Fire bad, tree pretty.

Ahhh ...

Coffee, a relaxing get ready for work morning, the distraction of looking at flights and hotels in sunny Florida ... I am so damn jazzed about getting to hit the beach, see sunsets and reconnect with old friends. Especially my bestest friend in the world :)

I found a hotel across the street from the beach, and now I'm back to playing with flight times. I thought I had booked already, but I had merely made a reservation (I didn't *hold* the reservation which, we all know, is key). I'm nervous about anything less than an hour layover in Atlanta, but if I stick with one carrier, an hour should be safe. There won't be that insane sprint up and down concourses ...

As I look at departure times, I know I want to be there in time for sunset Thursday night, so I can either get there around 6 with a late morning flight, or I can get there in time for a late lunch with an early a.m. flight. Since I'm usually up around 6:30 anyways, getting up an hour earlier to make a 7:00 flight doesn't seem *too* awful. And then I could grab lunch at The Main Bar and snarf down a Famous Italian or three.

Melissa, I hope your kiddos are better. You asked about my and Dave's custody arrangement. There's all sorts of options as far as summer and vacations go, and since we just make it all up on the fly, I've never bothered to pay much attention to that part. But the basic agreement is 'extended weekend possession' - he has the girls from Thursday evening through Monday morning the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of the month. So on 5-weekend months, I score two weekends off in a row. May was funky, because he technically had Memorial Day weekend this year, so he would have had 4 weekends in a row if we hadn't split that weekend up a bit.

I am, apparently, ridiculously fortunate that both he and I are far more concerned with the girls than we ever were with pettiness, in that we've always been very flexible with each other on any changes we need to make due to travel, other commitments, etc. From listening to other folks, this is not the norm. But even early on, I could be mad at him for one thing, but still be totally accommodating if he needed/wanted to leave town on "his" weekend. And vice versa. And now that our post-divorce relationship has settled into a pretty easy thing, we can just talk and if one of us wants to modify something, we do it.

Since we're back on the subject of divorce and details ... while I was indulging in Micheladas in the shade with Dan this weekend, he asked if I was happier now post-divorce.

It's a strange question, as I was not the divorce-seeker, and I fought to save my marriage.

It's a strange question, too, as I don't come from the position of "my marriage didn't let me be me". I always maintained my 'healthy boundaries' and never felt consumed or overrun by my marriage. To me, it was never about losing myself in another person, or surrendering my own wants / needs / identity to someone else. So, in a lot of fundamental ways, my post-divorce life isn't that totally different from my pre-divorce life.

But after I got through all those disclaimers, I realized that - you know what? I *am* happier. Of course, the free weekends rock, but it's more than that. It's the total freedom, the not having to compromise with anyone. He really believed I never compromised, but there was a lot of compromise on my part, it was just more subtle than his.

Does my happiness necessarily mean the divorce was good for me? I don't know; to me, marriage and relationships necessitate some loss of individual happiness in the quest for the common good. So it's only logical that life outside of a couple should be happier than life within it. The solo life is free of so many stressors and pain factors that come with a relationship; giving yourself over to someone else means exposing yourself to hurts and heartaches you wouldn't have on your own.

You gain a lot from relationships, too, but having had a variety of solo- and relationship- perspectives on 'happy', I think people are generally happier when they're alone. It's easier to be happy when you only have one happy to worry about; as soon as someone else's happy is tied to your pleasure cruise, everything gets more bogged down and more complicated. So it's easy to say "look how happy I am now that I'm divorced". Of course you are. I am. Is it superior to the more muted 'happy' of a relationship? I'm not sure ...

Maybe that's the "good" thing about divorce - maybe when you start new relationships you do a better job of maintaining your own identity, your solo happy, and the group 'happy' is less muted ...

That's a lot to think about on a Monday. I'm not sure my brain is really functioning on that high a level. It's back to the fire and the tree.


Stefany said...

I wanna go to Florida! Waaaahhhh!

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