Resilience

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Yesterday was terrible.

I was overtired for one.  As I live far away from my job, I rented a room to spend the night in town when I needed to. However, my work days are shorter at the end of the school year and I don’t really need the room anymore.  But that means taking the 5:29, which is really damned early.

That, however, is only part of it.  I also had a date with my ex- to go climbing.  It’s something we used to do together, and I have learned about all sorts of new climbing sites close to my apartment that he wanted to try.  So he picked me up from work and we went climbing. And it was both great to hang out with him and really, really sad.

It confirmed a few things.  For one, he is really much older than I am. While he’s in fantastic shape for his age, his climbing skills have declined enormously.  He is also very egotistical and needs constant reassurance that he’s in good shape, that he climbed well, that he’s strong, and never has a word of encouragement or a compliment for me. For one day of climbing together, I don’t need encouragement, but after 20 years together it was really something that brought me down.

We talked normally for a while, ignoring the elephant in the room, but finally I brought up the question of starting our divorce procedure. He said he was up for it. It seems to be okay to do that now; we’re definitely separated and definitely not getting back together, despite our friendship.

He’s leaving it up for me to start, I guess.  There isn’t much to discuss; I don’t want part of his house and he doesn’t want part of my retirement. We don’t have kids. So it’s simple.

It’s so sad, though. I ache.  I was miserable and texted a few friends, telling them I need a “buck up little camper” speech.  My friend in California obliged, and even called me.

Things are objectively wonderful right now.  But I was overtired, and overwhelmed and sad, so I did the things that help in the short term. I made good, tasty, healthy food for myself.  I reached out to my friends. I called my family. I went to bed early.

I feel better today and will go for a walk. The air and the sun will do me good. This is what resilience is about; going through the motions until the storm passes, and if it doesn’t pass, asking for help.  I can do this, even though at the moment, everything hurts.

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