t come soon enough.
I remember walking out of the bank that Saturday morning with only my name on the account. I felt like a million bucks! Like that scene from Rocky when he made it to the top of the stairs. AJ was reckless with money and I was constantly cleaning up the mess. I didn’t have to do it anymore… or ever again. I wasn’t quite in the clear financially, as every bill we had were all in my name only, but my own bank account was a win.
My first step towards the new life of “me”.
Each day I tried to find a victory, however small, to celebrate.
Some days, taking out the trash was a victory. Other days, it would be hanging new artwork in the living room.
I also found a celebration in my cooking. Seafood was back on the menu and I cooked a ton of it right after we called it quits. Salmon, scallops, mussels and clams… oh yes.
One night shortly after AJ moved out, I invited over one of my girlfriends, who has a ton of power tools, and we hung several pieces of decor and a few kitchen shelves that I had asked AJ to hang for months… THAT was a big victory. Music, wine and power tools… great therapy.
I learned that I am self-sufficient. It’s not that I ever felt like I couldn’t do [insert task here], but I had someone else for six years who could help me get things done. 50/50. Now, I had to absorb the other half. For some reason, that scared me. What if I couldn’t?
What if I never remember trash day? What if the garbage disposal breaks? What if my hair builds up in the shower drain?
Is that Fear talking?
Guess what? I can do it all on my own and I do. I do my own yard work. I paint my own walls. If something is broken, I fix it myself. I make my own money and I choose how I spend it.
You are self-sufficient. That is one amazing victory.
I am learning that help with the “other half” of life isn’t a necessity, it’s a bonus. After several years of a team effort, it’s hard to realize/remember that.
Victories, my friends. Find them… even the smallest ones.