Saturday, August 6, 2011

Want to Make Changes Post-Divorce? What’s Your Type?

This is another of those “borrowed” ideas from running.  Specifically, Greg McMillan has a great piece in Running Times (it’ll be on-line soon) about the different types of runners that turn up for the high school season.  I’m thinking about how we turn up for the post-divorce period.
Type 1 has pride.  I’m divorced and proud of it, you might say.  Okay, maybe not proud, but not ashamed either.  Type 1 is going to approach post-divorce with the same energy and enthusiasm with which they approach other things in life.  This is a problem, and I’m gonna solve it.  Type 1s think, plan and make things happen.  Good for you if you fit this bill.  Just keep doing what you’re doing.  You’re flourishing.
Type 2 is in discovery.  I’m divorced, and it seems like I can cope with this thing.  Type 2s are going to give it their best shot, even though they’re not exactly relishing the opportunity.  Type 2s arrive in college or a job and didn’t realize what a challenge it would be, but they find themselves rising up to it.  Type 2s have a lot of enthusiasm, they’re not seasoned fighters and can get hurt or blocked.  Type 2s just need a little push and support.  If you’re a Type 2, make sure you’re getting the support you need.
Type 3 is dealing with a necessary evil.  I’m divorced, it sucks, and I guess I’ll do what I have to, to get through.  Type 3s spend a lot of time complaining about their situation and very little time considering concrete plans to improve it.  Type 3s say I don’t know, a lot, have no clear goals and little thought that getting through this is going to be mostly up to them.  They have the ability, but they don’t know it.  If you’re a Type 3, you can do this yourself by trying to do some problem solving, getting the support you need or developing a more optimistic attitude.
Type 4 is participating, but not flourishing.  I’m divorced so I guess it’s time to party.  Type 4s have the ability and the will to cope as needed, but aren’t giving 110% to making the post-divorce period the best time of their life.  The Type 4 isn’t complaining, but is just coasting, having some fun, not planning for the future.   Divorce is a major life change (I know, duh) but that means it’s one of those proverbial opportunities to grow and take charge of your life in a big way.
What’s your type?  Look at how you’ve approached other new and difficult situations.  Your response to divorce will probably be much the same.  You can decide if you want to move from your Type 4 to a Type 1, or from your Type 2 to a Type 1.  Since it’s not the cross country team, you don’t get to quit.  You’ve got to try to get yourself into shape and win this thing. 
Who are you? The Who.

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