Sunday, April 29, 2012

You Gotta Have Heart Post-Divorce

There's no magic to running far or climbing Everest. Endurance is mental strength. It's all about heart.  Bear Grylls, Adventurer
When you suffer a loss, it’s really difficult to see that you’re going to feel better.  It may not be tomorrow, or next week, and it may not even be next month, but at some point, if you keep going, you will feel better.  You will get to the top of the mountain if you have the heart.  In fact, if you really notice how you feel on a regular basis, you’ll notice that some minute, or hours, you actually feel better right now.
Normal mood fluctuates.  No one feels great every minute or terrible every minute.  So even when you’re down and out, your kid does something funny, you watch a funny scene in a movie, you have a good run or swim or conversation…these things make us feel good, and better than we did the moment before they happened.  You’re not on the summit, but there’s progress and you can start to take heart that you’re making it.  You have to notice those good moments.
In the beginning, those good feelings don’t last quite long enough to feel representative of a real cure.  Those good moments don’t seem to add up to a day.  Maybe they don’t even add up to an hour.  But noticing the good feelings and putting them together in a string of happy moments can start to add up to a solid amount of time if you have the heart for it.  One day you notice you had a good morning.  Soon, it’s a good day.  After awhile, you’re having good days, then weeks.  You are almost at the peak.
I’m suggesting that you make a point to notice:
  • the moments that feel better
  • the things that make you feel better
  • the progress you’re making
  • the increasing amount of good times
All you really need is heart.
You gotta have hope, musn’t sit around and mope

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Need Some Willpower Post-Divorce?

Trying to get back on track post-divorce?  Need to start a wellness program, work more hours or start dating?  Willpower and self-control help.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Post-Divorce Decision-Making Overwhelm

Having talked with many post-divorcers, I believe divorce often finds us suffering with a decision-making deficit.  I’ve written about how the decision-making issues can arise because there are too many decisions.  And there is a myriad of decisions.  There are decisions about where to live, who to live with, what to do about the kids, the job, the friends, the ex, and so forth.  We know that having many decisions to make strains our ability to make good choices.  It can be overwhelming.

How does this happen?  Instead of just having too many decisions, perhaps it has something to do with the choices we make in our marriage.  In some marriages, there are few decisions to make, most being made by a highly controlling spouse.  In other marriages, decision-making power is often abdicated to a spouse.  I’m suggesting that when you don’t have to make a lot of choices, you start to forget how to make choices.  Then when you have lots to make, you’re out of  practice and it’s easily overwhelming.

My tips for those relearning decision-making:

1.  Try not to make too many decisions all at once.  Figure out what needs to be decided today, and keep a list of the other things to get to when you have more decision-making energy.

2.  HALT.  Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?  Don’t make any decisions under these conditions.  Eat, sleep, get with a friend and de-stress.  Then decide.

3.  Get the info.  Read, google, listen to podcasts, do whatever you do to get information.  Think it over.  Consider the possibilities and options.  Look at the consequences.  Then come up with your choice, or top choices.

4.  Consult.  Talk to friends, colleagues, anyone with information or insight into the issue and get their input.  You still make the decision, but even the presidents of the united states and general motors don’t make decisions on their own.  They use advisors.

5.  Sit with it.  If you don’t have to decide today and it’s a big decision, wait a couple of days.  Let the ideas come together.  Then revisit your decision and see if it still looks good.

6.  Practice acceptance.  Once you’ve gone through your steps, go with it and enjoy.  If you haven’t made the best choice, you’ll figure it out and do what you can for damage control.  You’ll learn something.  Next time, you’ll make a better choice.

It’s wonderful to hear people excited about buying their first car or home on their own.  It doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  The big win: there’s a huge sense of empowerment that comes with making one’s own decisions.

I’m So Tired, The Beatles