This picture, taken of me about 10 days ago, reflects a rested, happy and healthy self. It was the last day of a 10 day cruise I took with my law partner to celebrate 15 years in practice together. I promise I am not going to focus this blog on the benefits of taking a cruise (although I would recommend it). What I want to focus on is the 14 days prior to my cruise.
About a week and a half before I left on my Mediterranean adventure, I was driving back to work from my lunch break at home and a woman smashed into my car driving 45 miles per hour. Needless to say I had significant back and neck stiffness and pain as a result. The crash’s impact fractured a filing in my tooth requiring a crown. Scheduling medical appointments was an additional pain my neck… and mouth. Then I caught my daughter’s nasty cold. I was out of work several days - all before I was about to be out of the country for 12 more days.
I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t very forgiving of myself during the healing process. But I kept thinking it would all be ok because karma would take over and then I would have an amazing trip – because bad things stop at 3 things – right? Wrong. On the flight to Amsterdam, I became violently ill. By the time I got to Greece I just wanted to turn around and go home. Our first excursion was in Turkey. Instead of exploring a city in ruins, I was hooked up to IV’s in the medical center fighting a bacterial infection in my colon.
I promise it didn’t get any worse than this, but this is the learning: bad things happen. They can be unpredictable, are always unwanted and inconvenient, and there are no rules about the frequency, duration and amount of hard luck that can strike at any time. And it is okay because we are capable of surviving hard things.
I share this because my litany of “bad events” over the last 30 days is what a divorce feels like over the course of a few months or years. Being in a divorce feels like you are perpetually stuck in the bad luck box. Everything feels hard, unpredictable, and inconvenient. It feels like there is no hope in sight. You might find yourself grumbling a lot that life isn’t fair.
But here is the other side. Time keeps moving and no two days are alike. And in the space of a bad event, always comes a day that isn’t as bad as that one was. Eventually, with time, things even out a little bit. You can catch your breath.
Life can be hard. Divorce is definitely hard. We have little control over those events that add rockiness to our paths on occasion. But we survive. And how we survive is in maintaining the hope that every day will be different and some will be filled with good stuff. So as you navigate rough patch in your life, just remember that you will find some smooth spots. And you might even find yourself in periods of time where you are lucky enough to be cruising.